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Upgrading to iOS 8

On Wednesday, September 17th, Apple released iOS 8 to most mobile devices. If you have an iPhone 4, you are out of luck, but if you have an iPhone 4S or newer, you will be prompted for this update.

At this time, Student Affairs ITS is advising against the upgrade if you are still using an iPhone 4S. While this device can run the new iOS, it will lack some of the newly release Apple apps and some users have reported the iPhone has slowed down. Upgrade at your own risk!

As for everyone else, the only issue you may run into is that downloading the update over the air will require 5.8GB of space; which not everyone will have! This will cause you to have to go through and delete items such as apps, music, or photos before being able to download and install the update. 

If you don’t want to have delete items, you can plug your phone directly into the computer and download the update via iTunes. This method only requires 1.1GB of space! 

If you have any questions about this upgrade, you may contact Student Affairs IT Services by email to service@studentaffairs.duke.edu or by calling 684-5143.

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Collaboration & Change for a Common Good

 

Collaboration & Change for a Common Good
A Reflection on Collaboration in Campus Life
India Pierce and Sean Novak

 

One way that we can work effectively to create change for a common good is to work collaboratively across communities. With this in mind, India Pierce from the Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity (CSGD) came together with Sean Novak from the Center for Multicultural Affairs (CMA) to create a program that explored the intersections of race and sexual orientation. As part of the CMA’s En/Countering Racism series (E/C), they created a program for students to gather and explore intersectionality. This was done in order to deepen participants’ understanding of themselves and others as a means to building stronger coalitions for social justice.

En/Countering Racism is one part of the CMA’s Race Speaks Initiative. The series aims to provide a safe space for people to share their experiences encountering racism and build participants’ capacity to effectively counter it. The more we explore intersectionality, the more we will see that life is much more complex than our politically polarized times might suggest.

In the beginning, the focus was on doing good works and providing students the opportunity to enrich their understanding of themselves and others. However, in the midst of the project the true essence of collaboration became apparent. As much as they wanted the students to leave anew, they walked away from the experience impacted themselves. The project became more than just another event to host or dialogue to facilitate. It was a lesson in how to successfully collaborate. On the heels of the recent rollout of the Student Affairs Leadership Development model, India and Sean thought to share some insight regarding their experience.

Sean’s thoughts…

I had the pleasure of collaborating with India this past semester for our En/Countering Racism Series. I approached her with a very broad idea. I felt there was a need to host a program that explored the intersections of race and sexual orientation. I came to India with that basic starting point and little expectations. I know that I desired for the program to primarily be geared toward stimulating ideas for how and why individuals and organizations should work across communities (Ex. Black community and Asian Community) and movements (LGBT justice and racial justice movements.)

After a few brainstorming sessions, we came up with a concept about “challenging the face of privilege.” As we talked, India and I found a common desire in challenging ourselves to think about our privilege. On the surface, you can assume that I am White and I am male. Additionally, you can assume that she is a woman and Black. I knew from conversation that we had a similar social economic background, coming from a poor and/or working class background. With our education and current profession, we are both experiencing relative mobility in that aspect of our life. However, both of us are more than just this. As we talked, it was clear that we both acknowledged that we have multiple and intersecting identities. We both acknowledged that we needed to consistently bring our whole selves to the table and not just our racial identity, or sexuality, or gender identity, or class background, etc. We both believe that no aspect of our experience pertaining to our identity operates in isolation of other identities. It all intersects. We thought it important that we all explore our privilege instead of just pointing fingers at those who we perceive as “the privileged.”

In my opinion, what worked so well with India and I was that we were both willing to be open, honest, and vulnerable. We threw ideas around. We had a level of trust built that allowed for us to brainstorm without worry of being ridiculed for our ideas. Neither one of us had ulterior motives. This wasn’t a case of either one of us putting together a collaborative program in order to build our professional portfolio. We did this for the love of the work. India appeared to have a common desire for creating and expanding community and empowering students to work for equity. We had a common goal of providing people a space to explore the complexities of their lived experience not only to see how unique and distinct those experiences are but also, how we might be able to find common interests.

Next, I feel that we had mutual respect for and were resourceful with one another’s strengths. Instead of positioning ourselves against one another, we just focused on the work. I love the work I do. That’s why I committed to it. That’s why I chose this as a profession because I had a deep desire to work particularly with racial reconciliation and justice. It was obvious to me that India had a similar passion and commitment. After observing her track record in the short time she has been here at Duke and the conversations that we’ve had, India had similar motivations as I to embark on this journey together.

Additionally, what worked so well with our collaboration was a mutual willingness to compromise. India may have had an idea and I may have not initially agreed or thought differently. Instead of resisting, I discerned her suggestions. Sometimes, I might come back and say, “I think we should do this instead.” She agreed at times and disagreed at other times. Nonetheless, it was never personal. We had built a strong foundation from the start so we had a common goal. There were no suggestions that intentionally led us off course from that goal. Compromise can be a long and tedious process when you’re trying to organize a collaborative effort. I could easily have taken this program on myself (as could she) and created all the content. It would have been quicker and easier in the short-term. However, I am a firm believer that when you build bridges with weak foundations they are bound to collapse. Compromise and equitable collaborations are absolutely necessary for a sustainable initiative or program. If I wanted something for my professional portfolio, I could have just thrown it together and advertised it. In my opinion, compromise in collaboration is the difference between (1) being seen as a leader and (2) being a leader.

The last item that I will touch on is that we both put in our work. There was a mutual effort. We delegated duties and when one of us thought the other was taking on more than they should, we expressed it. After all, how could we take an inequitable approach to developing a program partially geared toward empowering participants to be more equitable? That wouldn’t be establishing a solid foundation. Sometimes, I was caught up with other projects or was simply slacking. I was open and honest about it with India. She was honest with me when she was falling behind as well. We made adjustments and knew what we were working with most of the time.

It truly was a pleasure working with India and I am going to enjoy working with her to build a larger initiative off this collaboration.

 

Thoughts from India…

I have been at Duke for a little less than a year but it did not take me long to understand how much of a buzz word “collaboration” is for folks around here. Yet, it seems to be at times easier to talk about than it is to do. Call it newbie naivety, but I believe that if us Student Affairs folks could figure out how to succeed with our collaborating efforts we will all win. I remember sitting down with my supervisor early on during my time here, sharing with her all of my ideas for how we could work with other identity/cultural centers. Encouraging of my enthusiastic spirit she encouraged me to consider every opportunity that presents itself.

Unwavering in my opinion, that’s exactly what I did when I embarked upon a wonderful collaborative project with Sean. He approached me about creating an event that would work for the CMA’s En/countering Racism series and I don’t want to brag but the experience was the stuff dreams are made of. I say this because I have often been approached about collaborating on events where the real intention was simply to use our space or for us to provide financial support. I wasn’t being asked to be a partner in the creation of an event, most of the time the planning for the event was already completed. In those instances I can’t help but feel a little confused because that is not how I see collaboration working. Don’t get me wrong, I cannot and do not want to collaborate on everything. However, what I am normally asked for is to be a sponsor of an event not a collaborator on the creation of an event. It would have been easy for Sean to fall into the same pattern, as En/countering Racism is a series that he plans on his own. He could have come to me with a vision and plan for how we would work together and what the event would be, leaving very little room for me to interject; I appreciate that he did not do this.

Our first few meetings were us just talking about the issues that are important to the students we serve. We discussed the types of programs that were the most successful in each of our offices and sought to take some of those elements and include them into the work we would do together. I can’t remember how we came to the topic of privilege but when we got there everything seemed to fall in place.

Working on this project showed me that there is a clear difference between working with people and collaborating with people. In any working relationship there are some pretty basic expectations that one has for their teammate, like completing tasks and meeting deadlines. However, successful collaborations go beyond the logistics…beyond the things on paper. Successful collaborations push and cultivate the growth of us as individuals. Our project focused on challenging the traditional notions of privilege, a topic that could not be taught to others until we did a little of the work ourselves. We had numerous conversations about the spaces in which we felt we had privilege and those that we didn’t. For both of us, we discovered that it is important that we bring our whole selves into our work. In order to do that we must first see beyond the check boxes of identities and see ourselves as the complex individuals that we are. At first glance it doesn’t seem that Sean and I would have much in common, aside from the fact that our home sports teams were rivals, Michigan and Ohio State.  Despite Michigan’s inferiority to Ohio State, we found out we’ve had some similar experiences in certain aspects of our life and others that were completely different. It was on those things that we were able to build a strong foundation for our work. I didn’t feel the anxiety that I’ve felt when working with others where I had to do x, y, or z otherwise it wouldn’t get done. Most importantly I was able to be myself, I admitted when I didn’t know something or was swamped with other things. It was our flexibility and openness that helped Sean and I work well together. We discussed how we approach creating events and when we’re at our best so we could support one another where we were and not where we would prefer the other to be.

At the center of every collaboration must be trust, and it is probably the hardest part of any true collaboration. We by nature are looking for ways to save our own butts. We expect the worst in others and over compensate for bad things that haven’t even happened yet. Those approaches are a disservice to those who we are committed to serve. I am of the belief that the best collaborative experiences often look like magic. Magic is something that can be taught, you teach it by encouraging people to think outside the box and embrace the process of stepping into the unknown. If we want our division to be one in which we are truly collaborating and creating meaningful programming for students we must first start by teaching the skills that people need to be successful at those things like emotional intelligence, communication skills, and effective management skills.  I believe that these skills helped cultivate a healthy working relationship between Sean and I. I look forward to what happens next as we build off this collaboration.

Sean and India closing…

We had a wonderful time working together. This started off as a one-time program to explore the intersections of race and sexual orientation and it is now developing into a half-day workshop. We plan to restructure and expand this program to provide an opportunity for students to engage even deeper into the complexities of intersectionality. One of the primary purposes will be to galvanize and equip students to work across identities and movements. Additionally, we will be altering this workshop to provide a professional development opportunity for colleagues to consider an intersectional approach to advising student organizations as well. As advisors, we think it is important for students to work collaboratively and not always in isolation from other organizations and communities.

In closing, we believe that collaboration is a vital component for us to provide the best service possible for our students. It is difficult to be influential in encouraging students to work together if we are not setting the tone for what it looks like. One of the most powerful things we can do to increase our ability in advising students is to first advise ourselves. Working collectively can be a daunting task with competing interests. However, we believe that enduring the struggle and fighting through the dissonance can produce sustained initiatives that will prove to serve students and ourselves well.

 

Thank you for your time.

 

India & Sean

 

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Dear PNMs

Dear PNMs,

You're finally done. You can finally breathe and try to return to normal life, untainted by the judgment of women (yes, women, not girls) you hardly know and who hardly know you. You're done with the silly title of "Potential New Member." Some of you are new members now, some of you are not. Some of you knew what sorority you'd be in throughout the entire recruitment process because you're friends with the older members and you're a legacy and you know how to socialize with the right people. Some of you went into rush bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and completely unaware of where you'd end up and now you couldn't be more thrilled to call these new friends your sisters. Some of you got into a top-tier sorority only to experience Bid Day, alone and excluded, wondering if you made a mistake in your choice. Some of you opened your envelopes to bid cards bearing the name of a sorority you never wanted to begin with but had to list as a choice. Some of you cried on Bid Day. Some of you cried before Bid Day. Some of you didn't even make it to Bid Day.

Every single one of you dressed your best for each round. Some of you bought entirely new outfits for the process. You curled your hair, or you straightened your hair, or you tried the messy bun look or a braid or maybe you just let it go natural. Women of color, the courageous few of you probably tried to look as Caucasian as possible, because that's how you make it in this system. Some of you wore makeup, or maybe you didn't (but you probably did). All of you went into this whole process knowing that you would be judged (on how you looked). Before each party, you would ask the women next to you in line if you had any granola bar stuck in your teeth (the Convention Center refused to feed you...as if Potential New Members of sororities needed another thing to worry about). You'd pop a mint or a piece of gum, and hope no one could tell how much you were sweating.

You enter the room to clapping, singing, shouting, and other overwhelming noises. You are surrounded by smiling, laughing, happy, "beautiful" women who have been granted the power of judging you and deciding your social fate simply because the system favored them in one way or another. You make small talk about majors and hometowns with women who seem truly, genuinely interested in you. You try to be as engaging as possible. You try to stand out, but not too much. You leave the party feeling good about how your conversations went, relieved that rush isn't as scary as everyone made you think it would be.

Before the next round, your Gamma Chi gives you the tiny slip of paper (that you'll try all day not to lose) listing all the parties you've been invited back to. Some of you get all of your top choices (and you knew you would); some of you are pleasantly surprised by how many you got invited back to. Some of you realize the conversations you were so confident went so well didn't go as well as you thought, because some of you get "cut." Some of you get "cut" by several sororities. Some of you drop out of rush.

Some of you get called back to all of your top choices for the next two rounds; your conversations move beyond small talk and you start to see these women (who will judge you) as friends, as Potential New Sisters. Some of you tell your friends what sorority you know you'll join; some of you get over-confident. Some of you receive your slip on the day of Round 4, only to be crushed by the power of judgment. Some of you finally get cut. Some of you move on, making the best of it all and continuing with recruitment. Some of you quit.

And now, fast forward through preference night and Bid Day and it's over. Now, whether you're in a sorority or not, you can look back on the process and reflect. If you didn't end up where you thought you wanted to be, you may blame yourself. You're not pretty enough or smart enough or funny enough or unique enough. And if you're saying any of these things, you're wrong. But no matter how many times your friends and family tell you you're perfect just the way you are, that it's the sorority's loss that they missed out on you, you won't believe it. Because you still got cut. You weren't enough. You didn't fit the mold established by a system that encourages and promotes young women judging other women on entirely superficial standards. And even though you should believe and know that you are worth so much more than the meaningless and unfair judgments of girls who do not know you, that you are beautiful because you are you, that your worth is not determined by the letters or lack of letters on your sweatshirt, you will still probably think that there is something wrong with you, when, in fact, there is nothing wrong at all.

And if you did end up where you wanted to be, you're probably ecstatic right now. And you should be happy and excited, because you are special. You might start to see yourself as better than other women; you were selected, they were not. You are in a certain sorority, while they are in another. And while it's easy to do this, and the system reinforces this thinking, you can't let these letters change the way you act or treat people. Because just days ago, you were a PNM just like everyone else. No one is better than anyone else in this system, despite what some may think. You are just as terrified as everyone else of being judged.

So, PNMs, or NMs, or independents, or whatever title you prefer, I urge you to take your new letters or lack of letters with a grain of salt. In the end, they are simply letters. We attach meaning and significance to them, no doubt, but they do not define you or anyone else. Ultimately, what matters is not the judgment of women you hardly know who hardly know you, but instead, the fact that you are awesome, wonderful, kickass you.

Sincerely,

Sorority Member Still Being Judged

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BigFix and You

With the continued and exciting growth of our division, Student Affairs Information Technology Services (SA-ITS) has introduced BigFix, just one of our new enterprise tools that will be assisting on our mission to provide individual level attention and support even on a large scale.  SA-ITS is confident that this tool will reduce the need for service requests that involve minor plug in updates and allow for less downtime sifting through the dozens of updates that come out on a weekly basis from software vendors.  BigFix will also allow for increased transparency to Student Employees that may use multiple workstations in multiple division departments being that all updates on all workstations will be standardized.

The BigFix platform allows SA-ITS to take a unified approach to managing hot fixes and updates to all of our Student Affairs workstations.  In addition,these updates will run silently as a background process without prompting that anything is being installed.  This avoids workflow interruption versus having to contact the helpdesk to remote in to install the update for you for.  Users will only be aware of the BigFix application when  prompted to save their work and restart the computer (more on that later).  
 
Workstations with our BigFix agent will constantly be checking-in to the campus shared masthead server regardless of your location in the world.  The agent queries relevant updates based for your individual computer and ignoring non-relevant updates that you already have or do not need.  These updates can range from common plug-ins such as Adobe Flash Player and Java Runtime Environment that we have all seen before; to more custom SA-ITS packages for example: a blocker that prevents the new version Internet Explorer from updating to Version 10 which is not yet compatible with many Duke University/Duke Medicine online resources.  We can later apply a reverse action script once the platform is more stable.

If new updates have been applied to your workstation, you will notice the following prompt:



At this time you have the option to take the action (in this case the action is to restart your workstation) or you can delay the action for a specific amount of time of your choosing.



In the scenario that 24 hours past after the initial prompt without a action taken on your part, the request will lock to the top layer of your desktop until you take the action to ensure that workstations are receiving their updates in a timely manner.

SA-ITS is still adjusting the frequency of required restarts after updates have been installed (currently once per week).  If you have any suggestions feel free to leave us a comment below!

 

 

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Feminism: Our Past, Present and Future

For this blog post, some of the interns at the Women’s Center decided to share our personal history with feminism. We have all had different experiences and there isn’t a singular theme among our stories, but we hope that our experiences encourage others in the Duke community to explore what feminism means to them.

 

From Colleen O’Connor (Community Building and Organizing Intern): `

 

From a very young age, I was aware of gender dynamics.  My first ‘feminist puzzle piece,’ so to speak, came when I was in preschool and I approached my friend Pablo playing blocks alone.  As I went over to join him, Pablo pushed me away and told me that I was not allowed to play with the blocks because I was a girl and blocks were for boys.  At the time, I recognized how unfair it was that I was excluded from doing something because I was a girl.  I received a similar reaction, although without physical pushing, when I told my peers and adults that I wanted to be the first woman president.  Oftentimes, the reaction was one of “Hmm. Girls can’t be presidents though” or “I don’t think you want to get involved in politics, honey.” I realized that my friends and family were making judgment calls about what I could and could not do and it just felt wrong.  

Fast-forward a few years to when I arrived at Duke. My first year seminar was Gender and Sports with Professor Donna Lisker, and she challenged me to think about my gender and how I live it out in my everyday life. During this semester, I collected many puzzle pieces, questioning why there are only male priests in Church and why in my social life I felt as though I was in a bind where neither sexual activity nor sexual inactivity was right.

It was not until the fall of my sophomore year, though, that I began to think about power and privilege dynamics beyond my gender. That semester, I took Feminist Art in the 1970s, a course on the exhibit The Deconstructive Impulse, and I participated on Common Ground. I began to realize that feminism is much bigger than gender issues, but really focuses on systemic oppression.  I became conscious of the privilege I have in being white and suddenly noticed the extreme heteronormativity in my daily life. It was like wearing glasses for the first time. For me, feminist activism became a strong desire to create change in something bigger than myself, focusing on the intersectionalities of oppression.

I declared a Women’s Studies major, participated in The Moxie Project, and began to engage in activism on campus. I became more confident in myself and felt comfortable opening up a dialogue when I heard sexist, homophobic, or racist language. I have come to realize that I have been a girl activist all along, and I can effectively make change in our community.  Like a puzzle, there are still many pieces that are yet to be found. Yet piece-by-piece, the whole picture is coming into view.

 

From McCall Hollie (Gender Equity and Leadership Intern):

 

I used to shy away from the term "feminist" as one with which to describe myself. I saw it as the inaccurate stigma I fear many misinterpret it to be: man-hating, bra-burning (did you know that never actually happened? Bras are too expensive to burn, anyway), preachy, angry, and unreceptive to modern culture. Where these confusing stereotypes came from I don't think I could tell you, but I can say with confidence I no longer associate feminism with aforementioned negatively-connoted ideas. Being a Duke student, and one affiliated with the Women's Center, has enabled me to develop a far more accurate and positive image of feminism that I now strongly identify with. Being a feminist means believing in equality--for everyone. Feminists fight not only for the rights of women but also for marginalized populations such as racial minorities or LGBTQIA community, among many others. As a feminist, I actively make an effort in my daily life to make the world around me a welcoming and accepting place for all. I don't hate men, I don't burn my bras, I do not preach my ideas, nor am I unreceptive to those of others. I'm also not angry, but instead I am empowered and motivated to make positive change.

 

 

 

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Welcome Back!!

(Written by Women's Center Student Staff)
 
The Women's Center has always had a welcome back party, but there was something special about the one this year. It was the first time that the student staff (all of the interns and PACT trainers) came together and independently planned the party, it was the Women's Center's first big event of the year, but really we think it was the number of students, faculty, and other Duke community members that came to the party that made it so special. In years past, there have always been individuals who were strongly associated with the Center who came to the party. This year we had a record number of first-year students and other new faces come and share. It really showed us how the Women's Center has grown, and the party set a great tone for year to come.
 
We planned for this event at the Women's Center retreat! We divided up the work by breaking up into different teams which included a Marketing Team, a Refreshment Team, and a Poster Team. The marketing team came up with some cool advertisements to put up on Facebook, the refreshments team coordinated getting the italian ice and the other snacks, and the poster team came up with the posters that were going to go in the lower lounge. The day of the party grew closer and closer, and we all looked forward to it with excitement. Finally, it was Friday; with the advertisements up on Facebook and the refreshments on the way, everything was looking great. Of course SOMETHING always has to go wrong when EVERYTHING is going right.  When the intern who was taking care of printing all the posters, showed up without any, we were all very surprised. We thought he had left the posters in his house or someone was bringing them later, but it turned out the poster printer had broken! We were left without any of the posters, so we decided to convert the lower lounge to a hangout space. Thankfully we were able to do this and waited for the party to finally start.
 
Once the clock hit four, the Women’s Center was already buzzing with both new and old faces. Newcomers were welcomed with plenty of food to eat, people to meet, and activities to do. Most people made a beeline for the free Rita’s Italian Ice when they first arrived but stayed to chat with the staff and interns about all of the resources the Women's Center has to offer. Interns encouraged party-goers to find their place at the Women's Center by checking out all of the awesome programs and groups offered, such as the Women’s Collective, FEMCAMP, WHO Speaks, Develle Dish and more. The party ended with a fun game of picking provocative questions out of a fishbowl. We (student and senior staff) all agreed that the party was a huge success!

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