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Letter to the editor

I worked closely with Tallman Trask III as both Duke Student Government President and a three-year Chronicle columnist. As someone who knows him, I write to convey my heartfelt disbelief that Tallman said the things reported by The Chronicle Monday.

I could say he is not racist. He is not and never once betrayed any prejudice to me, including behind closed doors in the darkest hours of the Lacrosse Scandal. I could say he is not malicious. He is warm-hearted and decent; no one cares more about Duke or the Durham community, both of which he has devoted a great deal of his professional life to building. I could also say he cares deeply for the well-being of service employees at Duke; ask those who were guests at his wedding.

I will instead emphasize what you’d know the moment you met Tallman: the alleged remarks don’t match his wit, his demeanor, or his voice. He is too pithy for most adjectives, let alone lame and repetitive ones. He is certainly capable of clever barbs—frankly, far too capable to say anything that is both so heinous and so unimaginative. It’s not him.

I hope the Chronicle has kept in sufficient touch with the University’s leaders to inform its reporting with both familiarity and perspective.

Elliott Wolf
Trinity ‘08

President, Duke Student Government, 2006-2007
Columnist, The Chronicle, S2005, F2005, S2006, F2007, S2008


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