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Duke to roll out artificial friend groups alongside artificial turf

DURHAM, N.C.— As climate awareness has grown over the past decade, sports fields across the country have gradually switched from thirsty grass breeds to a more sustainable turf material. Duke has hopped on this trend, converting Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium, home to the Duke Field Hockey team, to AstroTurf. Furthering their sustainability commitment, Duke has gone the extra mile by also rolling out artificial friend groups. Just like the fields, the program will take time to be implemented, but there will be numerous benefits. 

“With these new groups, students will be able to feel like they have a strong footing in college and a solid support system,” said Vice President of Student Affairs Mary Pat McMahon. “This will be perfect for having people to be around; you just can’t dump your heart out to them because, let’s be honest, they really don’t care.” 

The project is especially aimed at first-year students who may have made several connections in their classes but who feel awkward asking their engineering group partners to go to Marketplace together. 

Marketplace itself will also be receiving an upgrade, converting all the rectangular tables to circular ones. One of the major objectives of the project is to have all students be able to post on their Instagram accounts featuring at least ten unique individuals to help social signal to their high school classmates that they are, in fact, having fun in college. These groups will also be a chance for Duke to highlight its diversity, with each group including a mix of races and genders. Duke has also announced an increase in photographers.



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