We are writing on behalf of Duke Student Government to express our disappointment in UNC’s student-run newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, for allowing the publication of the March 5 article, “Durham crime crosses over into Chapel Hill.” As collaborators on a variety of student issues on both campuses, we find it important to maintain healthy dialogue and conversation between Duke and UNC students. Unfortunately, this article was not an example of productive discourse, nor was it logically sound or factually accurate.
We are deeply saddened that our friends at UNC—which, as the article points out, is a mere 10 miles away—note the lack of “fences” and “check points” between the two cities, as though such measures might be necessary. We must hold the The Daily Tar Heel accountable for approving the article for publishing.
Standing with over 6,000 undergraduate Duke students who chose to make Durham their home, Duke Student Government encourages the The Daily Tar Heel to formally retract the article and apologize for the incendiary content. The relationship between Durham and Chapel Hill, both cities with prominent universities, must be cherished. This relationship contributes to positive college experiences fostered by sports rivalries and collaborative academic engagements. The article is not representative of the positive interaction that occurs between Duke and UNC each and every day.
We acknowledge that there is crime in Durham, but, as pointed out by a March 6 article in The Chronicle, Durham crime is at a 23-year low. It is counterproductive for UNC students to perpetuate the divide through articles such as the one printed in The Daily Tar Heel. DSG’s Durham and Regional Affairs Committee will continue forging important community relations through programs such as our Unity Dinner with both NCCU and UNC student governments and the Robertson Bus program, just to name a few.
Derek Rhodes, Trinity ’15 DSG vice president for Durham and regional affairs
Willa Townsend, Trinity ’15 DSG director of communications