At CAPS, we regularly see students struggling with problems such as depression, disordered eating, persistent anxiety or episodes of panic.  We also see students who, inexplicably, feel unable to overcome persistent procrastination or lack of motivation.   Ironically, what many of these students have in common is an emphatic focus on "being strong".

Usually, students struggle with an inflexible definition of strength that involves having no vulnerability or weakness.  Strength is not the absence of weakness. 

Strength is the capacity to move through vulnerable times...even when you doubt that you can.

Here goes...our first blog from the Flowers Building and Student Affairs leadership team. I've taken the liberty of serving as first author and will be joined periodically by Zoila Airall, Sue Wasiolek, Caroline Nisbet and Rick Johnson. We have no idea (yet) what we'll be blogging about, but stay tuned and follow us through your favorite news reader or just by periodically checking out this site.

Speaking of this site, you'll notice its quite new and different. We've now launched our new Student Affairs websites and look forward to your reactions and suggestions. We're deep diving into social media and more so please let us know what you think. I also welcome your ideas for topics you'd like us to address here.

Do You:
a) ever have sweating, shaking, a rapid heartbeat, dry mouth, crying, or nausea before or during exams or feel like you’re “freakin’ out”?
b) ever go “blank” despite hours of studying and feeling well prepared going into an exam only to not do as well as you could?
c) ever experience negative self-talk, have trouble concentrating on an exam quetion, or have racing thoughts during a test?
d) have a depressed or anxious mood that interferes with preparing for and taking exams?
e) ever get tempted to use medication, alcohol, or drugs to cope with exam day jitters?
f) all of the above

On May 8th, North Carolina residents will vote on Amendment One, which proposes adding a clause to the state constitution that would define marriage as being only between a man and a woman.

Janie Long, director of Duke's Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Life (LGBT), opposes the amendment and is concerned about how its passage might affect Duke students and families. Long, a 1981 graduate of Duke Divinity School, has served as the director of the LGBT center since 2006.

Joining her will be Duke alumnus Steven Petrow, a former president of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. Petrow has written numerous books and columns on LGBT issues. His work has appeared in The New York Times, CNN, NPR, The Huffington Post and elsewhere.

With this project, we wanted to go beyond the message of "it gets better" and highlight how people have actually made it better, both for themselves and others. It is often hard to know how to deal with personal struggles of sexuality and identity, but it will not always automatically get better. Some people have to make a conscious effort to make the necessary changes that will improve their lives. The stories told here feature just some of the ways LGBTQ individuals at Duke have done just that, and how Amendment One presents us with an opportunity to come together under a common goal and defeat discrimination. Make it better: vote NO on May 8th.

Tom Szigethy, Associate Dean/Director of the Duke Student Wellness Center, talks about how to help students avoid the dangers of drinking at college. Read his op-ed from the Atlanta Journal.

I've seen the video below before, but one of my beloved UG students just sent it to me and I wanted to share it.


Your presence is requested at the Final Honors Ceremony, honoring the accomplishments graduating seniors of African descent & their allies.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
6:00 pm
Page Auditorium, West Campus
Duke University

The event is free and open to the public.

Event Sponsors

This Thursday, April 19th, join students, faculty, and administrators in reading the names of genocide victims on the Plaza and Chapel steps.

The Muslim Student Association and the Jewish Student Union invite you to help us transform the Day of the Shoah (Holocaust Reme...mbrance Day) into an annual event for campus awareness, education, and engagement. This year, we are seizing the opportunity to not only call attention to humanity's greatest failures, but also to foster a critical sense of community and mutual respect among students, organizations, and institutions on campus.

Join us in reading the names of 20th and 21st century genocide victims between 8am and 8pm.