March 13 marked the five-year anniversary of the party the lacrosse team hosted at its off-campus house which began a controversial and critical chapter of the University’s history. Three players were subsequently falsely accused of rape by an exotic dancer who was hired to perform at the party.
In line with the magnitude of the case, The Chronicle is marking the anniversary with an interactive timeline of the events, interviews with the paper’s former editors during the case and noteworthy photos and articles from The Chronicle’s archives.
Although no current undergraduates were students at Duke during the lacrosse case and the lacrosse house has since been demolished, the series of events that began this night five years ago is perhaps Duke’s most visible moment—though not its proudest. The lacrosse party that soon became infamous drew critical eyes to the campus, forcing the University to turn an inward eye on itself and sparked protests, numerous legal cases and a campus culture initiative.
For The Chronicle, the lacrosse case tested the abilities of college journalists who dedicated themselves to investigative and objective coverage. For some writers, like former editors Seyward Darby and Ryan McCartney, that experience defined their Duke years. The Chronicle prides itself as a learning institution as much as a watchdog for the Duke community; the lacrosse case showed a national audience that at its best it can simultaneously be both.
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