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Letter: In defense of Brodie Gym and puppy breath

letter to the editor

Duke recently announced that they will be delaying the opening of Brodie Gym on East campus due to “staffing issues” until January after setting an earlier target date for reopening in mid-October.

I recognize that staffing shortages persist across much of the United States as we emerge from COVID and get the country back to work, but it got me to thinking, “How are these staffing shortages affecting other programs at Duke?”  Here is what I found:

Every day from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sundays from 1 – 5 p.m., and game days from 2 hours before to 1 hour after all home sporting events, you can buy a $200 Zion Williamson jersey in the fully-staffed but nearly-empty Duke University Sports Store at the Scott Family Athletics Performance Center…

but freshmen can’t work out in Brodie Gym due to “staffing issues”.

Every day from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m., you can book a tee time and play golf at the Washington Duke Inn where the golf staffing is providing by Duke Sports – the same group who presumably runs Brodie Gym - and for larger groups they will even encourage you to book conference room space and meals through the hotel…

but freshmen can’t work out in Brodie Gym due to “staffing issues”.

Any day except Saturday, Sunday and Monday, from 10a.m. – 4:45p.m. you can tour the Nasher Museum of Art and buy a crocheted pink flamingo in the gift shop…

but freshmen can’t work out in Brodie Gym due to “staffing issues”.

On Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. you can request a tour and visit with lemurs while learning about Madagascar at Duke’s world-renowned Lemur Center…

but freshmen can’t work out in Brodie Gym due to “staffing issues”.

On weekdays from 2 – 3 p.m. you can tour the Puppy Kindergarten run by Duke’s Department of Evolutionary Anthropology and get a whole year’s worth of puppy breath…

but freshmen can’t work out in Brodie Gym due to “staffing issues”.

The shocking part of these staffing inequities isn’t just that Brodie Gym is closed. It’s that freshman have to spend an hour or more traversing back and forth to West Campus riding overcrowded buses where it is virtually impossible to social distance, working out in a crowded gym where it is virtually impossible to social distance and then attending meals and classes sweaty and stinky where their classmates, even with their olfactory senses masked, undoubtedly wish they could be MORE socially distanced, all because Duke has chosen to put its staffing resources elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the multi-multi-million dollar, fifty-thousand square foot Brenda and Keith Brodie Recreation Center - right in the heart of East Campus - sits idle with its doors bolted shut.   

Open Brodie Gym Now.  

But please, also keep the puppies. Everybody loves puppies!

Dave Shepheard is a member of the class of 1991. 

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