The Weekend Crisis

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The Weekend Crisis was a series of events occurring July 12-14, 2019 at Duke East Term 2. The Crisis was marked by disunity, increased distrust of the administration, perceived subversion of TIP traditions, and more.

TIPSync Announcement (July 12)

After finishing Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse on movie night, the TIPsters were informed that, due to the low number of TIPSync signups, all RAGs would be forced to participate in TIPSync. This announcement received widespread booing. A plot was initially devised for all RAGs to pick the same song, but, eventually, each RAG went their own way. In the end, the 4th year girls and boys were not required to participate in their RAG's TIPSync, as long as they were in their 4th year group TIPSyncs.

First Dance (July 13)

The first dance of the term occurred on the evening of July 13. The most major event that happened at the dance was during the classic American Pie dance. A few fourth years did high kicks in the circle; this was met with voiced and quiet disapproval from several others, as the norm is of short kicks. Also, the infamous "die die die" chant was lengthened by many as "die die die, live live live, sex sex sex." This difference was because many campuses outside of Duke East use this chant.

Many fourth years were angered over this subversion of tradition, and, as a result, an emphasis was placed on retaining the Duke East tradition. While almost everyone agreed to use the agreed-upon chant, issues of Duke East nativism, as well as criticism of tradition in general, became front and center. In a sense, a revolution of sorts seemed to be on the horizon.

TIPSync (July 14)

TIPSync was widely controversial for many reasons. A lot of criticism was pointed at the judges for consistent negativity towards the performers; RC Connor consistently received boos for his lack of support for performances. The judges received even more backlash when the choreography of the 4th year boys' performance of "Womanizer" was criticized (McKenzie McHugh as the FMT had spent much of the week scripting and revising the choreography). 4th year Matt said loudly to the judges: "Don't you dare disrespect her like that!" followed by applause from the rest of the 4th years.

The defining moment of TIPSync was, perhaps, the placings. The 4th year boys tied for 3rd place with a RAG, the 4th year girls received 2nd, and Matt, Corey, and Brian (all 4th year boys) received 1st. Following the announcement of 3rd place, most of the 4th year boys attempted to walk out of the room, but were stopped by several RCs. Following the 1st place announcement, Matt, Corey, and Brian took the mic and claimed the award for the Goon Squad (aka the 4th year boys). This was possibly the defining moment of the 4th years' rebellion against the administration.

TIPSync increased the 4th years' animosity towards the administration, as the 4th year boys and girls traditionally tie for 1st place at Duke East. It is important to note, however, that many 4th year boys do not recognize the official result of TIPSync, which partially correlates to Matt, Brian, and Corey claiming their winning award for the Goon Squad.


The Weekend Crisis can be seen as a mini-revolution, where anti-tradition ideas, as well as bitter acrimony from the students to the staff, took form. If the Crisis is to be a considered a revolution, then tradition seemed to have prevailed strongly. The bitter clash between campus traditions, as well as the administration and the TIPsters, might echo in the following years.