In Response to Defamatory Language

Author name
Student Affairs Leadership

Dear students,

Yesterday, a wall of East Hall was defaced with defamatory language aimed at the LGBTQ+ community and an individual Duke student. While the language has been painted over, it does not erase the pain and fear. This is a very serious incident and we will continue to investigate. If you have information that you think would be helpful to us in learning more about who is responsible, we encourage you to contact the police or other university official. 

Please know that Duke does not and will never condone intolerance. We despise the persistence of these hateful behaviors. No one on this campus should ever feel unwelcome or threatened. Our Duke Community Standard states: "I will conduct myself honorably in all endeavors; and, I will act if the Standard has been compromised." The swift and passionate response by Duke students is far more of an indication of the integrity and principles of the Duke community than anonymous graffiti could ever be. 

As Dean LB Bergene noted in her email to East House residents yesterday, "the best way to combat hateful speech is with better speech and better action. . . . Call out your friends when they make an inappropriate joke. Stop your friends when they write comments on dry erase boards. Take classes that challenge your way of thinking. Go to cultural activities on campus to grow in your own knowledge of the experiences of your classmates."

We encourage you to continue to care for and support each other, as you do on a daily basis. If you know of anyone in need of support, please reach out to CSGD, DukeReach, CAPS or any of our many student services. 

As always, we're here to help.

Student Affairs Senior Leadership

Zoila Airall              Larry Moneta
Li-Chen Chin          Caroline Nisbet
Joe Gonzalez          Chris Roby
Chris Heltne           John Vaughn
Rick Johnson          Sue Wasiolek
Anna Li                   Libby Webb
Tim Bounds