Today, we celebrate Turkey in honor of the many global scholars and spouses from Turkey. A few weeks ago, Merve Falan gave a fantastic presentation about her home country. She shared about the country’s history and culture and even provided Turkish treats for everyone to try. Merve shared that “Istanbul is a magical city that tells you about everything. The city is a storyteller.” By the end of her presentation, most of the audience was ready to pack their bags and travel to Turkey.
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.
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.
Collaboration & Change for a Common Good
A Reflection on Collaboration in Campus Life
India Pierce and Sean Novak
One way that we can work effectively to create change for a common good is to work collaboratively across communities. With this in mind, India Pierce from the Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity (CSGD) came together with Sean Novak from the Center for Multicultural Affairs (CMA) to create a program that explored the intersections of race and sexual orientation. As part of the CMA’s En/Countering Racism series (E/C), they created a program for students to gather and explore intersectionality. This was done in order to deepen participants’ understanding of themselves and others as a means to building stronger coalitions for social justice.
"I realized that by basing judgments about people off numbers (the statistics of 'illegals' who don't have documents) we take away the personal histories of this collection of people with different experiences. It's like saying, 'You are just a number. You are not who you think you are. You do not deserve your own personality. You are a number that I can manipulate as I please in an equation. I can reduce you. I can find your lmits. I can eliminiate you.' " Leslie Niiro, Duke Univ. Class of 2016
by Larry Moneta
Here I am in Wuhanâ¦after some back and forth about schedules, we decided to fly here for meetings with Wuhan student services and international relation folks. But, I digressâ¦.
Contributed by Alex Shapanka
“Duke culture” – a compound noun that both students and faculty enjoy throwing around in various contexts for their own agendas, yet in each instance the word rears its head, it stands without explanation. Amazingly everyone believes they know the identity of this ambiguous phantom that haunts our campus. If you ask any student about “Duke culture” or “campus culture” they know precisely to what you’re referring, the culture that allegedly pervades the Gothic Wonderland. Work hard. Play hard. While that mentality may apply to some, it surely neglects the majority of Duke’s population. I know plenty of students who do not work very hard and even more who do not play very hard, which is of course the Duke approved euphemism for partying.