During basketball season, you cheer for either UNC or Duke University – unless you’re a student at both universities.
Students accepted to the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program are what Executive Director Allen Chan calls “dual citizens.”
As Robertson Scholars, students have full access to classes and activities at both UNC and Duke. There’s even a bus line named after them: The Robertson Express Bus takes students between the two campuses.
Though students choose one university as their 'home university' where they live and eventually earn a degree, all students live on the opposite campus during the spring semester of their sophomore year.
That semester happens to coincide with March Madness.
“It's definitely been hard to root for, or watch my friends here root for, a team that I’ve been so opposed to for my entire life,” said Annie Evans, a sophomore UNC Robertson Scholar who currently lives at Duke.
Evans originally comes from Indiana, where she said she was a Tar Heel, born and bred. Having seen the rivalry on both campuses, she has noticed that UNC takes the banter beyond the realm of basketball.
“I think at UNC perhaps, there’s a hatred of Duke as a school, as a place and as a basketball program,” she said. “Whereas, I think in Duke culture it exists more in just the sphere of basketball.”
Chan, who said he does not have a favorite university between the two, said the Robertson staff does not try to diminish the rivalry. Instead, they expect students to respect both universities, which he says complement each other.