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Duke’s COVID-19 response reflects a broader disregard for graduate students

(03/19/20 4:00am)

Duke University’s response to COVID-19 has left many with unanswered questions. On Tuesday evening, March 10, President Price sent an email declaring “all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who are currently out of town for Spring Break should NOT return to the Duke campus if at all possible.” This line left many graduate students returning from travel wondering what they were supposed to do. Sure, it made sense for undergraduates living in close quarters, but what about graduate students who live independently and are paid to work on campus? A week later, there remains much confusion, and the lack of information betrays a disconnect between Duke administration and the realities of day-to-day life for Duke’s diverse graduate student body.

Duke is all talk and no action on harassment and discrimination

(03/05/20 5:00am)

One in five graduate students experience bullying in their workplaces and one in five experience harassment. Stop and think about that. This polling suggests that 30% of graduate students have experienced bullying or harassment—most of them women and nearly half at the hands of supervisors. These numbers are more than statistics to me. Harassment and discrimination are plaguing my world as a third year graduate student in Pharmacology and Cancer Biology (PCB) at Duke. Since leaving my research laboratory due to harassment and hearing similar stories from too many of my peers, it has become abundantly clear to me that Duke University’s current policies are insufficient to prevent harassment and discrimination.