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 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:
CAPS Staff

In response to recent actions of racism that have been coming to the surface on campus, and in recognition that such unacceptable behavior is not isolated to this instance or this campus, CAPS would like to re-iterate our pledge of support to our students and the campus community.

CAPS Pledge of Support

Blog Author:
Aïssa Huysmans, Peer for You Peer Responder, '15

“Things just happen in the right way, at the right time. At least when you let them, when you work with circumstances instead of saying, 'This isn't supposed to be happening this way,' and trying harder to make it happen some other way.”
― Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

It’s even more evident now. Being an international student from Swaziland made me adjust to having two almost entirely separate lives when I became a student at Duke. It was a given, the knowledge that going home would mean returning to an entirely distinct lifestyle, with a different culture, different people and different habits. Still, nothing could have prepared me for returning from abroad in my second semester of my junior year and having to add a third life into the mix. Needless to say, these first weeks back have been a bit of a rollercoaster.

Audience:

As a new academic year begins, we all begin to set expectations and goals for ourself in the upcoming year. Whether a new or returning student, you've probably already started thinking about what this semester can hold. As you go forward, we in the Wellness Center encourage you to consider one question:

What's Your True Blue?

We all have times where we have to make choices.  "True Blue" can mean thinking about who you are and what you value, it can mean thinking about your Duke experience and what you want it to be, or it might just mean considering how you plan to stay true to your goals and authentic self as you navigate your college experience.  

Audience:

Authenticity refers to our willingness and ability to operate in congruence with our evolving values, expanding field of interests, and emotional and philosophical (or spiritual) sense of Self. This need not only refer to our individual sense of Self but also our understanding of our Self-in-Community. In short, it refers to living according to our personal Truths.  To be able to live one’s Truths is not simply an obvious ideal.  There is a richness that comes from being able to enjoy authenticity, and not feeling able to do so can lead to some common difficulties including lack of confidence, loneliness, and a somewhat mechanical approach to life that can feel empty at times.

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...

Submitted by Monika Jingchen Hu

Back in my home country China, seeking help from a professional counselor seems to admit that you are sick and/or mad. The standard way of coping with it is that if you have problems (usually they are considered as things having a short term effect; i.e. they are not supposed to be illness), you should go talk to your family or friends, and naturally as time goes by you will be fine. Hence professional counseling in China is such an undeveloped industry – little supply, and therefore little demand, and the circle goes on.