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It’s election season at Duke. The spring marks a seemingly never-ending campaign cycle, beginning with the announcement of the Young Trustee finalists earlier this week, and concluding with waves of Duke Student Government races. Despite the exhaustion that accompanies aggressively business casual Facebook newsfeeds and multiple rounds of endorsement meetings, these elections are important, because they an opportunity for Duke students to articulate their views and values through representation. Elected representatives provide remarkable value during their time at the university, helping to incrementally move the needle to improve the broader community of which they are a part. Students might be transient, but their impact on campus structures can be long-lasting.
Winter has come, which at Duke can mean only one thing—it’s finals season.
With Turkey Day just around the corner, “giving thanks” is a sentiment echoing in Duke’s halls. We’re thankful for the end of midterms, for a respite from school, for good food and even better friends. But such thanks—while important, and in the case of exams, much needed—is transient. Thanksgiving is fundamentally a reflection on community: on celebrating the people around us and the values that bring us together.
For many undergraduates, the onset of summer recruiting marks the beginning of the season of student discontent on college campuses. The pay and prestige of internships exerts a gravity that pulls the student body into auditoriums for info sessions and Vondy for coffee chats. Networking is a kind of social Olympics—one where students suit up, smile and compress college experiences into bite size stories perfect for conversation starters or interview responses. Each answer we give ties back to a fundamental question that everyone at Duke is trying to answer—are we good enough?
“The Community Standard is kind of like a dark prison tower–we don’t really know what it is, and we can never look inside the guardhouse [Conduct Board] to see who’s watching”.
Past, present, and future all converge today on Founders’ Day, as we remember the Duke family’s role in our university’s origins while ushering in a new era under the leadership of President Price. Anniversaries such as these are quirks of the human imagination–we remember a past that we’ve never experienced, while collectively celebrating a future that has yet to arrive.
On testing day, cramped lecture halls too often smell like desperation and the sweatpants you wore to Perkins the night before. Nothing exacerbates pre-test panic like the clusters of nervously overconfident students all around you. In a perfect world, students could be trusted to take tests online where they feel most comfortable. While at Duke, a student might stumble into the very rare, but totally real, class that hosts its closed-note tests online, allowing students to work when and where they feel most comfortable.
“Community” is the motto for the college experience. By now, freshmen at Duke will have been inundated with calls from Duke’s various communities— to apply to professional societies, to try out for singing groups, to run for elected office, to prepare to rush the campus social scene. The groups that comprise our college experience have a powerful impact on our identities. Just consider how we introduce ourselves to one another: “Hi, my name is <X>, I’m from <Y>, I’m majoring in <Z>, and I live with <ABC> group.” We want the world to know us for who we are and who we are not. Marking ourselves by the communities we inhabit—from academics (major), to origin (hometown), to social circles (living groups)—allows us to create points of convergence with and separation from the people around us.
It is with great enthusiasm that Duke University Honor Council endorses Jackson Dellinger for President of Duke Student Government. While Honor Council members were pleased with Riyanka Ganguly’s emphasis on communication and community building, Jackson stood out with his strong visions for beneficial change and a successful background to back up his claims.
After interviewing both candidates, the Duke University Honor Council would like to formally endorse Tucker Albert for the position of Duke Student Government President. While we were impressed by Keizra Mecklai’s strong presence and vision, we believe that Tucker’s accomplishments with DSG and focus on social responsibility will make him an excellent advocate for Honor Council and leader for our student government.
Of the three candidates running for Young Trustee, the Duke Honor Council would like to formally endorse Anna Knight. We admired David’s well roundedness and ability to represent diverse students from his leadership experiences and believed Nikolai would successfully accomplish items while on the Board of Trustees. However, because of Anna’s background in academic integrity, clear passion to advocate on behalf of students and insightfulness into the nuanced issues on campus, we are confident that Anna Knight would best represent our student body in a strong yet professional manner.