The Class of 2013’s sophomore year was characterized by periods of positive global attention on the University mired by episodes of tragedy and negative scrutiny.
In October, Duke’s social and sexual culture came back into question nearly five years after the infamous lacrosse case. Karen Owen, Trinity ’10, created a PowerPoint detailing her sexual experiences with 13 current and former Duke varsity athletes. Owen said the PowerPoint was meant to be shared only with friends, but the presentation went viral and caught the attention of national media outlets such as NBC’s Today Show and The New York Times.
Owen’s PowerPoint led to a more general discussion on campus concerning gender issues and the subjugation of women. Over Halloween weekend, someone plastered flyers across West Campus that featured crude and degrading party invitations sent to women by various fraternities via email. Although some students acknowledged that the emails were meant to be humorous, other students were stunned by the sexist language used in the invitations.
The end of October was marked with the tragic death of senior Drew Everson. Everson suffered two collapsed lungs and a severe head injury after falling down a set of stairs behind the East Campus Union. The South Carolina native, who served as a line monitor and as a member of Duke Debate and Inside Joke comedy troupe, among other activities, was celebrated for his incredible wit, sense of humor and curiosity about the world around him.
Disaster continued to define the Fall semester when a minor was found unconscious in a Porta Potty following theNov. 6 Tailgate. The incident led the University to cancel Tailgate in its current form, which led to anger and disappointment from some of the student body.
Just one full year after Duke began to consider its expansion into China, the Board of Trustees approved preliminary funding in December for the construction of the first phase of Duke’s campus in Kunshan, China. An initial investment of $5.5 million was needed for design, consulting and construction oversight. Administrators estimated in March that between $5.4 million and $15.6 million each year for six years will be preliminary funding to cover the campus’s operating costs.
Despite initial excitement concerning the proposed campus, some faculty members expressed concern in March and April regarding the details of the project’s funding, its impact on the Duke brand and the degree of local support in China for the proposed university. Some administrators stressed the benefit of establishing a global presence through the China campus.
March ended in disappointment for Cameron Crazies, as the men’s basketball team failed to maintain its status as national champions. The Blue Devils lost in the Sweet 16 round of the tournament to the University of Arizona after a strong Wildcat squad trounced Duke and ended the collegiate careers of Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith. Duke prevailed, though, when the women’s team secured its second straight ACC Championship with a win over North Carolina.
The end of the Spring semester was defined by the death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, eliciting celebrations on campus. A successful operation led by a small assault team of American forces found and killed the terrorist in Pakistan. President Barack Obama said “justice has been done,” nearly 10 years since the Sept. 11 attacks killed approximately 3,000 Americans.