An ode to the DUC

Farewell, sweet prince

Built around one of the older buildings on campus, home to the café where many come to pick up their daily fix of caffeine, and the one place that Emory freshmen congregate the most for meals, the Dobbs University Center is an important piece of Emory student life – and it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to it for the next four years as they work to build a revamped DUC.

But as we say hello to the future, let’s take a look at some of the things that made the DUC so important to us.

The life-saving vending machines

Let’s be honest – be it through oversleeping, tardiness or just plain forgetting, plenty of students know the sinking horror that they feel when they realize they might have forgotten a pencil or a notebook or perhaps worse, a dreaded blue book for taking their midterms and finals. This is where the DUC acts as a real life saver. In between classes, or perhaps with a few minutes left before your final, it is thankfully easy to sprint to the vending machines on ground level and bail yourself out with a deck of index cards to record your notes for the day, pencils, pens and of course, those darn blue books.

Fair warning though – you should always try to get to the machine before the other forgetters beat you to the punch!

Mary Gray Munroe Theater

According to the tour guide who first introduced me and several other (now former) high school students to Emory, the Mary Gray Munroe Theater was integral to what the DUC is today. As the administrators planned to tear down the original buildings that stood where the DUC was, the students banded together in solidarity to protect this theater from destruction.

And so the University made a compromise and instead built their new building around the old one- preserving its facade, which still presides over the entire Center and gives students a nice view as they eat in the cafeteria above the lobby itself. The Theater itself has become host to a great deal of shows put on by Theater Emory for the populace to laugh and cry at.

The Dobbs Market of infinite swipes

Most days, you can find the DUC cafeteria packed with Emory freshmen- and for good reason, too. After all, they’re the ones who are lucky enough to have an infinite number of meal swipes. In fact, that’s why so many upperclassmen piggyback off their younger friends to gain access to the food.

Best of all, as long as you pull yourself out of your work before 10 pm, you can get a good meal with one short walk. “Honestly I spend too much time in Dobbs Market,” student Aleksander Hübert said, “It’s a great place since it’s all you can eat.”

Kaldi’s Coffee

It’s true – some people just can’t live without coffee. But for those who don’t want to (or feel the need to) trek all the way out to the Campus Bookstore to get a Starbucks coffee, they can stop by Kaldi’s for their daily dose of caffeine.

The DUC’s convenient location right in the center of campus allows for students to easily stop in, get their fix and rush off to class.

Alternatively, you can also lounge in the tables by the café. Sophomore Amanda Delgado said: “I love that little overhang over the entrance that no one ever sits at. I’ve never sat there myself, but it would be perfect on a nice morning or evening.”

Student Khanh Nguyen added that “I like the environment [of the DUC] because it’s really chill and the fact that it has certain study areas as well. I also love the convenience store and the coffee shop.”

As the DUC as we know it disappears, we can only hope that something greater arises from the ashes to provide Emory students with the same refuge, the same life-saving services and relaxing atmosphere that this building has given since 1950.