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Duke’s decision to reopen could cost lives

(07/28/20 4:42pm)

A few months after I was born, I developed a cough and a low fever. My parents brought me to a pediatrician, who told them it was just a cold and not to worry. Unbeknownst to that doctor, I had contracted respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). RSV is a common virus that infects many newborns without much issue, but in about half a percent of cases, it leads to life-threatening pneumonia and bronchitis. Less than a day after that doctor visit, my face was pale, my breathing was shallow and my fever was well over 101 degrees. By the time my mother arrived at the emergency department, my breathing was a faint, whining wheeze. As she carried me inside, my respiration was so severely inhibited that my chest was collapsing—rather than inflating—every time I drew a breath. I was in such dire condition that, immediately after she ran through the doors, a nurse ripped me from my mother’s arms and started emergency CPR.


Workers deserve a better response

(04/13/20 4:00am)

Last Friday, I made a phone call to President Price. I left him a message, and then made another call to Provost Kornbluth. Dozens of my friends and colleague grad workers did the same. The Duke Graduate Students Union, Duke Contract Workers United, the Duke Faculty Union, Concerned Duke Alumni and other allies held a phone zap targeting Duke administrators to demand fair and safe working conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to Price and Kornbluth, we called Executive Vice President Trask, Vice President Cavanaugh and a few other decision-makers in support of a simple demand: to guarantee full pay for all workers, including subcontracted workers and grad workers, for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Trump labor policies will hurt grad students—and the University

(10/10/19 4:00am)

As a graduate student and organizer with the Duke Graduate Students Union (DGSU), when I heard about a rule change proposed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that would prevent undergraduate and graduate students from being considered employees, I felt sick. But the decision should also turn the stomachs of everyone who cares about workers or is an ally to labor.