Blog

Blog Author:
Larry Moneta, Vice President for Student Affairs

Dear Duke Families,

As I look out my office window, I have the privilege of seeing our students walking (and rushing) by between classes, meals, meetings and study venues. So many things are apparent on the rare occasion that I get to just pause and admire the passersby. I notice that many seem either immune to the winter chill or in denial about the need to wear warmer clothes! I notice that rarely is anyone walking alone. Students travel in pairs, groups and masses! I notice that some kind of technological device is apparently welded to their ears or their palms (hopefully talking or texting with you). But, I also notice how remarkably different they are, reflecting the substantial and wonderful diversity within the Duke student body.

Blog Author:
McCall Hollie, Duke Univ Women's Center Intern, Class of 2016

We had just wrapped up at the Istanbul Archaeology Museum, drained from taking in all the incredible history exhibited in the museum’s three buildings. The consensus was to take the tram to a spot for lunch, then hop on it again to find a baklava shop we’d heard is amazing. The tram is one of several fantastic methods of public transportation used by what feels like everyone (at the same time) in the city of Istanbul. A seat on the bus, metro, or tram is a highly coveted spot that is not easily attained. In fact, sometimes just getting on any of these vehicles is a nearly impossible feat because they are so crowded. “Maximum Capacity” doesn’t seem to be a concept as firmly held here as it is in the U.S.

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Blog Author:
Sean Novak and India Pierce

 

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.

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): `

 

By Write(H)ers participant Adrienne Harreveld, T'15

 

With the Supreme Court hearings on issues of marriage equality, my entire Facebook newsfeed has become a sea of red equal signs, a notorious symbol of the Human Rights Campaign. One friend jokingly made the comment the influx of HRC red equal signs is like the Facebook version of passover. While it’s great to see so many of my Facebook friends are on the side of marriage equality, there are two things I find slightly troubling: 1) how quickly my  friends seem to buy into facebook or social media activism trends, otherwise known as “slacktivism” (think KONY 2012) and 2) The Human Rights Campaign itself.

My guess is if my friends knew more about some of the executive decisions made by the HRC, they would be less likely to promote its social media kitsch.

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By Duke Write(H)ers participant Flora Muglia, T'14

 

It seems as though our government is constantly redefining its budget and moving closer towards terminology from the Hunger Games. “The Sequester” certainly reminds me of the Quarter Quell. In a constant environment of economic turmoil, women must push for bipartisan legislation and fight against the damaging effects that the Sequester is imposing.

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"I realized that by basing judgments about people off numbers (the statistics of 'illegals' who don't have documents) we take away the personal histories of this collection of people with different experiences.  It's like saying, 'You are just a number.  You are not who you think you are.  You do not deserve your own personality.  You are a number that I can manipulate as I please in an equation.  I can reduce you.  I can find your lmits.  I can eliminiate you.' "  Leslie Niiro, Duke Univ. Class of 2016

There are those who talk and there are those who do.  WHO (Women's Housing Option) does.  This living group has set themself apart as more than just a place for women to live.  Concepts like "safe space", "social advocacy" and "community efficacy" come to mind when looking at the stirring and dynamic new campaign that was launched last week.  Body image issues are a reality in many of our lives.  The statistics that support this truth are alarming as words are spoken with little or no thought given to the lasting psychological impact that is left in the wake of commentaries on women's bodies.  It is encouraging to see that, with the photo expertise of Ashley Tsai, this group of women has created space to invite conversation, expand thought provoking images and develop the tools to initiate positive change.  All of our lives are affected when even one life is disrupted by the inability

I was ecstatic to learn that through the Duke Women's Center I would have the opportunity to be the student representative at a private event with Cecile Richards, the President of Planned Parenthood. 

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The dreams of many a female politics/policy wonk were fulfilled this past week when Ellen Moran, former White House Communications Director and Michèle Flournoy, former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, visited Duke.

Moran’s talk on September 20th, cosponsored by the Baldwin Scholars Program and the Women’s Studies Department, focused on how the upcoming election is significant for women candidates and voters.

Flournoy’s lecture tonight will be on how American Grand Strategy is affected by fiscal constraints; however, I was fortunate to sit in on her ladies’ breakfast this morning in which she also discussed work-life balance, being a woman in the national security field and career trajectories.

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