Blog

Blog Author:
Danielle Oakley, CAPS

Dear Duke Families,

It is a pleasure to meet you! I am the new director for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), a unit on campus that supports your student on a path toward academic success. I am excited to be here given the commitment Duke has made to student wellness. Many institutions across the country are working to address mental health issues based on the fact that mental health is the number one factor in lowering retention and is a better predictor of college grade point average than ACT or SAT scores. The 97% four-year retention rate to graduation at Duke demonstrates that retention is not a significant issue on this campus; highlighting that Duke’s focus is supporting mental health services because student wellness is valued.

Blog Author:
Stephen Bryan, Associate Dean of Students & Director, Student Conduct

Dear Undergraduate Student:

The Office of Student Conduct staff welcomes you (back) to Duke!  We know your time is valuable, so with that in mind, here are 10 things to keep in mind this year.  For the overwhelming majority of you, this list will never apply directly to you, so we especially THANK YOU for reading through these items— and perhaps you can be a persuasive voice to your peers in steering them away from some of the negative behaviors described below, should you see them heading down a potentially perilous path.

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:
Isabella Kwai, '16

Let me be entirely honest and open in what I’m about to say. Honesty after all, is so little found in conversations about mental health and yet so powerful when it is. I have, like 1 in 4 other young people my age, struggled with my mental health on and off. There have been times when I’ve been sick with hopelessness and misery, consumed with self-loathing and hatred. Likewise, there have times when I’ve been ecstatically happy and grateful. My emotional health is a mental rollercoaster and contains the best and worst memories for me. But it is not all of me.

Blog Author:
Ali Preston, '15

Hi Class of 2018! Congratulations on your recent graduations – now all that’s standing between you and Duke is a few months of summer!

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:
Chris Heltne, Director of Communications for Student Affairs

Duke Student Health will pilot a consolidation of their clinical services by closing the East Campus Clinic for Spring Semester, 2014.

"There is a combination of reasons for our decision to close the East Campus Clinic," said Dr. John Vaughn, director of Student Health at Duke, "but first and foremost is that we feel doing so will better allow us to deliver the standard of medical care that students deserve and the Duke University Health System demands."

The East Campus Health Clinic was established in the 1990s.  According to Jean Hanson, RN, MPH, administrative director for clinical support services and outreach, it was initially staffed by a nurse only and was intended to handle “simple” cases for the freshman campus. 

Blog Author:
Valerie Glassman

The Office of Student Conduct is happy to announce the newest members of the Undergraduate Conduct Board for the 2013-14 year. These students were selected from an applicant pool of over 105 candidates, and will join the eight students from the Class of 2014 who will remain on the board from the 2012-13 academic year.

Please join me in congratulating these men and women.

Todd Adams, senior associate dean in the Dean of Students office, will be leaving Duke this January to become assistant vice president and dean of students for Student Affairs at Northwestern University.

One of last year's seniors (and a former DUWELL intern), Rose O'Connor, was inspired to write this blog in the spring of 2012, her last semester at Duke.  As we approach Thanksgiving time, it seems especially appropriate to consider gratitude and how to appreciate the small things in life...