Blog

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:
Larry Moneta, Vice President for Student Affairs

Dear students,

The ever-changing population on Duke’s campus comes with both great benefits for a deeper understanding of an increasingly diverse community, and inevitable strains as these changes push at the boundaries of our existing spaces.

Today, we are happy to announce forward movement, with the designation of areas in the Bryan Center specifically for our Asian-American and Latinx student communities, to be ready for occupancy in the Fall. In addition, two new Program Coordinators and additional graduate student staff will be hired to work with these groups. 

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:
A community response

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.

Blog Author:
Larry Moneta, VP for Student Affairs

Dear Duke parents and families,

Periodically, I like to acknowledge various parts of our diverse community. Today, in advance of some key upcoming commemorations, I want to share some thoughts about our LGBTQ community.

I’m proud to acknowledge an environment where all students, gay and straight, are equal members of our broader Duke family and where we celebrate differences and support persistent struggles which, unfortunately, yet exist. I invite you to check out the website for the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity for an array of current facts that showcase our achievements and pride.

Thumbnail This year, UCAE: Leadership Development & Social Action held its first international Alternative Spring Break program to Lima, Peru. 13 students and 2 staff members traveled to Lima to work with the elderly and children with disabilities. The group worked primarily in two different communities, La Victoria and Villa El Salvador.

by Deja Beamon

I never really saw myself as the mentor having type. You know, I was always the lone wolf. But I’ve definitely met people the last couple of years at Duke that have molded my mind. Making me into the “fuck shit up” confident woman I am in the process of becoming today. And one of those people is Robyn Wiegman.

I first met Robyn while enrolled in Thinking Gender, one of the reqs for Women’s Studies majors. Talk about life changing. Not only the various pieces we interacted with but also Robyn’s vast amount of knowledge about … well everything. I was intrigued by her confidence, teaching style, and knowledge so much that I approached her about being my thesis advisor.

by Dorielle Obanor

In February of my freshmen year at Duke, I had the pleasure of meeting Samuel DuBois Cook, the first black tenured professor at Duke University. I had wandered in to the Mary Lou Williams Center to finish up some last minute work, but my attention soon turned to the small group of students surrounding Mr. Cook in the center of the room. I sat and listened as Dr. Cook articulated the various challenges, experiences, and changes that arose after accepting a teaching position at Duke.

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.

by Larry Moneta

Thumbnail Here I am in Wuhan…after some back and forth about schedules, we decided to fly here for meetings with Wuhan student services and international relation folks. But, I digress….