Have You Heard?

Department - Office Of The Vice President

cowardly acts of bias and hatred

Dear students,

I was awakened early this morning with the news that a noose was found hung on the Bryan Center plaza. I can’t begin to describe the disgust and anger I felt, and still feel. Though it has since been removed, the photos are everywhere and its hateful message will sadly pervade and persist for a long time.

To whomever committed this hateful and stupid act, I just want to say that if your intent was to create fear, it will have the opposite effect. Today, fear will be among the reactions students, and especially, students of color, will have. Be assured that the Duke community will provide all the support necessary to help us all get through this. In time, each of these cowardly acts of bias and hatred will strengthen our resolve to love and support each other.

Appropriate investigations are underway and if we’re able to identify any responsible for committing this act of intimidation, they will be held fully accountable.

To anyone struggling with this news and needing support, or who has information about the incident, please contact any of our support staff: CAPS at 919-660-1000; DukeReach at 919-681-2455; or Duke Police at 919-684-2444

Larry Moneta
Vice President for Student Affairs

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Jerry (Bei) Sun, 1994-2015

Jerry (Bei) Sun, a Duke University biology student, passed away Wednesday, March 4, from a rare form of cancer. Jerry was scheduled to graduate from Duke in 2016.

Duke flags were lowered to half-mast in his honor.

"Jerry loves every one of you," said Jerry's mother, Cathy Liu. "He appreciated all the help the Duke community gave him. Although he may not have been in contact with you during the past few months, I know Jerry missed all of you very much!"

Jerry first came to Duke as a high school student at North Carolina School of Science and Math in Durham to do an independent study project in the Center for Biomedical and Tissue Engineering. The lab became an important part of his life at Duke.

"Jerry came to us as a talented student with a deep interest in science. He was curious and bright, and learned complex materials quickly," said Jun Chen, associate professor of orthopaedic surgery, who oversaw his work both as a high school student, and subsequently as a Duke student beginning in the fall of 2012. "Jerry worked and thought creatively, and his contributions were equivalent to those of a junior graduate student."

Jerry was diagnosed with a germ cell tumor this past spring. During his treatment, he expressed great thanks and wonder at the support he received from his friends and family.

"You guys... I don't know even know where to begin," he wrote in a recent Facebook post. "I left my inbox alone for a day and it completely exploded. Thank you for the overwhelming support. Thank you for sharing my story. Thank you for your kind words. I've been humbled every step of the way by the kindness and support of the community around me."

"Jerry was the type of guy that you could trust your deepest secrets with and he would never tell a soul," said Lucy Ma, a close friend. "We talked about classes, friends, lab work, relationships. He was great at giving advice and maintaining an objective perspective. He was dedicated to his friends, academics, and family. I miss him dearly."

Jerry is survived by his parents, Jingli Sun and Chunying Liu; a younger sister, Lily May Sun; paternal grandmother, Sulan Xia; maternal grandmother, Zhilan Cui and maternal grandfather, Yixun Liu. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, Huaide Sun.

Services will be held Saturday, March 14. at 2 p.m. at Chinese Christian Mission Church, 4528 Bennett Memorial Road in Durham.

Memorial contributions may be made online to Duke Cancer Institute through https://www.gifts.duke.edu (in memory of Jerry Bei Sun).

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Service Information for Alexander Rickabaugh and Kaila Brown

Student Affairs will be arranging transportation to the funeral and memorial services of Alexander Rickabaugh. We hope to accommodate all students who would like to attend these services via chartered bus.  In order to meet transportation demands please complete the following questions to reserve a spot:

We are working out options for food on the bus for the way out and back, but if you have specific dietary needs, please bring food with you.

Services will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Details below.

Friday, September 26th:
The funeral service will be held at Centenary United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem (646 W. 5th St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101). The family will receive friends following the service.

The schedule will be as follows:

  • Bus staged at 4:00pm
  • Bus departure time from the West Campus Bus Stop at 4:45pm
  • Funeral at Centenary United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem at 7:00pm
  • Bus leaves from Winston-Salem at approximately 9:00pm
  • Bus returns after the funeral to the West Campus Bus Stop at approximately 10:30pm

Saturday, September 27th:
Memorial program at Forsyth Country Day School in Lewisville, NC
If you would like to attend this memorial program please note the following. Bus transportation will be provided for students interested in attending, leaving from the West Campus Bus Stop at 8:00am.

The schedule will be as follows:

  • Bus staged at 7:30am
  • Bus leaves at 8:00am
  • Memorial Service at Forsyth Country Day (5501 Shallowford Rd., Lewisville, NC 27023) 10:00am
  • Bus leaves from Forsyth Country Day at 11:30am
  • Bus arrives back on West Campus at approximately 1:30pm

Sunday, September 28:
Additionally, On Sunday morning at the start of the 11am worship service in Duke Chapel there will be a silent procession of roses for Alex and Kaila. This is a way of remembering them, honoring their lives and providing a space for community grief in the midst of Duke’s weekly Chapel service.

We have not yet heard anything more about memorial plans for Kaila Brown. I'll be sure to let you know if we do.

We will continue to do all we can to offer support and comfort to all. I urge each of you to take advantage of all opportunities for care should you or anyone you know be in distress. All students can contact Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 919-660-1000 and in an emergency, please call Duke Police at 919-684-2444 or by dialing 911.

You can also contact DukeReach (http://studentaffairs.duke.edu/dukereach1) at 919-681-2455 or at dukereach@duke.edu.

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Duke’s LGBTQ History

Dear Duke parents and families,

Periodically, I like to acknowledge various parts of our diverse community. Today, in advance of some key upcoming commemorations, I want to share some thoughts about our LGBTQ community.

I’m proud to acknowledge an environment where all students, gay and straight, are equal members of our broader Duke family and where we celebrate differences and support persistent struggles which, unfortunately, yet exist. I invite you to check out the website for the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity for an array of current facts that showcase our achievements and pride.

Unfortunately, Duke’s history has not always celebrated the presence of LGBTQ students and President Brodhead noted so in his remarks at the opening of our new Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, when he said:

“As an institution within a larger culture, it's not surprising that the Duke of older times was saturated with homophobia. Last year, students in Blue Devils United brought forward evidence of official intolerance and active repression of homosexuality at Duke from the 1960s. They also shared personal testaments from graduates of that time. These Dukies testified that they could not be the people they knew themselves to be while they were students, could not have the love lives and personal lives they wished, were pathologized -- and even when the situation improved slightly, the pressures of swimming against the stream were dispiriting and exhausting.

I've read these histories, and I'm sure we'll uncover many more in the future.  As president of this university, I would like to say today that this university regrets every phase of that history.  There is nothing in that past that I will not now confidently and totally repudiate. I regret every act that ever limited the human life of anyone who came here.”

Duke’s LGBTQ history is an important reminder of where we’ve come from and of the work that still remains both at Duke and beyond.  To that end, this fall, several events will highlight the past and the future and I hope you and your Duke students will participate when you can. Check out our new website, Queering Duke History (http://queerhistory.duke.edu/) for details.
Thanks again for all your support for your sons and daughters and for all Duke students. The beautiful mosaic represented by the amazing diversity of our special Duke community heralds a wonderful future ahead.

Larry Moneta, EdD
Vice President for Student Affairs​

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Peer For You Peer Responder Applications Open

Peer For You is now welcoming applications for Peer Responders to serve Duke students for next year.

Applications due March 16. Apply now.

We are a student-run resource that provides the space for undergraduate students to reach out for support and referrals in times of struggle. Any Duke student can send an anonymous message to one of our Peer Responders about a struggle or challenge that they are currently facing. The approached Peer Responder will respond to the message within 24 hours.

Peer responders are trained through CAPS personnel and facilitate the sharing of personal experiences and encourage students to make use of existing, supportive resources. The role of the Responder crucially is to provide an open, non-judgemental, open ear for students to express their stress. Ever felt alone at Duke? Inadequate? Marginalized? If you've experienced challenges at Duke in any way, consider applying to be a Peer Responder.

Visit the Peer For You website for more information.

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Tabula Duke: SA Oct.-Nov. '13 Newsletter

Dear Faculty and Friends,

This month we've combined our October and November newsletters into one issue. These two months have been so full of projects and activities, that we hardly had time to write. Hope you missed us!

Several things are noteworthy...the pending demolition of West Union, the announcement of our Resiliency Grant from the Duke Endowment, emerging plans for a new Integrated Student Health building and expansion of arts facilities in the Arts Annex to name just a few. Some of these are featured in the bullets below and others will be the subject of further communications in upcoming newsletters.

I would remind you that with the colder and darker weather ahead, we often see increases in mental health issues with students. If you're not already familiar with Duke Reach, please to take the time to check out the website and let us know if you see behaviors that have you concerned in any way. This can be true of undergraduates and graduate/professional students. We'll make sure the right people are contacted.

The Thanksgiving break is ahead (and Hannukah this year!) so I want to wish you wonderful times with family and friends! With holidays ahead, the next issue will focus on food!

As always, please feel free to write directly to me at lmoneta@duke.edu with questions or concerns.

Happy November!



West Union
As portions of the plan solidify, we will be posting regular updates on aspects of the project that, together with concept drawings, will help readers envision the new space in a more complete way.

Duke Student Broadcasting started this process with this great video:

Access to the Plaza through the arches between Kilgo and West Union will be closed over Thanksgiving break. The map below shows how foot traffic will be diverted.

Within the next few weeks, a live feed camera will be installed. Viewers can watch live as the West Union is (de)constructed. Tune in at sites.duke.edu/westunion


Arts Annex and the Durham Community
The Arts Annex has opened its doors to the Durham community, offering classes ranging from “The Beyonce Experience” to lyrical hip-hop, acting exercises, contemporary dance, Irish dancing, photography techniques, shoe designing and wool jewelry.

Read the full story in the Herald Sun


Select Student Affairs Blogs

My perspective on Dining at Duke, by Casey Tissue, '16
Students complain all the time about the changes that were made, but there is a lot to be thankful for here at Duke in terms of dining.

Failures Count Too: 5 Reasons To Include Failure in Career Conversations, Tammy J. Samuels
Talking about one’s failures is not an easy thing to do. When it comes to telling your story as a job seeker, showcasing your failure may not be all that bad.

It shouldn't happen to me, by Elizabeth Hoyler
When we go to a party and decide to get hammered, we expect to be invincible just as we expect to be the Sir and Madam Brilliants of the world. Like there is some bubble that protects us from anything bad happening. We’ve all thought it—that won’t happen to me...but it does.

Reflections: NC Pride Parade & Festival, by CSGD
"Pride is always an event I look forward to every year. It makes me so happy to see so many people celebrating who they are and the number of allies who come out to support. It's really special to be able to welcome all of these people to my campus, a place where I've always felt safe being myself, for an event like this."

My Jewish Life on Campus, by Rachel Fraade, '16
This week, I spent my Sunday morning measuring out the size of Noah’s Ark in elbow-lengths in the backyard of East Campus. From 9:30 to 12:30, instead of getting brunch with my friends or settling in at the library, I teach a group of energetic, slightly rambunctious, and strikingly intelligent 6th graders at the local Conservative synagogue.

For those who’ve become nocturnal, by Bella Kwai, '16
You know that feeling where you’re walking around campus but the world seems slightly hazy? Focusing on people’s faces hurts your head and you keep getting the sudden urge to shout words like ‘Pineapples!’ and ‘Jimmy Fallon!’ If you’re like me and you’re finding yourself doing the above on a daily basis, you’re just permanently sleep-deprived.

Telling Your Story: In Six Words, by Ross Wade
If you had to express your professional self in only six words, could you do it?

Relationship Soapbox, by Sheila Broderick
Something like 18 times a week, I hear some version of this from friends, neighbors, family and students: “Me and this guy, this girl, this friend (insert whatever nomenclature fits here) are “hooking up” but we are not in a relationship.” To paraphrase Hamlet’s mom, methinks thou dost protest too much.   Newsflash: YOU ARE IN A RELATIONSHIP!

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For those who can’t do small talk

I have 1971 Facebook friends. I know that sounds like a lot but I’m fairly Facebook aggressive. And we all know it’s not official unless it’s Facebook official.

Over a thousand of these friends are from the last year at Duke alone. Some of them are from a single good conversation while waiting in the Pitchforks line. Others are familiar faces that have seen all forty-five of my go-to dance moves. There are dorm mates I’ve shared both meals and memories with, upperclassmen I admire hugely and kids that I don’t know well at all, but secretly stalk because they have seriously cool profile pictures.

But how many friends do I actually talk to on a regular basis in real life?

Probably around four.

Four people that I see more than once a fortnight. Four people that I genuinely talk to about my worries and dreams and how I feel about Breaking Bad. Four people that share the funny idiosyncrasies of their lives with me. Outside of that handful, my interaction has become almost systemic. I’m sure you know the routine. You bump into someone on the way to class you haven’t seen since LDOC. Oh my god hi! How are you? Good! Yeah I know midterms SUCK …okay I’m on my way to class/gym/dissecting mice. Laters! Sometimes we will actually catch up later. Sometimes we won’t. In any case, we make the necessary motions, hug, and move on with our lives.

People have told me I know a lot of people at Duke and if we’re going off numbers, Facebook agrees. So how do I explain that in real life, I barely know a lot of my ‘friends’ at all?  That there are too many days where I feel incredibly alone at Duke despite being surrounded by sociable young people?  That when I wave at you quickly on the BC, I’m actually wondering if you’re happy and wishing I still knew you well enough to ask? These things are hard to admit. I used to like small talk on occasion, but hundreds of quick, surface conversations have made me completely, utterly sick of it.

There’s nothing wrong with small talk, exactly. After all it’s impossible to keep plugged in with hundreds of people at once without going completely insane. Small talk is the easiest way to be polite and show you care. The problem is weeks of life can’t be squeezed into a coffee break or a five-minute highlight reel, and the highlight reel doesn’t have the behind the scene moments that are most important sometimes. Perhaps the saddest part is that we truly do care but without delving deeper into those moments, surface conversations don’t always deliver that message.

So maybe it’s not about keeping up deep, meaningful relationships with everyone you know (if only I were Oprah). Maybe it starts by simply having what genuine conversations we can, while we can; real talk—not small talk. Does that mean we start enthusing about the meaning of life?  Only if you want to. Let’s dare to go deeper though, than ‘I’m good’. Let’s dare to talk about who your favorite prof is (Tony Brown) and what makes you happy (travelling and dancing monkeys) and whether you’re afraid of death (a little) and why exactly you shaved your hair last Saturday (why, Jordan? why?) and do you like Miley Cyrus?

As long as it’s real talk, I’m down.

P.S If you’re reading this and you’re a friend of mine and we haven’t talked in a while, I’m sorry I haven’t been there. Just so you know, I do care. Wait, so what did you think of Wrecking Ball?

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Student Affairs Adds NPHC Plots to 50th Celebration

Duke University Student Affairs announced their commitment to create plots for the NPHC greek organizations on campus. Together with these chapters, Student Affairs, the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life, and others, these plots will be designed and planned into the landscaping behind the Bryan Center. The plots and the new park-like setting will be a great draw for the NHPC community, and campus as a whole.





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Tabula Duke: SA September 2013 Newsletter

Dear Faculty and Friends,

The new year has begun and its been a mad rush to the finish/start line! When I wrote to you over the summer, we were in the midst of an array of construction projects with extremely tight timelines. Fortunately, with the help of many people, we accomplished all our objectives and opened with wonderful new facilities for the Duke community. I hope you'll wander over the the Bryan Center to see how we've transformed that building. We welcome to the BC our new Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity (formerly the LGBT Center), new food venues (Red Mango and The Loop), new offices for University Center Activities and Events, The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and the Center for Multicultural Affairs as well as new offices for me and my colleagues in Student Affairs. Check it out and stop by to say hi!

We also opened our new Events Pavilion, now named the Penn Pavilion thanks to a wonderful gift from Duke alumnus and trustee, Robert Penn (today.duke.edu/2013/08/pennrelease). I hope you'll come by and enjoy a fantastic meal in the Penn Pavilion which will serve as our temporary dining facility while we renovate West Union, which, by the way, is now officially closed through the renovation and construction period. Soon, we'll update the West Union renovations website with the latest design and schedule information which you can follow at: sites.duke.edu/westunion.

We have many new faces in Student Affairs and many are introduced below. I hope you'll have opportunities to meet them and the many other people in Student Affairs. If there's anything we can do to assist you in your teaching, research and service roles, you need only ask.

Finally, I want to remind you about our DukeReach program (studentaffairs.duke.edu/dos/dukereach). Should you encounter any student whose behavior concerns you, feel free to contact us via that website or by calling Duke Police. We'll follow up and ensure that appropriate care is offered. I also want to remind you about Duke's Mandatory Reporting Policy should you hear of any sexual misconduct involving any Duke student. More information can be found here: today.duke.edu/2011/11/sexualmisconduct. Again, if you have questions about any of these issues or others, feel free to email me at lmoneta@duke.edu or refer to our website at studentaffairs.duke.edu for information.

Have a great semester and we'll be back in touch next month with our next newsletter.



Penn Pavilion
Larry Moneta called Penn Pavilion "a wonderful addition to the Duke landscape," adding, "Penn Pavilion will be a fantastic space to host career fairs, performances, banquets and more."

Read more about the Penn's generous gift.

West Union Renovations update
The cornerstone of the West Union Building was placed in 1928. Since that time, the university has literally grown up around this beautiful structure. Once the center of student activity, the role it has played in student life has changed as the university has grown.

The current renovation of the West Union Building, made possible through a a generous gift from The Duke Endowment, will restore the facility to prominence as Duke’s student living room, premier dining facility and lively center of student engagement and activity.

Read more, and view the most recent drawings.

Recommended Blog Series' to Follow
--Great SEXpectations: Ever had those burning (no pun intended) questions about sex and relationships but were just too embarrassed to ask?! Well look no further!
--Write(H)ers: "I've been challenged to think creatively about how to encourage other writers and lead the charge to succeed within the feminist media landscape."
--A Student's Perspective: Throughout the semester, students bloggers will share their thoughts, insights, etc. about life at Duke and more.
--WHO SPEAKS: The WHO SPEAKS campaign seeks to reflect upon and question the pressures women face about body image. Have you heard these words too? What are your experiences?

Rosh Hashanah with Jewish Life
The Jewish new year is a time of introspection and celebration. We focus on the most important things in life: people, ideals and our world and consider how we can better serve them.

Read more.

New Student Affairs Staff
Every year there are new faces on the team. Here are a few people you may interact with durign the year.

  • Dr. John Vaughn, Director of Student Health Services
  • Clay Adams, Associate Dean of Students
  • Nick Antonicci, Assistant Director, Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity
  • India Pierce, Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity
  • Dan Perry, Alcohol & Drug Senior Program Coordinator, Duke Student Wellness Center
  • Jordan Hale, New Student Programs, HDRL
  • Mathavi Jothimurugesan, New Student Programs, HDRL
  • Andy Beville, Director of Facilities, HDRL
  • Jerry Connolly, Director of Finance, HDRL
  • J'nai Adams, Center for Multicultural Affairs
  • Jen Handel, Jewish Life at Duke

Top Recent Entries from our SA Blog

10 Things to Remember for a Successful Experience, by Stephen Bryan
We want to help you avoid decisions that could lead to future anxiety as a consequence of regretted choices.

New Hiring Model, by Annie Maxfield, former Assistant Director, Graduate Student Career Services
How employers are finding talent through experience based interviews

Thin Places, by Sheila Broderick
It really is true what they say about being a parent. One day their little chubby hand in yours crossing the street, telling you they want to live with you forever. And the next, packing up and going to college. I have come to understand that these are the thin places, where the sacred meets the profane.

True Blue: Meet Gabby Sawyer, by Gabby Sawyer, '16
Your next four years at Duke will be amazing, but also full of emotional stresses and pressures.

Does Sex Get Better? by The SHAC
Among the top 3 sex questions I get asked is “does it get better?”

Read Dean Sue's complete Peru trip, by Dean Sue
She may be exhausted, but she had a blast.

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I have fallen victim to the buzz

A few mornings ago, as my roommate was getting out of bed, she lovingly joked that I had just changed my shirt for the third time that day in an attempt to find the right outfit. Embarrassed as I am that this actually was true, allow me to defend myself!

I have fallen victim to the buzz.

You know what I am talking about. We’re back to school. To friends. To burning the midnight oil. And though my freshman year was no picnic, the memories of any exhaustion or stress that it brought have been gradually glossed over by memories of summer.

Don’t feel confident you understand? Here are a few other telltale signs that you’ve been buzzed, too.

1.) Every meal for the next week is booked and different names, old and new, are scribbled in your planner.  (Or, if you’re less anal about your schedule than me, perhaps you just keep a mental record. Kudos.)
2.) There is free food everywhere, and you want to eat all of it. So your diet for the week: Monday is Q-Shack BBQ, Tuesday is Enzo’s pizza, Wednesday… BBQ, Thursday…Pizza. And Friday—well, you get the idea.
3.)  You remember how beautiful the chapel is at dusk. And, if your Facebook homepage is any indication, all of your friends do too.
4.) You hug that person when you see them on the plaza because, even though you’ve forgotten their name, they are familiar and remind you that you’ve returned home. (And it’s not like you can ask them for their name anymore anyway.)
5.) Red Mango!!!!
6.) In the battle between you and your sleep deficit, you are still winning. 
7.) You are not sick of the food on campus and have been routinely eating the same meal for lunch (read: ABP’s make-your-own-salad option) because you just can’t get enough…yet.
8.) Your phone keeps buzzing with Snapchats, GroupMes, Twitter notifications, and texts after a summer-long hiatus.
9.) You are still optimistic that you can get an A in that super difficult [insert course name here].
10.) Did I say Red Mango?

But soon enough schoolwork will pick up. Pressures and stresses will be harder to avoid. The question is, in spite of all these situations, how do we keep ourselves excited? How do we stay buzzed?

As I think about what my sophomore year might bring, I feel optimistic. I feel nervous. Curious, too. But whatever happens, I’m pumped to share it with you all and hopefully unpack some of the complex, often mercurial experiences that we (privileged) Duke students get to live everyday. 

So that’s all for now. You’ll be hearing from me later, but in the meantime, stay buzzed Duke!

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Welcome, Class of 2017 Parents and Families

Dear Parents of the Class of 2017,

I’m so pleased to welcome you to our community! Soon, you and your son or daughter will begin the journey to Durham, traveling from locations near and far.  We are excited to meet and greet you, and assist with this truly transitional process for both you and your child.

As someone who has lived through the collegiate experiences of my own two children, I can appreciate what you might be going through these next few weeks. I know (and you know) that it will all work out and that a wonderful experience is ahead for all.

Among the many things I’m proud of is our attention to the parents and families of our students. Our New Student Orientation features a set of orientation activities exclusively for you. This newsletter is the first of our monthly outreach to you designed to keep you informed about campus. Some of you may want to join our Duke Parents Advisory Council. And in October, we hope many of you will return to campus for our Family Weekend. You’ll find much more about our various family programs and opportunities at: http://studentaffairs.duke.edu/parents

In the event that you have remaining concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to write to me or any of us in Student Affairs (studentaffairs.duke.edu) or other offices at Duke. We’ll be delighted to respond and to do whatever we can to make this transition and the launch of your child’s college education as smooth and satisfying as possible.

I look forward to seeing you soon and,

Go Duke!

Larry Moneta
Vice President for Student Affairs
Duke University

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Summer 2013 Student Affairs Newsletter

Dear faculty and friends,

We're about at the midpoint of the summer and with all that's been happening, I thought that an extra issue of our 'News and Information' might be useful. If you've been around campus, you've undoubtedly seen the transformation of the Bryan Center and the construction of the Pavilion. We also have renovations projects underway on Central and East campus in the residence halls so we've been very busy with architects and contractors. The planning for West Union's renovations has also resulted in relocation of several offices and cultural centers and we're just thrilled about the new locations and facilities. You'll see an announcement below about one of our 'grand openings' but there will be more to come.

We're also busy getting ready to welcome the Class of 2017 as well as many new graduate and professional students. You'll also see information below on First Big Weekend and more.

For many of us, summer is pretty short (and rainy, it seems) and the new year seems around the corner. I hope all of you enjoy your summer and we look forward to reconnecting with you at the start of the new academic year.



Faculty Advisors
The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life and the campus Greek community is seeking Faculty advisors. Faculty advisors play a vital role in the success of the chapter as a whole, and of the individual students that make up each chapter.

As a Faculty Advisor, you are expected to:

  • Meet once a semester with the scholarship chair and/or president to talk about scholarship related issues.
  • Attend one chapter meeting each semester to emphasize academics and your availability as a mentor.
  • Provide guidance to the chapter if they want to develop a speaker series or host a faculty reception or dinner.
  • Attend any faculty reception the chapter hosts
  • Help the chapter formulate academic incentives to reward members who do well academically
  • Review the scholastic achievement of the chapter and determine whether they meet the national’s expectations.
  • Attend one chapter event (other than a chapter meeting) each semester.
  • Advise chapter and or officers on university issues.
  • Collaborate with Chapter Advisor whenever possible

For more information, contact the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life at 919-684-9401 or greek@studentaffairs.duke.edu.


The Short List
New Student Programs sends The short List to incoming First-Year students every Monday until move-in, providing information on critical deadlines and other important information for this group of students. Look for important deadlines and info on orientation, welcome week, and transitioning to Duke. Also, follow us on Twitter: @DukeOrientation!

Read more.


As of August 1, 2013, the Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Life is changing its name to the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity. The name change more accurately reflects the diverse identities of the students, staff, faculty, and alums the center serves, says Director Janie Long. The mission remains the same.

Read more.


Summer Transition Series
The Duke Summer Transition Series is designed to assist in the pre-matriculation of new students, parents, and families to Duke University. Corresponding with the Blue Book timeline, this series is developed around several core principles.

Visit here for more information, schedules and recorded session.


Grand (Re)Opening!
Mark your calendars for Wednesday, August 26. Come celebrate the beginning of the school year, the opening of the Events Pavilion, the completed renovation of the Bryan, and the expansion of the Plaza—a revitalized hub for student life on campus. There will be music, tours, prizes, free treats, surprise guests and 
informational displays throughout the day.


First Big Weekend
The First Big Weekend is an exciting new Duke tradition that welcomes undergraduate students back to campus in the fall with community-focused activities, events and performances. The First Big Weekend introduces first-year students to the greater Duke community while promoting a borderless, responsible social scene. All are welcome!

Read more.


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Live on the Edge of Dreaming

With the end nigh, I find myself taking the long way home, unnecessarily driving or more accurately crawling up Chapel Drive. Soaking it up as it were. Enjoying the flood of years past washing to the front of my mind.

I’m not alone. Walking to blue zone yesterday, I ran into a block of my friends leaving just having paid tribute to Tailgate with key and can. They were strolling through the Indiana limestone arches visiting their favorite spots on campus. Their next stop: Bella Union, a place that makes living in Edens infinitely better (Few can keep Alpine).

For me, Bella is central to sophomore year. Early morning coffee, afternoon tea, late night espresso. It met all my stimulant-related needs. It was my go to for half-heartedly doing work. So naturally I spent most of my “study” time on that fourth floor of the tower. And by most I mean nearly all. I used the abundant life and foot traffic in Bella to procrastinate until closing. Midnight didn’t signify the start of an intense productivity, however. It meant the beginnings of virtual distraction and that my laptop stayed plugged in ‘til the wee hours of the morning.

Every time I went home during college my neighbor told me to find the balance. That is, find the healthy medium between being social and studious. Maybe I did or maybe I just tell myself that to not be upset that I stayed up until six in the morning more times than I care to remember. Even if I am lying to myself to live a synthetic happiness, my current reflection points to a concrete benefit from the “balance” I chose at Duke, which gives me solace.

While sitting in Bella at four in the morning, long after close, I couldn’t focus on my work. The mind wanders for want of diversion from exhaustion and misery. I questioned my choices that brought me exhaustion and blood shot eyes. Why hadn’t I done my work earlier? I usually realized or at least told myself it was because I was enjoying my life – talking to friends and trolling around. Of course I would then imagine the future years here and beyond. Going abroad, coming back, opening a bagel shop. The mind wanders without sleep. Though I often hated myself for being up so late, I found great happiness in my projected possibilities and reflections of the has-beens.

So I confess that my best thinking happened not in class or with my nose in the books but while procrastinating. Think about the conversations, the real talk, you’ve had with people long since the sun’s set. That’s where I learned the most in my time here. 4am in Bella – my greatest thinking happened while on the edge of dreaming.

Last week at WNS a fellow senior shared with me a confession of her own. She told her mother that she’s moving to Australia without any direction. But hey, minimum wage is $19/hr. She’ll be fine. Yet I could hear a level of guilt in her voice telling me that she thought her parents would be upset for “throwing away” her expensive schooling. She told them that she’s grateful for their sacrifice and that she will use this amazing education after she figures things out down under. If you ask me, she’s wrong. In uprooting, she is putting that education to use right now, more so than most of us. What is the point of pulling all-nighters writing papers if we can’t make that intellectual dexterity work for us?

My friend’s moving to have an extended 4am procrastination session of self-discovery. She is taking an extended ride up Chapel Drive. She is going to live on the edge of dreaming.

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Parents: Talk to Your Students About Health

Another year draws to a close on Duke’s campus. Campus life gets a little calmer as the students leave and we all begin our planning for next year. The parental role, however, never seems to be calm as the summer begins with the family. In many ways our role at the Wellness Center on campus is similar to being the parent away from home. We try to convey to students safe and healthy messages like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFAPWJeeOgs. We ask students to take care of themselves, get rest, eat nutritiously, don’t drink too much and be safe. The challenge we face during the summer months is to reach the students while they are potentially in different cities, on Duke Engage, in internships or at home. Students are adjusting and settling in to life off of campus and to the rules that may be different from the ones in the dorm. 

So as life on campus gets a little quieter and life at home potentially gets a little busier I want to give some tips to think about and/or discuss with your student over this summer regarding choices he/she has been faced with during the past year. Specifically I am thinking about choices around substance use, but this can apply to any difficult health topic.

Students tend to be cautious speaking about alcohol and the drinking culture in which they may be involved. It must be difficult to hear the conflicting messages about how risky alcohol use is and to witness students having fun by drinking enough alcohol to get drunk. On the one hand the students are told about the risks of alcohol use by adults and on the other hand they watch their friends have fun while drinking. Students will defend the “fun” part of drinking, when an adult only focuses on the risks because they want us to see that this is not a right or wrong situation. This is complex. The only way that I will have an impact with students on a topic of alcohol use is to give them enough room to speak what they believe to be true. Students see what their friends are doing and they know what they like about drinking, but they will only admit the problem side of drinking if the adult admits that there is also a positive side. Students want to know that I see there are two sides to this issue.  This is complex for them and if I simplify it to being only a right or wrong issue then I will get tuned out.

Ask questions about what they have seen and how they have handled the situations they may have been faced with regarding alcohol. I can give you some questions in case you are fresh out of ideas: Do they drink? How do they figure out how much to drink? What role does alcohol play in college life? What do they like about drinking? Have they been in situations that they were not OK about? Do they think there are potential risks (what are they)?

I have found that the actual drinking is not the main point to be addressed. The more concerning feature is what is driving the drinking, why is it being done? What does the student hope to gain from drinking? Social connection is usually number one. Are they connecting to others when drinking? Students experience being drunk as fun (this is usually in the beginning part of the drunken state). When drunk; students often are laughing more, less self-conscious and dancing and they think they have built memories with friends during these times. The problem is that if they are drinking to intoxication then they are building a relationship with the alcohol not the friends they are with. How will their drinking help them to achieve their goals? Some students are adamant that the drinking is helping them to have a large amount of friends. With students who feel this way I talk about how they define friendship. What are the necessary elements and how do they know that they are close to a person? These are the best conversations and really help students connect and begin to pay attention. The beauty of this approach I have found is that these are the core issues the students wrestle with in their social lives. When students verbalize their thoughts it forces them to think deeper about their choices and how they are moving toward or away from their goals. Sometimes during this conversation students will start to see that they define friendship one way and experience people through drinking in a different way. The drinking experience with friends is not always a positive experience, but they only recognize this when they take a moment to reflect on all aspects of the drinking event. Once you have opened their eyes through the conversation, even if they choose to drink again, it will take some of the allure and mystic of drinking away.

Give feedback not advice. I have found that students will respond with an eye roll and glazed look if I am giving advice. A student talking about drinking will reference their feelings when talking about their story. If I can identify a feeling associated with what the student is talking about then I can reflect on my own experiences when I may have dealt with that feeling or addressed it in the past. In this manner I can give the student an idea of how to deal with a situation without telling them what to do. The difference between feedback vs advice is subtle, but powerful.

Although this article has been about listening and reflecting on your students experiences, don’t forget to acknowledge and enjoy the fact your child completed a year at Duke. Congratulations! Enjoy the summer.

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I Found My Answer

As I enter my last week of classes, I can’t help but to think back freshman convocation in the Chapel. Sitting in those brown wooden pews I listened to President Broadhead tell me and my peers about how amazing our classmates are and questioned why the heck we were sitting among them. I still thank clerical error in the Admissions Office. Anyway, many of us had incredible stories and accomplishments that seemed to define us. Olympians, authors, successful entrepreneurs. I shrank into my seat trying to figure out what I could say about me. I could only muster seemingly trivial experiences from high school.

In early March of this year, however, I found my answer. Permit me a short anecdote. I was on a job interview when the recruiter asked me one final question to be answered in Spanish. “Why did I choose to go to Duke?” I froze. Not because I couldn’t articulate myself in Spanish but because my mind flooded with thoughts on everything that I’ve experienced since coming to college – living in Belfast working on a Duke Engage Project, watching us win a national basketball championship in Cameron Indoor, rushing the football field after we beat Carolina, all nighters in Perkins, late night Cook Out runs, dancing salsa at Cuban Revolution on Thursdays, hearing John Legend belt it out in Page, studying in Madrid and traveling around Europe, Cruising with 200 members of the senior class on spring break, ditching class to go to the gardens when it was 80 degrees in February, section parties, Tailgate with a capital T.

So much has happened since stepping foot onto East, I couldn’t think of an honest answer. After I left, I realized I could have just told him I picked Duke for basketball and the weather. Oh well. Next time I’ll remember to lie.

The inundation of memories reminded me of sitting in that pew as freshman thinking on experiences that were momentous for me. Though I may not have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, I had a collection of small instances that impacted my life, which isn’t something I was conscious of at the time.

In the 18 years leading up to college, it is made to seem like the pinnacle of our education. It will be that final step that instills in us the skills necessary to succeed in life. The four years at Duke has taught me that a lot of that is crap. We stress about finals or papers, making them out to be a life or death situation. If your thesis doesn’t receive distinction, you’ll survive and graduate.

The hyper academic focus the administration is trying to adopt for the students does us a disservice. Had I wanted a school that forces you into the books day and night, I would have chosen the Ivy League. But guess what. Duke is not an Ivy League. College isn’t about putting my nose to the grind. It is about experiences, which is something Duke used to be cognizant of and is now losing. Everything I just mentioned are memories that I carry with me and collectively define my character. Notice how few are actually academic.

The past four years have changed our lives because of the things we’ve lived. College gave us experiences that supposedly help determine our spirit. We are not static now, however. The next four years and the four after that will also transform us. Academics have and may play a part in that, but it is important to see and do more. The parties in blue zone, late night chats with your friend, and finding culinary gems are likely to be more impactful.

So live every day like it’s college, experience, and change.

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Safety on Central

Several recent incidents on Central Campus have raised concerns among students and parents about security. While Duke, including Central Campus, has a very low crime rate, we want to assure you that every incident gets our full attention. Student safety and well-being is our highest priority.

Central Campus has become a vibrant community and a popular gathering place for many at Duke. We introduced the house system this year, which afforded sororities the opportunity to live together for the first time in Central Campus apartments. Sophomores and other living groups were also added to the mix, together bringing a new level of student enthusiasm to Central.

In anticipation of increased activity on Central Campus, Residence Life and Duke University Police enacted enhanced security plans during the academic year, including:

• Increased presence of campus police and security auto and foot patrols assigned to Central Campus
• Staffing at Anderson and Alexander bus stops for students who want a walking escort
• Outdoor lighting improvements
• Continued monitoring of “blue light” security phones

Discussions for further improvements continue. In the coming days, DUPD and Residence Life staff will be visiting a number of apartments to offer crime prevention tips and on-the-spot safety improvements where possible, such as locking bars on sliding doors. Residence Life and DUPD staff met just recently with DSG and Fix My Campus student representatives to walk around central and discuss concerns and possible solutions. A variety of security improvements are being explored to make campus as safe as possible, and further safety enhancements will be shared as they are approved and implemented.

Safety is a shared responsibility. Students can do their part by taking simple steps like locking their doors, keeping to lighted paths at night, walking in groups when possible, and reporting suspicious activity to police. The university will do its part by ensuring that police officers are deployed to areas of concern throughout the day, and that information is shared with students on a timely basis.

We welcome your questions or suggestions. We are here to help, and to keep campus safe.


Larry Moneta
Vice President for Student Affairs

Chief John Dailey
Duke University Police Department

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Student Affairs End of Year Newsletter 2013

Dear faculty and friends,

Somehow we've arrived at the last issue of our newsletter to you for this year. I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around 'last' while simultaneously focusing on the abundant work ahead (as, undoubtedly, are you). Between now and next fall when we issue our first newsletter of the next academic year, much will transpire. In our world, the Events Pavilion and Bryan Center renovations will be complete (check out: pavilioncam.studentaffairs.duke.edu), West Union will be closed and shrouded in fencing, many departments and offices will have relocated (sites.duke.edu/westunion), considerable renovations work will have been completed in our Central Campus apartments and on East Campus and much more.

As I write this, I'm reflecting on the academic year nearly past and feel so grateful to have worked with so many of you...especially our faculty. We have a fascinating project in development with several faculty from Psychology and Neuroscience regarding student resiliency, are partnering with Fuqua faculty on leadership development, and working with numerous faculty in the areas of entrepreneurship, sustainability, civic engagement and much more. Many of our staff serve as adjunct faculty and I'm so pleased that we support Duke's teaching (and research) mission in the classroom in addition to the experiential opportunities we provide. As I say with every issue of our newsletter, we welcome any opportunity to partner with faculty and look forward to hearing from and supporting you.

But, the year is not over and we have critical opportunities and occasions ahead. It seems that every student performing arts group is planning its final shows in the next few weeks. On April 17, we celebrated student leadership and service achievements at our awards ceremony (http://studentaffairs.duke.edu/ucae/leadership/leadership-service-awards). Please join us in congratulating the winners for their great work!

And, then there's LDOC (Last day of Classes)....we welcome any faculty presence there and you can even earn a jacket and hat by joining our A-Team, our events 'support team'. Just email me if you're interested at lmoneta@duke.edu.

This has been a great year so far and I expect a furious but fantastic rush to the finish line. We're grateful for your support and look forward to sharing and connecting more with you in the years ahead.

Have a great Spring,



"Office Hours" with Bill Wright-Swadel
Graduating students will soon take their first steps down career paths that may take unforeseen directions. In his 30 years as a college career counselor, William Wright-Swadel has picked up some wisdom about the road ahead for soon-to-be graduates, which he shared in a live "Office Hours" webcast interview on Friday, April 5.

View the video.

Arts & Activism

I know that this paragraph will not do justice to my experience during ASB: Arts & Activism. Throughout the week I built a relationship with the students and they defied my expectations. They were very smart, quick, and passionate. Each high school student had a story to tell and was invested in a social issue. These students have the power to change the world, and I hope they do!

Read more.

The Arts Annex Mural Project

The new mural completely transforms the front of the the Arts Annex into a new, inviting and exciting front for this creative space.

Read more.

"Let the Great World Spin"

Shortly after the World Trade Center complex was completed, acrobat Philippe Petit tight-roped across the gap between the two buildings, a quarter mile above the New York City streets.

In the novel “Let the Great World Spin,” this year’s summer reading selection for Duke University’s Class of 2017, author Colum McCann imagines how this single, daring event turned from ordinary to extraordinary the lives of many people watching on the street below.

Read more.

Lavender Graduation

Lavender Graduations recognizes and celebrates all LGBTQ and allied undergraduate and graduate students completing degrees. The event will be held April 19.

Read more.

Student Leadership and Service Award Winners
Each spring, the Vice President for Student Affairs invites members of the Duke community to nominate deserving undergraduate and graduate students, recognized student organizations, faculty, staff, and alumni for the University’s most prestigious awards for leadership and engagement.

 This year's winners are...

Read more.

Residence Hall Closing Information
All residence halls and apartments close for summer break at noon on Monday, May 6, 2013.  Students must be completely moved out and have returned their keys by this time.  

Graduating seniors and other students approved for housing extensions due to participation in commencement, athletic teams, or other university approved events will be able to occupy their spring housing assignment until noon on Monday, May 13 at the latest.

Students participating in Summer Session 1 are only eligible for housing extensions upon completion and approval of their summer housing application. Parents and students are reminded that move-in for upperclass students for the fall semester is Friday, August 23, 2013.

Read more.

Summer Housing Information
Summer housing is available for students enrolled in classes or working for the University.

Read more.

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A perpetual state of euphoria? Sorry to disappoint.

No one warned me about the wall I’d hit senior year. I heard that I would reach a point when I’d just say screw it and do things for completion because I’m almost out the door. I have more important things to do like skipping class and sitting on the plaza with some friends and some of the finest Busch Light or walking to Ben & Jerry’s to get a scoop on free cone day. It’s LSOC (last semester of college – because Duke loves useless acronyms); I’m supposed to be on an emotional high and full of life. Yet whenever someone asks me, how I’m doing I reply, “not that great.” Which generally elicits the “BUT YOU’RE A SENIOR!” response, particularly from underclassmen.

Thank you for reminding me that I’m supposed to be in a perpetual state of euphoria. Sorry to disappoint. Of course there’s fun to be had in college, especially as a senior. Everything is a little heightened and more meaningful. Lunch of Wednesday could be and likely will be the last time I eat at the Law School Refrectory. Gotta capture that moment and feel it – the living nostalgia that makes me long for the memories I’m in the process of making. It makes me hyperaware of my reality and impossible for me to turn a blind eye to the rest of life. The job hunt, papers, readings, and meetings are annoying, but they’re nothing to lose sleepover. Weird, considering I can’t seem to manage more than two consecutive hours a night recently. And maddening because I couldn’t explain why, until the other night.

I had been trying to pinpoint the source of my insomnia, looking to blame anxiety from work, fear of graduation, angst from unemployment, and worry of missing out on my remaining time. They were the natural places to look, but a few nights ago I had one of those muddled dreams that makes zero logical sense yet somehow is loosely intelligible to my consciousness. Meaning I don’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell in explaining it. I can say, however, when I woke up I realized looking for a single root cause of my mood was a mistake. Every problem that should be like a small breeze blowing against the fire that keeps me going has slowly compounded to create a gale force wind that extinguished my flame. I’m burnt out.   

I’m tired of engaging in the same conversations about the Duke social hierarchy, the administration’s numerous shortcomings, people “not getting it or not paying attention,” and imagining what-if. I’ve heard the same canned dialogue since August 2009. I’ve learned a lot from it, but it’s time to move on. Those conversations, which are old and irritating to me now, shaped me. I’m sure I could still gain more from sticking around and listening to the same qualms, but I think I would grow more cynical and disillusioned. I need a clean break and to face a whole new set of conversations.

Which brings me to the classic question that a senior answers on a daily basis, “What are you doing with your life or in the real world?” Does it not baffle anyone else? Why ask me now? Why did you not ask me that question last year or two years ago? I understand the sort of response it’s trying to elicit, and that is exactly my problem. It equates life with work. Maybe it has escaped your attention, but the four years we spend at Duke are real. True, many of us may not have as many concerns or responsibilities as we will post-graduation, but the operative phrase is as many. We still face challenges and heavy situations here. Financial struggle, sexual assault, discrimination, death, and relationships I would say a more real than the impending “real world” that most people use as a misnomer for the workforce.  

College has been real, and that’s why I’m exhausted. “I’M A SENIOR.”

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What Now?

From the very moment we enter kindergarten our next thirteen or seventeen years are no longer up to us. Sure we can rebel, choose to drop out of school, or elect not to attend college. But we’re all at Duke, so I’m going to go out on limb and say we allowed our lives to be dictated by a cultural hegemony. Our immediate goal was decided for us – do well and move on to the next level of education. Of course we had opportunities to define our interests and seek complementary ventures, but the key word is complementary. With few exceptions we never chose to substitute our end game.

As college quickly comes to a close for the class of 2013, some of us are unemployed and completely at a loss as to what path to pick. It doesn’t have to and likely will not be the one we will travel forever. Yet we still have a choice to make. Many of us chose our next step as a way to bide time. I could not tell you how many times I’ve heard, “I don’t know what I want to do, but I’m working at [insert company here] for a year or two ‘til I get my MBA or figure out what I want.”

There in lies the problem. We never had to figure out what we want. You could argue that we did when we chose our area of study. But remind me how many biomedical engineers from Duke become consultants? Certainly our tastes or aspirations may have and will change. I still wonder how many of us pursue pastimes that inspire in us zeal.

Some of us are fortunate enough to know our passions. I have friends who invest their lives to film in hopes of becoming directors. Others will speak to the world through dance or search for new vaccinations in lab coat. They are a fortunate minority. Most of us have either experimented or sat idly coming up with nothing.

Those of us leaving Durham in five weeks need ask ourselves if our next chapter is going to be written by the expectations and standards of others or if we will draft our own script. Those staying behind should use your remaining time to question your current trajectory. Exist with intentionality and gusto. Duke has opportunities for you to explore, though most are not advertised well. You can find funding to do research abroad or begin a new social venture. If there’s something you want to try, ask because there is a way. 

Being lost is fine, as long as we’re conscious of it. In knowing our lack of direction, we are at least assured that we’re asking the right questions. Facing the, “Now what?” can be daunting, but don’t let it scare you into forfeiting the next X number of years to a safe system of predetermination. 

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more conscious of my place

I’ve always hated when classes require you to do weekly responses for the reading. As if processing one hundred pages a week on eighteenth-century European expansionism wasn’t enough work. It’s always just told me that the professor doesn’t trust us to actually read. Apparently, we need some sort of accountability to do what we’re paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to do. Also, so what if we skip the reading? Our final grades will suffer, the professor won’t. This semester I’m taking a course on Antonio Gramsci that has no written assignments save for a final paper. The rest is reading, which I actually do. Shocker – not that it helps me understand what the heck Gramsci was trying to express. Grappling with the reading is hard enough.

But while I’m convinced some classes have response papers to make it look like the students are doing work, there is value in writing about the reading. These assignments force us to sit and think about what we just consumed. They inherently put us in a state of reflection helping us to better comprehend and perhaps appreciate the material.

With college quickly coming to a close, I, like every other senior, have been contemplating my time here and what it means for the next steps. Sometimes I sit on the plaza or the McClendon walkway and just take it all in and think. I remember the days when 1,500 freshmen would wait in a mob at the East Campus bus stop on a Friday night and would fight each other to get on the C1 to go out on West. Those times are over. Duke has changed. For better or for worse? And have the policy shifts impacted who I am as a graduate? Who knows? There are arguments for all sides. Reflecting on the change, asking the questions and trying to figure out some answers will help us value our experience here and understand our principles.

Operating solely within our heads, however, can lead to a rush of thoughts that are difficult to organize. As much as it pains me to say it, weekly response papers help navigate the corresponding literature. Putting pen to paper makes me more conscious of what I am thinking and will in turn say.

During the summer of 2011, I went to Belfast on Duke Engage, which exposed me to a lot of history and information that was difficult to process in only two months. To help gain a firmer grasp on my time in Northern Ireland, I maintained a blog with daily updates about the journey. In doing so, I was more conscious of my place in that foreign city. Serving as a student blogger for Student Affairs this year has afforded me the same self-awareness (in addition to some self-indulgence and nostalgia). By writing about issues on campus every week or so, I had to think more critically about the whole situation to provide a more comprehensive opinion. It has assisted me in knowing who I am at Duke and what Duke is to me.

I still submit that some weekly responses are a waste of time, but response papers can be important, particularly the ones we draft on our own volition. Through writing, we learn. So try blogging.

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