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:
--

Thumbnail With great sadness, we share that Savannah Goodman, T '18, passed away this morning, December 19th, after complications from a bone marrow transplant.  She was diagnosed with an immune deficiency disorder at Duke Hospital at age 6 and was fulfilling her lifelong dream of studying Pre-Med at Duke so that she could become a pediatric immunologist to treat children much like herself.

Blog Author:
Seema Sanjeev Podar, mother of Duke student Akshat Pordar

465 miles away. 9 hours and 30 minutes away by bus. 7 hours and 45 minutes away by car. 1 hour and 30 minutes away by plane.

As we waved goodbye to our son on his first day of college, these numbers consumed our thoughts. They imposed a physical boundary on our relationship with our son, transforming months of excitement into miles of separation. Whereas these numbers had simply troubled our minds, however, the unfamiliar emptiness of our home had truly crushed our hearts. With our son at Duke, the dinner table now had one less plate, the study table one less book, and his bedroom one less snore.

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:
Elizabeth Hoyler, '16

The wait begins.

Yesterday I found out that I had become victim of government beaurocracy and needed to go to DC to arrange a passport emergency.  Last minute trip = little financial flexibility. Megabus it is. Gulp.

I get to the bus stop. Trepidation. I see several tired looking people in line in front of me. One woman holds a cigarette between her hands, getting the last hit before the 6-feels-like-60 hour-long journey begins. (I can’t blame her. I find myself trying to soak up all the fresh air I can.) Another man holds a plastic bag for his travel belongings. Everyone looks so tired, just like at Duke.

Hour 1
I get seated on the Megabus. Why is it that they seem to smell like a mixture between floral soap, cigarettes, and baby powder?

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:
Sally Kornbluth, Provost, Duke University

Dear Parents,

As I begin my third semester as Provost, we are hard at work on a new academic strategic plan for the university, a document that will guide the academic life at Duke for the next five years. Over the past year, a faculty strategic planning steering committee, chaired by Professor Susan Lozier, has hosted dozens of gatherings with faculty, staff and students to hear the priorities of all constituencies, tap into the collective creativity of the community, and together, chart a course for the coming years. Based on all of this critical input, we have crafted a strategic planning framework that will be filled in over the next year, with the goal of delivering a complete plan by 2016.

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.

Thumbnail Jerry (Bei) Sun, a Duke University biology student, passed away Wednesday, March 4, from a rare form of cancer. Jerry was scheduled to graduate from Duke in 2016.

Duke flags were lowered to half-mast in his honor.