Today, we celebrate Turkey in honor of the many global scholars and spouses from Turkey. A few weeks ago, Merve Falan gave a fantastic presentation about her home country. She shared about the country’s history and culture and even provided Turkish treats for everyone to try. Merve shared that “Istanbul is a magical city that tells you about everything. The city is a storyteller.” By the end of her presentation, most of the audience was ready to pack their bags and travel to Turkey.
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.
Jack D explains what happened:
As many of you know, early in the morning yesterday someone entered my dorm and sprawled on the wall of the first floor, “Death to all fags @ Jack.” In just five words and an ‘at’ symbol, my sense of security and safety on this campus was shattered.
Efforts have been made to find the assailant but the likelihood of success seems minimal. However, the person who wrote on the wall is greatly unimportant.
I would like for people to understand who I am. I wish to be a peer and not a name. I grew up near Boston with a single mother and siblings. I played sports throughout school and spent summers volunteering. I am a freshman but have lived as a proudly out and visible gay man on Duke’s campus. I am Jack. I am the fag. I do not deserve this treatment. No one deserves this treatment.
Beginning next Monday, February 16th, Nutrition Services is partnering with many offices across campus to host a positive body image week. In the past, we’ve celebrated National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, but found that students are already aware of eating disorders. Renaming the week and focusing on learning to embrace our bodies can help students to move away from some of the behaviors that might increase risk of developing disordered eating and exercise patterns.
Here’s a breakdown of the events we have going on next week, all of which are free and do not require tickets.
Monday, February 16th:
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): `
"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