Central Campusâs theme for this year; our one-word call to action is: SOLIDARITY. The concept of standing together in opposition to threats to the well-being and progress of our collective community. My hope, and this is where you come in, is that we as a campus can promote solidarity, in it's multidimensional nature, to the larger Duke and Durham community, and most importantly, to each other.
Last Thursday, a cozy group gathered for a light brunch with philanthropist and Duke alumna Penny Pilgram George (WC â65), hosted by the Center for Leadership Development and Social Action.
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.
It's already November! That means the fall semester is almost over and you may be asking yourself how you missed August, September, and October. Don't worry, it's easy for the semester to fly by so fast; especially with all of the opportunities on campus. To provide you with a quick recap UCAE Student Involvement has compiled a few infographics of semester highlights. Hopefully this fills you with some nostalgia for the past semester and encourages you to seek out new opportunities in the spring.
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.
Social life? Sleep? Good Grades? It seems we can only ever get two of these at a time here at Duke. Even after countless time management lectures, and many hours spent on schedules, I struggle to find balance. The careful plans I make always seems to fly out the window within a matter of hours. An exciting social event will come up, assignments will take longer than I expected, or an unexpected wave of exhaustion will wash over me as I grow tired from trying to keep up. Life can certainly be chaotic here, especially at the end of the semester. The stresses of Duke have a great influence over the choices we make on an everyday basis. Should we eat dinner with friends or get an extra hour of studying? Is it worth an all-nighter to study math? Pressure comes from parents, other students, teachers, and even people we don’t even know.
For this blog post, some of the interns at the Women’s Center decided to share our personal history with feminism. We have all had different experiences and there isn’t a singular theme among our stories, but we hope that our experiences encourage others in the Duke community to explore what feminism means to them.
From Colleen O’Connor (Community Building and Organizing Intern): `
by Alex Shapanka
Leadership is not just another line on your resume. It’s not something that you can just address during interviews to give your candidacy more credence. It is in fact quite rare to come across great leadership. Yet for some reason, we think this campus is teaming with leaders. Probably because we hand out titles like they’re bin candy on sale.
Having a title next to our name doesn’t mean diddly. DSG president, Vice President of Education for DPS or DUU Major Attractions chair are all just signifiers of responsibility. Inconsequential words. It is the quality of our performance that matters.
by Deborah Hackney, Associate Director, Leadership Development and Social Action
Leadership can occur and even thrive without a title or position.
That's what students told us after a recent leadership program we hosted. For many, this was an epiphany that eradicated previously held notions. Rather than being in the front initiating and creating plans, students boldly reported that they understood how they could also make a difference through influence and steady participation with others toward a collective vision.
Leading without the requirement of formal position or title is a main tenet of our leadership framework. We posit that as citizens of Duke, Durham and the world, our abilities to make positive change can happen within or outside of a role.