Students sound off on State of the Union

Darbi Griffith / The Chronicle

President Obama spoke to several million Americans on the rebirth of the economy, the necessity of equal opportunity and the value of diplomacy at his State of the Union address Tuesday night. Duke's chapter of the Alexander Hamilton Society hosted a watch party for students interested in the speech. Here's what some of them had to say afterward:

“President Obama laid out a clear agenda for what he wants to see in the next two years of his presidency. The biggest highlights were the later remarks on what better politics should look like in this country, both for his political agenda and for how national politics should be run, and it was nice to see that.” —junior Jay Sullivan.

“I loved that [Obama] brought up marriage equality as a civil right.” —junior Shreya Vora.

“I thought the president was really sassy, which I guess was a hallmark of it being his last term, but he was also really firm that if congress wants to push things through that he doesn’t like, he’s going to veto... Read more

ICYMI: Winter break headlines

Danielle Muoio / Chronicle File Photo

Mourning Vincent Davis

The Duke community mourned the loss of bus driver Vincent Davis after he was killed in a crash at the intersection of Erwin and Morreene roads Dec. 22.

"This was as horrific as an accident could be, and we’re still working our way through supporting both the family and the coworkers within Parking and Transportation," said Vice President of Administration Kyle Cavanaugh in an earlier interview with The Chronicle.

Davis, 52, was driving a Duke passenger van at the intersection when Jacob Samuels, 18, ran a red light and struck the van. The van flipped onto its side, and Davis was pronounced dead at the scene.

He had worked at Duke for nearly two years.

Samuels has been charged with running a red light and death by vehicle. He was taken to Duke Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries... Read more

Stories to watch in 2015

Darbi Griffith / The Chronicle

Want to know what to look out for as Duke enters the new year? Take a look below for some storylines to keep an eye on.

Philip Catterall / The Chronicle

Strategic planning: Eight years after the University launched its last strategic plan, Duke kicked off "pre-planning" for a new edition in 2014. This Spring will see continued work toward developing general themes and a structure, and the Fall will see the beginning of the actual planning process. Read more

Chronicle Top 10 for 2014: Part II

The Chronicle continues its look at the biggest news stories of 2014. Catch up on numbers ten through six here, and take a look at the top picks below.

5) Sexual assault guidelines and cases: sexual assault on college campuses continued to be a topic of national conversation in 2014, and Duke was no different. Following the University's 2013 decision to recommend expulsion as the preferred disciplinary sanction for sexual assault, Duke further adjusted its policies this year—launching a new website to improve access to information on campus sexual assault and including graduate and professional students in the campus disciplinary process for the first time. In December, the University hired its first fulltime Title IX coordinator... Read more

Chronicle Top 10 for 2014: Part I

As 2014 draws to a close, The Chronicle is taking a look at the 10 biggest news storylines of the year. Stay tuned for the top five tomorrow, but for now take a look at numbers ten through six.

10) 40 percent and 4 candidates: the 2014 Duke Student Government election saw the most student engagement in recent memory–with four contenders in the race for president and significant debate around the 40 Percent Plan, a ballot measure which would have allowed students to allocate a portion of their activities fees to the groups of their choosing. As discussion over the plan lit up social media, the presidential race grew tighter. Nikolai Doytchinov, then a junior, Read more

BOT Chair Rubenstein shows off a new talent—rapping

Darbi Griffith / Chronicle File Photo

Board of Trustees Chair David Rubenstein is often lauded for his savvy as a financial executive and his philanthropic work—and now his rapping skills?

Rubenstein, co-founder of The Carlyle Group, stars in a holiday video the private equity firm sent to investors Monday evening. Pairing his suit and tie with red Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, Rubenstein lays down the following track:

"It takes a lot of brains to do what we do,Looking for a way to make some dough for you.
Energy, commodity, we do it all,
So pick up the phone and give us a call.
Corporate mezzanine, private equity,
Carlyle Group is the place to be.
We’re global, we’re mobile, we’re aiming to please.
Only goal in mind: serve the LPs."

Read more

November headlines in review

Lemur Star of Zoboomafoo Dies at the Age of 20

Photo Courtesy of Duke Lemur Center

Jovian, a Coquerel’s sifaka and star of the children's show Zoboomafoo, passed away Nov. 10 after 20 years at the Duke Lemur Center. The star lemur died of kidney failure earlier this month but leaves behind a legacy as a playful friend and caring father. His death led to an outpouring of sympathy on social media—with many teens and twentysomethings sharing fond memories of the lemur's days in the spotlight during their childhood... Read more

Rumors of Pegram's new therapy cat demystified

Rumors have been circulating around campus about Pegram’s new “therapy cat” named Crookshanks.

As it turns out, Crookshanks belongs to Heidi Johnson, the current Graduate Resident of Pegram.

“She was raised in the dorm so we joke about her being a certified therapy cat because she only knows dorm life and being around freshmen," Johnson said. "Crooksie loves to cuddle with the residents of Pegram and residents find the time with the cat healing and restoring."

Students often come over to her apartment for “cat therapy," Johnson added.

The Resident Assistants and residents of Pegram appeared to know about Crookshanks as well.

“Crookshanks is [Heidi’s] pet cat. She’s very cute. She has her own play area set up for her, and Heidi’s apartment is very homey,” said sophomore Justin Bryant, Pegram’s first floor RA. “I don’t think Crookshanks is our ‘therapy cat.’ I’m pretty sure she’s just like, Heidi’s cat."

Bryant mentioned that Johnson once held an event where residents got to meet Crookshanks... Read more

HackDuke: hacking for social good

Duke's 24-hour hackathon–HackDuke–took place this past weekend.

From Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon, students from across the nation collaborated with software engineers from tech companies and other members of the community to build proofs of concepts that aim to improve society, said senior Ashley Qian, the lead co-organizer of HackDuke 2014.

"[HackDuke] is the largest collegiate hackathon for social good in the nation," Qian said.

This weekend, CIEMAS–where the event was located–was filled with hundreds of students, who scrutinized their screens intently, brainstormed ideas and spoke with representatives from well-known software companies.

Teams of up to four students came together to address this year’s tracks of impact: inequality, education, health and wellness, and energy and the environment. Students of all skill levels were welcome to participate.

As a potential Computer Science major, freshman Richard Law felt that getting involved in HackDuke was a fun way to supplement his understanding of the field... Read more

Polls: Which professor should you take?

Chronicle Graphic by Georgia Parke
Spring registration is upon us. It's often said that the choice of a course instructor is more important than the choice of the course itself. Registration has been delayed for a weekend, leaving more time to fine-tune one's bookbag contents. Below is a list of common courses and the professors teaching them next semester. If you have taken any of the classes or professors, vote and help other students make the right decisions when it comes to scheduling this Spring… before it's too late.
MATH 111
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