A few of our beautiful columnists. Clockwise from top left: Jack Dolinar, Nima Mohammadi, Daniela Flamini, Sabriyya Pate, Amy Fan, Kushal Kadakia, Mitchell Siegel, Carly Stern, Max Labaton.

A new semester is upon us, and with it comes a new set of Chronicle columnists. In the Opinion section, we strive to start conversations on campus, provide commentary to contextualize global events and create discourse about meaningful experiences. This semester, we hope to produce even more engaging content by asking sharp questions and highlighting new voices within the Duke community.

The fall of 2017 will be a tough act to follow. Throughout the semester, our columnists ventured into unchartered territory, shared personal stories and attracted more hits than ever before. In an effort to honor their accomplishments and share some of their insights, the editors have compiled a list of our favorite columns from last semester. 

Enjoy them below (in no particular order), and look forward to reading exciting new opinions this spring.

1. Sisters hold monthly meeting on quitting sorority by Monday Monday

Monday Monday sparked an important—and hilarious—conversation with this piece on the frequency with which sorority members bemoan the problems of Greek life without taking action.

2. The trouble of being ‘busy’ by Cameron Beach

In under 1,000 words, Cameron Beach perfectly encapsulated the experience of nearly every Duke student. Reflecting on her own struggle to balance relationships, work and free time, she encourages each of us to reconsider our priorities.

3. The internal conflict of young black girls by Victoria Priester

This early column from first-year Victoria Priester outlined the toxic racist structures by which American beauty standards are shaped. In doing so, she explored the role that these standards have impacted her experience as a young black woman at Duke.

4. When the male gaze falls on male gays by Jeremy Gottlieb for Duke Men’s Project

Throughout the fall, we had the pleasure of featuring biweekly columns from members of the Duke Men’s Project. Jeremy Gottlieb penned an editor's favorite that detailed the objectification and sexualization of men in the gay community that contributes to a narrow conception of masculinity.

5. An Americana death by the Editorial Board

The Editorial Board published some of its greatest works last semester, exploring topics from healthcare to campus housing. Yet no Editorial seemed to better capture the gripping and devastating nature of last fall’s shootings than this piece written in the aftermath of the Las Vegas massacre. 

6. My Duke by Jaxson Floberg

Jaxson Floberg’s ‘My Duke’ started with his parents’ love story. After meeting and getting married at Duke, Floberg’s parents left him with a stable, unyielding love of their school—even when their marriage ended. Floberg reconciles his love of Duke with the aspects of its culture that isolates his peers, coming to terms with Duke's peaks and pitfalls through this complex lens.

7. I dare you, California by Mitchell Siegel

In his wittily named second column, Mitchell Siegel warns against the dangers of single payer health care. As one of the Chronicle’s most vocal conservative columnists, Siegel ardently warned against universal coverage with a well-crafted argument based in comprehensive research.

8. On female empowerment and its gatekeepers by Sabriyya Pate

Sabriyya Pate wrote on the exclusive nature of many outlets for female empowerment, drawing on both personal experience and years of observation. In her inspiring voice, she encourages all women to feel confident in their own abilities despite the criticism and obstacles they face.

9. A big tent party by Max Labaton

Just before the Virginia election, sophomore columnist Max Labaton addressed the need for expansion in the Democratic Party. His thorough political analysis noted a motive to include centrists that certainly will remain relevant in upcoming months.

10. Vineyard Vines: Clothing brand or character flaw? by Sami Kirkpatrick

Sami Kirkpatrick constantly takes on the important questions in life. In one of his most popular pieces, Kirkpatrick criticized a culture that mindlessly dresses according to brand and social status.

11. Milky pink by Mihir Bellamkonda

In his most famous column, first-year Mihir Bellamkonda began by asking people on the C1 bus about their least favorite colors. When he arrived on the Pepto-Bismol-esque color of “milky pink,” Bellamkonda recalled a childhood story of storm-chasing and sky-watching.

12. On Colin Kaepernick and white comfort by Tara Pal

Tara Pal submitted a guest column that provided imperative commentary on the nature of politics and sports. Pal called out white sports fans for their implicit dismissals of Colin Kaepernick, encouraging her readers to elicit empathy for the struggles of black athletes.

Raise your voice this spring: Guest Columns and Letters to the Editor may be submitted to jackson.prince@duke.edu, carly.stern@duke.edu and leah.abrams@duke.edu.