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Letter to the editor

Let me tell you a story about emails.

I was given an official email to use for my work after I became the Vice Chair of my group. I started using this email 24/7 to help students with funding. Slowly the line between work life and personal life became blurred. My classmates started sharing group projects with this email, my close colleagues and friends started sending quick personal messages through this email. I started to think that email was really mine.

Then in the whirlwind of campaigning to become the Chair for my group, I didn’t think twice about campaigning using that email. I thought I did nothing wrong, but I was mistaken.

As the Vice Chair of SOFC Programming Fund, I sent some campaign emails using my SOFC Programming Fund account to students that I’ve worked with. I should not have done that because it was unfair to campaign with an email that has “SOFC” in its name. I see now that it can easily be perceived as a misuse of my authority as the Vice Chair. It was a very foolish mistake, and I accept that I should pay dearly for it.

I’m sorry to everyone who voted for me in the elections. I will no longer serve as SOFC Chair 2016-2017, but I believe Alexa will do a great job. I’m especially sorry to Alexa for unintentionally making our playing field uneven. I promise that it was not an deliberate act but a momentary lapse in judgment.

Beyond extending my apologies, I would also like to thank many wonderful people that have helped me in the appeal process.

Thank you to all the campaign email recipients who sent me statements of support for the appeal. I really appreciate your kind words of encouragement. Thank you to all of my friends and loved ones who enveloped me with positive energy through the rough times. You gave me the courage to be brave. Thank you especially to Jennifer Colton who acted as my representative for the appeal. You are a superstar, and the McFlurry we had after the hearing was divine.

I intend to continue serving on SOFC in the year to come. SOFC is my biggest passion at Duke. I love the work I do with the committee, and I love helping students to get the funding they deserve. This personal mistake should not stop me from participating in such a worthy cause, and it won’t. I very much look forward to working with the SOFC members of 2016 and 2017.

TL;DR, Bernie said it best: "the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your  emails!"

So I will end this here. Thank you for reading!

Gwen Geng

Trinity '18


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