The Durham and Regional Affairs Committee of Duke Student Government realizes you live in Durham—but we want to make it your home. Here’s who we are and what we’re doing to improve Duke’s engagement with Durham and North Carolina.
We’re a group of ten fun, flirty individuals working to burst your bubble. Fun fact: we’re the youngest committee in DSG.
We oversee policy and programming concerning student and university engagement in the city of Durham and the state of North Carolina.
Voter Outreach and Education
The most obvious way to engage with the community around us is getting involved in local, state and national politics—which is why DSG zeroed in on voting.
Because a majority of students are not native to North Carolina, we understand that more knowledge about state elections would be a crucial step in preparing for the 2016 election season. So, DSG made voter education our top priority. We created an interactive website for students to learn how to get registered, understand the early voting process, and find out more about the candidates running for office in both presidential and state races. We publicized both this information and encouraged students to get out and vote through social media platforms including our “Bleed Blue and Vote Too” Facebook and Instagram pages. Additionally, we funded Uber discounts that were essential in getting students to Devil’s Den and Election day sites to vote.
Of course, “nobody drinks alcohol at Duke,” but we’ve found indications that the Duke’s alcohol policy endangers students and forces social culture away from campus. Therefore, DSG is researching a change in policy to present to administration on this often discussed element of Duke’s social scene.
Racial Impact Assessment
In light of gentrification issues that are prevalent in Durham, we’re currently reaching out to Duke faculty and community organizations to assess how new housing policies—especially those built for graduate students and seniors—affect racial minorities.
DSG recognizes that no matter where we go to school, at the end of the day, we’re all college kids and we experience a lot of the same problems. And often, we don’t have all the answers.
Thus, we have made it our goal to reach out to our neighbor student government organizations, including UNCSGA, N.C. Central’s Student Government, and more to discuss these widespread issues as well as possible policy solutions that have worked at other universities. Moving forward, we’re looking to create a forum for interaction between student governments across American universities that allows us to share our ideas with more ease.
We’re working hard to get you out into the community. We’re identifying community organizations that need the help of Duke students and coordinating free transportation to get you there, similar to working at Duke Campus Farm. In working with Duke Partnership for Service and the Durham and Regional Affairs Office of the University, we’re also funding transportation for community service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January.
Durham Listening Tour
Through conversations with community leaders and key Duke staff, DSG is hoping to accurately assess Duke’s engagement with Durham and create ways to reform the way the University and undergraduates do service. We’re hoping to collect a ton of knowledge to share with all of you--and make service a more accessible activity for Duke undergrads.
And more, we’re tentatively planning on bringing some important community leaders to campus. Stay tuned.
DSG’s looking to publicize discounts available to students for local Durham restaurants—we just have to take a dive in our archives first.
Expanding service learning, publicizing all that Durham has to offer for Duke students, and developing a new freshman FOCUS program on Durham are all top priorities.
Reach out to us at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone and everyone can get involved in DSG’s work and develop the important relationship we have with Durham. Bring us your passion, and we’ll help you channel it. To keep up with DSG’s projects, go to dukestudentgovernment.org/projects!
Gino Nuzollilo and Akanksha Ray, both Trinity freshman, are senators of Durham and Regional Affairs on DSG.
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