Sunday Secrets feature Duke submission referencing self-harm

Special to The Chronicle
An anonymous submission revealed suicidal thoughts in an entry on Sunday. is a website aimed at bringing awareness to issues that are typically ignored due to social stigma. The website is a collection of secrets written on anonymous post cards that are mailed in from around the country.

The postcard showed a picture of the Duke Chapel and read, "Sometimes I wish I had the courage to jump off the top of this chapel. I'd ask for help but no one actually cares. No one actually understands. Everyone is self absorbed in their own lives."

The post garnered many email responses from readers of PostSecret offering support. One response came from a Chapel Hill resident who urged the anonymous poster to stay safe and seek out suicide prevention in the area... Read more

Some DSG candidates struggle with attendance

Some vice presidential candidates struggle with attendance at DSG meetings.
Chronicle Graphic by Elysia Su

Some vice presidential candidates struggle with attendance at DSG meetings.

The Duke Student Government vice presidential and senatorial elections are April 10.

Some of the 12 candidates running for election as vice presidents have struggled with attendance in their current positions.

Junior Nikolai Doytchinov, executive vice president, has previously expressed concern about the increasingly poor attendance at DSG Senate meetings.

“When senators skip, DSG loses its input, and constituents lose representation,” Doytchinov previously told The Chronicle.

Title 2, Sections D and E of the DSG Constitution state "two unexcused absences result in bad standing" and "three unexcused absences can result in removal from the Senate."

In order for an absence to be excused, a senator must email the EVP before the meeting with the reason for the missed meeting... Read more

Symposium unites science and religion in harmony

Fields often pitted against each other came together peacefully over the weekend.

The first Duke-UNC Religion and Science Symposium was held at the Mary Biddle Duke Trent Semans Center Saturday to explore the intersection between the two fields. A team of approximately 10 students from Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill organized the daylong event with a grant from the Kenan-Biddle Partnership.

“It started with conversations with other students where a lot of use were studying religion or were very religious and were also pursuing scientific knowledge and there was this sort of division, not necessarily in our religions or beliefs, but in how it was articulated in other areas,” said sophomore Abdul Rahman Latif, one of the main organizers and a Robertson Scholar.

Many of the students involved with planning the event are pursuing majors and minors that combine formal study of religion and scientific disciplines... Read more

'Suspicious package' downtown investigated by bomb squad, deemed benign

A laptop and a suitcase were no match for an 800-pound bomb-detecting robot in downtown Durham this afternoon.

A suspicious object in a planter by the NC Mutual Life Building on West Chapel Hill Street in Durham was investigated by a bomb squad and robot, who discovered it to actually be a suitcase containing clothes and laptop.

The investigation closed off part of West Chapel Hill Street and a section of Duke Street Monday afternoon to allow for a remotely operated robot to safely approach the planter, according to the Durham Sheriff's official Twitter account. A member of the bomb squad then approached the "suspicious package," which was near the police headquarters. People inside the NC Mutual Life building were evacuated and moved to a nearby building.

Luckily, the scare was over when the team found no explosives in the package that turned out to be a benign suitcase. An all-clear was issued at approximately 4:15 p.m. and the streets were subsequently reopened... Read more

Cumings asserts Korean War never ended

Historian and author Bruce Cumings spoke at the Asian Pacific Studies Institute’s forum, "Paradox of the Post-Cold War in Asia: Korean War and Beyond," last Friday.

Cumings is the Gustavus F. and Ann M. Swift Distinguished Service Professor in History and chair of the history department at the University of Chicago. He is an expert in modern Korean history and international relations in East Asia. Cumings spoke about the suspension of war under the Korean Armistice for more than 60 years. He said the agreement has rendered relations between North and South Korea ambiguous—neither in a state of peace nor war.

“The Korean War is the best example in our current world of how easy it is to get into a war, and how terribly hard it is to get out,” Cumings said... Read more

Water bottle filling stations to be added on campus

30 new water bottle filling stations are being installed across East and West campuses.

The water bottle filling stations manufactured by Elkay are part of an effort to increase sustainability by reducing plastic waste from disposable water bottles. The stations have a display to show how many disposable water bottles users have avoided using through filling their own bottles. The goal of these installations is to guide the University toward becoming carbon neutral by 2024.

“Before, students mainly saw these in their freshman dorms on East Campus, but they didn’t have the same opportunity when they went to classes or when they moved to West,” said junior Tristan Ballard, Duke Student Government senator for services who led the project. “Now, all these fountains are available on West Campus and at many of the most popular locations, and not only the students but professors, staff, they can use them too.”

Read more

The Whole Planet Foundation

"Microcredit ignites the tiny economic engines of the rejected underclass of society. Once a large number of tiny engines start working, the stage can be set for bigger things." -Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder of Bangladesh's Grameen Bank

It’s Sunday morning, and you shuffle across Broad Street to Whole Foods to pick up some bacon and eggs from the breakfast bar and a few groceries. When you get to the register, your cashier rings up your items and gives you your total. But the conversation doesn’t stop there, because your cashier asks you a question: “We’re investing in a future without poverty – want to help?”

This might seem like an odd question to hear at a grocery store. But at Whole Foods Market, this is simply part of the culture. Once a year, Whole Foods Market stores participate in an Annual Campaign to raise money for the Whole Planet Foundation®... Read more

Lessons Learned From the Duke Start-Up Challenge, Inside and Out

Being both a participant and a leader, I have been on both sides, learning more throughout every step along the way. I have been able to understand what it takes to be a great participant, and I have now seen what it takes to lead a fantastic Start-Up Challenge. Considering the Start-Up Challenge is, to me, one of the best resources campus has to offer, I will try my best to consolidate the lessons I have learned into just a few.

Lesson #1: Listen to all advice

Now when I say listen, I don’t mean pivot your company based on what a judge or two has told you. While you may be inexperienced, you have the passion to drive your company in the direction you see fit. That being said, getting a fresh, outside perspective from a respected, experienced alumni judge can help open up new avenues for you and get you thinking... Read more

Q&A with College Jeopardy contestant Cameron Kim

Jennie Xu / The Chronicle
It’s not every day that you get to see your fellow classmates on television. Senior Cameron Kim was recently selected to be a participant on Jeopardy’s college tournament, in which he was selected out of over 12,000 applicants. Kim, along with 14 other finalists, will be appearing in the game show tonight, February 11, at 7:00pm on ABC-11 to compete for the $100,000 grand prize. The Chronicle’s Andrew Luo spoke with Kim about his Jeopardy experience.

The Chronicle: What was your initial reaction when you found out that you would be a contestant on Jeopardy?

Cameron Kim: I was actually at a Quidditch tournament the week beforehand, and my mom was visiting me. Initially, they told us they would let us know the week before Thanksgiving. I had figured that there’s no way I’d have a shot; there were 300 of us that got to the auditions out of the 12,000 that took the test. So, it was already a difficult process, and I had it out of my mind a little bit at this point... Read more

Breaking the Status Quo

At the Duke Start-Up Challenge, we encourage innovation throughout every step of the process. We encourage our entrants to create out of the box, crazy ideas; we encourage our judges to push our participants to break the mold and make their ideas even better; and internally, we constantly look inside to see how we can improve upon ourselves and how we can make the process better. Each week, we meet to discuss not only what we need to do now, but we take a step back and look at the big picture, which is often neglected in all different kinds of processes.

This year, we are doing things a bit differently. Rather than have a big Grand Finale in April, we want to encourage people to start businesses that they will continue with. Generally, we see a few businesses make it out of the competition, but by using a Read more