Blog

Blog Author:
Larry Moneta, Ed.D. Vice President for Student Affairs

Dear students,

With Spring Break (for those of you who get the time off) about a week away, I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you well with the rest of the semester and offer a few thoughts about current events and their implications for many of you. It is not my intent to make this a political commentary, but I want to be sure to express my concerns for the many of you who might be feeling insecure or vulnerable right now as things rapidly change in the national scene. Here’s what I want to say:

Blog Author:
Nick Antonicci, Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity

My name is Nicholas Antonicci, I use the pronouns he/him/his, and I'm the Director of the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity here at Duke University.

Yesterday, I woke to the news of tragedy of 50 innocent people killed at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, a gay bar on a night celebrating Latinx people and communities.

I struggle to put feelings and emotions into words, to put pain into soundbites that appease and comfort those around me.

I struggle with balancing immense sadness for the lives lost, with anger at the forces which allowed this to happen and will continue to happen, namely homophobia and transphobia. I balance wanting to care for others, with frustration in the ways many of those who are responding are centering the feelings of heterosexual and cis peoples.

Blog Author:
Jake Schapiro, Peer For You Peer Responder

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.

Blog Author:
Elizabeth Hoyler, '16

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.

Blog Author:
Chris Heltne

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:

Blog Author:
Alex Shapanka

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.

by Monika Jingchen Hu

Professor Merlise Clyde was my first year advisor when I started my PhD in Statistical Science at Duke University. During my stressful first year, I went to talk to her about many stuff: course work (she taught two of my courses taken), life-work balance, choosing supervisor, learning English, to name a few. She is an accomplished statistician, and what’s more, she is a caring person, and I feel so lucky to have her as my first year advisor.

by Deja Beamon

College uproots you. When you’re in high school, you crave for it. The independence, freedom. Your parents haven’t gotten you in years. You know you can take care of yourself, if only someone would let you. And then you get here.

And at the end of each semester, you are forced to pack up. And leave. And figure out your summer plans, 'cause you can’t not do anything. And then summer is over and you leave, and then you are here. After the first year, you dread leaving. The hasty task of packing. Throwing out half of your belongings because you refuse to buy another fucking box.

by Larry Moneta

I’m writing this in Chicago awaiting my return flight to RDU. Just got off the nearly 14 hour flight from Shanghai and am very happy to be back in the US. Looking forward to being home later tonight.

My visit to Kunshan and to the DKU campus was terrific. The drive with lots of traffic was just over an hour from the opposite side of downtown Shanghai, so an easy trip back and forth for students, faculty and others. The bullet train is 19 minutes from Shanghai to Kunshan! I definitely want to train there next time I visit.