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Duke doesn’t want me. Neither does my home.

(09/22/22 4:00am)

I live in a city known only to the world for its women’s prison that inspired Orange is the New Black and its sewage plant that memorializes the still-alive comedian John Oliver. Danbury, Connecticut—squared away in New England’s westernmost border—is virtually unknown to the Duke public, granting me an iota of something squarely mine on a campus teeming with commonalities.

Experiential orientation proposes an equity issue

(09/08/22 4:00am)

In the weeks prior to my early move-in, I had somehow managed to convince myself that I was on the cusp of a great journey by the name of “Experimental Orientation.” The only problem was that I had vastly misread every email I received about my upcoming two weeks at Duke. Said journey, turns out, was actually titled “Experiential Orientation.” Yet, as I packed up my belongings with an absence of information on scheduling and what my program even stood for, I realized that “experimental” was a far more appropriate description of what was to come.

Duke University and I have a deal. We’re both failing to uphold our side of the bargain.

(03/22/22 4:00am)

It’s no secret that universities don’t open their doors to students out of the goodness of their hearts. They’re not public schools operating for the sole purpose of providing an education to relevant individuals. Instead, universities are the hub of their mercantile relationships with students, where an education and recognized credentials are offered in exchange for money, publicity and student-led advancement. 

Tales from my “Inopportune Week of Wellness”

(01/24/22 5:00am)

During the last weeks of any semester, I have a documented history of replacing my crucial habits of sleeping, eating and showering with a steady diet of studying, studying and more studying. My communication with any other living being is limited, leaving me largely at odds with Duke’s flourishing social scene. In an effort to combat these patterns of time, I made the executive decision to dedicate one hour every day of the last week of classes to a mindful activity—a decision I retroactively dub as my “Inopportune Week of Wellness.” 

The Duke Difference: A tradition of admin refusing to listen to students and staff

(12/07/21 5:00am)

Over the course of my first semester at Duke, I’ve grown to realize just how important maintaining tradition is to the administrative body. I’m talking about traditions beyond the blue and white and black colors that paint our school at face value. I’m talking about the historical pattern of Duke’s administration ignoring the needs and requests of their students and faculty, which persists today.

Lessons from the protests at Howard University

(11/08/21 5:00am)

On October 26, the Asian Students Associations, Mi Gente, Duke Diya, the Asian American Alliance, Asian American Studies Working Group at Duke University, ASEAN and Mobilizing Asian Students Together released a letter in conjunction with DSG’s Equity and Outreach Committee calling out the administration for ignoring student concerns about the lack of accessible cultural spaces on campus and instead deciding to move the Career Center into the Bryan Center. The letter is formed on the foundation of decades-old demands for improved cultural spaces on campus—particularly for Asian, Latino, Black and Indigenous students, as well as students with disabilities. The letter is formed on the foundation of decades-old demands for improved cultural spaces on campus—particularly for Asian, Latino, Black and Indigenous students, as well as students with disabilities—just as the Howard University’s recent Live Movement was formed on decades-old demands for improved residential structures within Howard University dorms. And just like the Live Movement recognized the need for student advocacy in student spaces, the letter ended by recognizing that the “Bryan Center is a center for students, and as such, student voices and agency should be at the forefront of how this space is utilized.” 

QuadEx has some explaining to do to this concerned first-year

(10/11/21 4:00am)

When the QuadEx concept was publicly announced on September 15th, I knew that I would be both out of five dollars and in a state of confusion for the rest of my fall semester. Beyond having lost a bet on whether the whisperings of a residential dismantlement were real, I also faced buyer’s uncertainty on what I was being sold on: “The future of residential living and learning at Duke.”

Shifting LGBTQ+ identities are not attention-seeking but a necessary step to self-discovery

(09/13/21 4:00am)

If you were to walk into the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity here at Duke, you’d probably hear a joke common to the LGBTQ+ community in which an individual will claim to have been “every gender” or “every sexuality under the sun.” The statement is, of course, hyperbolic in nature and meant to poke fun at the ever-shifting course of identity that occurs when queer people undergo a journey of sexual or gender discovery. However, to outsiders of the community, such a joke provokes confusion and contributes to the impression that LGBTQ+ identities are fleeting, choosable and unreal.