thanks to those who have been helpful! (i even appreciated some of the sarcasm - that cliff joke was pretty funny. i laughed out loud.) i'm glad to hear that duke is filled with mixed ideologies.
and to be clear, i'm not worried about being dragged to the lawn or any of that nonsense. (i guess i provoked those sort of answers when i said 'will i survive.' shouldn't have tried to be funny.) i always welcome a good debate, and i certainly understand the value of working with people whose beliefs differ from my own. (i grew up in a small, conservative town.) but what's important to me right now is choosing a school where i feel i belong and where i feel supported.
my greatest relationships, both personally and professionally, are with people who are committed to the same causes, and our bond is in part rooted in this shared commitment. we understand each other because we have the same progressive ideals. i really appreciate that sense of community, and having lived in LA/worked in organizing, i am used to having that kind of support. so, i guess i'm just hoping that i'll find the same type of friendship at duke. i think it's fair to hope for that.
thanks again for your comments! i asked this question knowing little about duke's student body and nothing about north carolina (i'll be visiting soon though), so it was helpful to get some input. much appreciated.
EDIT: I changed the title of this thread, since some people seemed to assume that I was serious about 'not surviving' at Duke because its rumored conservatism. Really, I was just curious about how true that rumor is.