How can the racism shown by Kappa Sigma fraternity be flourishing at Duke? My stomach turned when I saw news Tuesday night of the party on Facebook and Gawker. My first thought: “How on earth can I recommend Duke now to the Jersey students I interview who are so keen on the school?” Why would the many wonderfully talented Asian-American, Indian-American, African-American or other students of color whom I get to meet have any interest in Duke knowing that such idiocy and insensitivity exists on campus? For that matter, why would any prospective student be interested now? Perhaps the members of Kappa Sigma can come up with some answers.
Fortunately, as a Duke parent, active alumna and former editor-in-chief of The Chronicle, I know enough about the breadth, depth and humanity of the Duke community to remain an enthusiastic ambassador. And I trust I’ll be able to report that swift action was taken to ensure that nothing like the Kappa Sigma party ever happens again. Ideally, the community will find a way to immerse the students involved in sensitivity training so they understand how outrageous their behavior was. Meanwhile, let’s hope the students responsible aren’t counting on the Duke alumni network to help them further their careers. Bigots cannot be tolerated in the global workplace.
Anne Newman, Trinity ’76
Editor Emerita of The Chronicle