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:
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:
​Jordan Hale and Simon Partner, Co-Chairs, Duke Summer Reading Committee

Nominations are now being accepted for the Class of 2019 Duke Common Experience. As a piece of the coming changes to Orientation this summer, we have decided to enhance our Summer Reading program. While we will still have a book the incoming class will read, there will be a variety of programs connected to the book both during the summer and over the course of the fall semester. These will include:

  • ​Virtual content sharing of key themes and ideas over the summer months
  • Connection with Alumni Affairs in reading the selection
  • Speakers and programs during the year connected to the selection
  • One over-arching theme that connects the selection to programs here at Duke during the year

However, the biggest change is the format for hosting the author and discussion about the book and what we seek to do over the summer.

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): `

 

Blog Author:
Robert Ansel

What is college life? What is it really that defines the ground floor of the quintessential American college experience? After two years at Duke University, I’m only just beginning to understand the answer to that question. Here’s a head start: The answer is you. You are the one and only factor that will define what college life is to each and every person you tell about ‘the good old days’ when you attended one of the most prestigious institutions in the United States.

Greetings, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Duke Class of 2017! How are you feeling—nervous, hopeful, invigorated? Breathe it all in! Let me introduce myself:

My name is Nancy Su, and I will be a junior this coming fall. I am pursuing a major in psychology, minor in biology, with an interest in health care.

Hello! My name is Grace Befort and I am sophomore, tentatively majoring in Public Policy with an Education minor and Children in Contemporary Society certificate. This summer I was lucky enough to participate in a domestic DukeEngage program in Charlotte, North Carolina, where I worked as a Freedom Schools Intern, teaching a group of ten 5-9 year-olds literacy. I loved my time in the program, but I cannot wait to return to Duke for another year.

As I just finished my freshman year, the wide array of feelings about starting college are still fresh in my mind. I was definitely excited to get to Duke, but also overwhelmed, nervous, lonely, and confused. We at True Blue want to help make your transition to Duke as easy as possible, and help you find balance during your first year.

"Keeping It Real"
Hailing from the streets of Compton, California, I realized early in life that I did not fit the preconceived, stereotypical image of the kid from the so-called “ghetto”.  Although I was surrounded by a world of drugs and violence, I was not going to try to become something I was not. I would not let those disparities phase me…ever. I went with my own flow.

Blog Author:
Gabrielle Sawyer ('16)

Hello fellow Blue Devils! My name is Gabrielle Sawyer and I am a rising sophomore from Washington, D.C. Congratulations on your acceptance into Duke! If you’re on the pre-med track like me, get ready for a whirlwind of a semester. Don’t be surprised if you end up changing your career plans every day like I did. It’s a totally normal occurrence among freshmen. Use this year to explore the many opportunities and classes that Duke has to offer. And in the meantime, also remember to have fun!