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:
Larry Moneta, Vice President for Student Affairs

Dear students,

Once again, Duke University will host an early voting site for the upcoming primary election in North Carolina. The polling site will be located at the Freeman Center for Jewish Life, 1415 Faber Street, and will run daily from Thursday, March 3, to Saturday, March 12. Hours will vary throughout the week and can be found on the elections board’s website. 

The site will be open to Durham County registered voters only. Durham County residents are eligible to vote at the site if they are a U.S. citizen and a legal resident of Durham County for 30 days by the date of the election. Voters must be at least 18 years old, although individuals who are 17 can register and vote if they will be 18 by the November general election.

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:
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:
Isabella Kwai, '16

I have 1971 Facebook friends. I know that sounds like a lot but I’m fairly Facebook aggressive. And we all know it’s not official unless it’s Facebook official.

Over a thousand of these friends are from the last year at Duke alone. Some of them are from a single good conversation while waiting in the Pitchforks line. Others are familiar faces that have seen all forty-five of my go-to dance moves. There are dorm mates I’ve shared both meals and memories with, upperclassmen I admire hugely and kids that I don’t know well at all, but secretly stalk because they have seriously cool profile pictures.

But how many friends do I actually talk to on a regular basis in real life?

Probably around four.

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

I’ve always hated when classes require you to do weekly responses for the reading. As if processing one hundred pages a week on eighteenth-century European expansionism wasn’t enough work. It’s always just told me that the professor doesn’t trust us to actually read. Apparently, we need some sort of accountability to do what we’re paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to do. Also, so what if we skip the reading? Our final grades will suffer, the professor won’t. This semester I’m taking a course on Antonio Gramsci that has no written assignments save for a final paper. The rest is reading, which I actually do. Shocker – not that it helps me understand what the heck Gramsci was trying to express. Grappling with the reading is hard enough.

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.