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Last week, President Trump reaffirmed his explicit desire to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, despite his own party’s repeated unsuccessful attempts at repealing and replacing the Obama-era legislation. Through an executive order, Trump has eliminated government subsidies that were meant to ensure lower deductibles for low-income insurance holders. This blatant attack on the Affordable Care Act has highlighted the current president’s extreme proclivity for issuing executive orders—a political mechanism that he in the past has criticized Obama for supposedly overusing—to bypass congressional gridlock. While checks-and-balances as well as limits on executive power remain essential political concerns in the current Trump era, today we turn specifically to the contentious subject of his executive action: healthcare.
Last week, Jim Lucas, an Indiana state representative, drafted a controversial piece of legislation that would require journalists to obtain a license from the state police in order to work. When interviewed about it, Rep. Lucas suggested it could serve as a model for the Trump administration. While disturbingly dystopian on the surface, this notion seems more and more plausible given the president’s continued public power struggle with outlets reporting on the White House and constant beratement of so-called “fake news” that dates back to his initial bid for the presidency. From blacklisting news outlets to overseeing reviews of media subpoena policies, Trump has made it clear that the reporters holding his administration accountable have targets on their backs.
At the fall Board of Trustees meeting two Saturdays ago, Duke released its long-awaited endowment figures for the preceding fiscal cycle. As reported by DUMAC, the organization in charge of overseeing the university’s investments, Duke University’s total endowment now stands at $7.9 billion after having experienced 12.7 percent growth for fiscal 2017. Peer institutions have also reported similarly impressive endowment figures, with universities like Brown reporting a 13.4 percent annual return on its $3.5 billion endowment and Stanford reporting a 13.1 percent net investment return for its $24.8 billion endowment.
Somewhere between the Gothic Wonderland of West and the Georgian grandeur of East sits Central Campus, a collection of austere apartment blocks dotting the CCX bus route. So unremarkable is Central that apocryphally, a Duke administrator is said to have remarked: “Central Campus isn’t a campus and [isn’t] really central to anything.” On Wednesday, The Chronicle shed light on renovation plans for Central Campus, whose future remained a mystery amidst the ubiquitous construction on East and West. By the summer of 2019, Central will cease to house students, leaving its future within the university unclear. Today, we turn to the campus often forgotten between its more glamorous neighbors to envision a new housing model that will hopefully arise from the ruins of Central.
Last Tuesday, the New York Times released a shocking investigative report that implicated prominent film executive and producer, Harvey Weinstein, in countless instances of sexual abuse and harassment towards his female coworkers. Since the story broke, the list of women who have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct has grown steadily, including accusations from Angelina Jolie, Gwenyth Paltrow and Mira Sorvino. This latest disturbing incident of a powerful man using his position to harass women necessitates a reflection on the context surrounding such abuses of power. Considering the current culture of grossly unequal gender dynamics, this atrocious revelation is relatively unsurprising. It is thus paramount to recognize the societal framework and cultural norms that actively promote this type of violence against women and femmes in order to change them.
At his official inauguration last Thursday, President Price called upon the collective body of the University to renew its commitment to both progress and change in the 21st century. Central to Price’s speech was his extensive linguistic use of the Duke Forest and the metaphor of environmental succession—defined in his speech as “a natural regeneration whereby each stage of renewal prepares the land for the stage to come.” In the place of the old growth of the 20th century and Brodhead's tenure, Price emphasized the need for a new, revitalized “university in the forest,” one in which Duke will be able to tackle the many pressing societal problems of the second millennium.
Dear President Price,
Last weekend it took a single gunman the span of only nine to eleven minutes to carry out one of the nation’s deadliest mass shooting to date. In the wake of that horrifying tragedy, the country is mourning the 59 lives who were senselessly lost. Politicians and community leaders have called, like always, for comforting one another in the midst of collective grief and to stand unified against terror and carnage. However, in the days coming, it is crucial to reflect critically on the circumstances that allowed Stephen Paddock to massacre dozens of people so quickly from a hotel room. This incident is yet another tragedy that emphasizes the urgency to evaluate America’s history of bloodshed and gun violence. In addition to the immediate actions of donating blood and sending prayers to the families of victims, there needs to be a longer term plan for the future centered on policy, action and prevention. The American people can’t afford to continue accepting the narrative that these acts are unpreventable consequences of one troubled individual and that gun control is not a factor in the solution.
This Thursday, Oct. 5, Duke University will officially inaugurate its tenth president, Vincent E. Price. Signs of preparation, both for the inauguration as well as for the extravagant celebration titled “Price Palooza,” have been springing up all over campus. However, as excited as we should be about Ferris wheels and DefMo performances, we should also be aware that this historic event represents a time of reflection on ourselves as a university forging into the future. While we celebrate the inauguration, we as a community of students should also be reflecting on the goals that we have for our university under the brand-new Price administration.
Last week, the U.S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced findings from an FBI probe that have implicated four high-profile NCAA basketball programs in a web of bribery and blatant corruption. More specifically, these charges allege that certain assistant coaches as well as the executives of various sports apparel companies have paid collegiate basketball players and their families. According to the FBI, these “favors” served to pressure impressionable college players to commit to certain NBA programs as well to sign sponsorship deals once they went professional.
This past weekend, President Donald Trump took to Twitter and unleashed a barrage of unrelenting criticisms in response to San Juan mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz’s requests for increased federal aid. While allies of Trump believe that the administration has done all that is feasible in terms of aid, given Puerto Rico’s distance from the mainland United States, others have condemned the president for his dismissive attitude towards the U.S. territory. When natural disasters occur, it is only natural that we as Americans should disregard our political differences and unite behind the goal of aiding our fellow citizens no matter where they may reside. Moreover, as recently exemplified by the Trump administration’s response to Maria, however, there have clearly been instances in which the federal government’s ability to provide adequate, timely relief has been called into question.
This week, rejuvenated and enthusiastic statements of support thrusted the Duke Men’s Project back into the headlines. This Women’s Center initiative includes a nine-week program during which men are invited to openly discuss toxic masculinity and male privilege. The project aims to tackle norms of masculinity by “creat[ing] a space of brotherhood fellowship dedicated to interrogating male privilege and patriarchy.” Unsurprisingly, last year, upon pioneering the project, the Women’s Center faced backlash from major conservative news outlets like Fox News, which critiqued the program as a “place for men to gather and contemplate why they’re such horrible people.” Touted as encouraging men to assume “false” identities, the program has had its share of dissenters. Despite these criticisms, the program has returned with gusto, with more outward and public support from male leaders on campus. Today, we reaffirm our own support for a project that is both “admirable and necessary.”
Anthony Weiner, a former New York congressmen and New York City mayoral candidate, is back in the headlines after being sentenced to 21 months in prison this past Monday for exchanging sexually explicit material with a minor. Since 2011, when he was forced to resign from Congress for sharing a sexually explicit picture on his public twitter account, Weiner’s continued sexual antics have periodically captured national intrigue. Nonetheless, news in 2016 of his sexual exchanges with an underage teenage girl, a disclosure that may have indirectly cost Clinton the election, finally has led to criminal charges.
Earlier this week, Editorial Board covered Donald Trump’s personal and public assault on professional athletes and the entire National Football League for their stance on protesting during the national anthem. The bulk of this public tirade took the form of virtual attacks sent from his personal Twitter. In fact, the account has been both a battleground for numerous outlandish statements as well as a consistent leading headline in international news ever since he announced his candidacy for the White House. Twitter announcements have become such a common element of any major policy decision that it’s now relatively routine for Americans to simply check his latest online outbursts in order to see the next scandal or controversy developing. However, despite how familiar it may now seem this far into the administration, there’s an imperative to critically examine how Trump’s reckless social media use doubles as a platform for political declarations.
This past weekend, President Trump took a break from making war threats against other nations to thrust himself into discourse around sports and race by disinviting the Golden State Warriors to the White House. This came after calling on the NFL to suspend or fire players who protest the national anthem while speaking at a rally in Alabama. In a flurry of tweets, Trump launched into a condemnation of the National Football League, demanding a nationwide boycott. While this certainly isn’t Trump’s first tirade against players protesting the national anthem, the scale of his most recent public sparring match gained significant backlash from players, coaches, and even some team owners.
Ever since 2006, when The Chronicle moved to make the Editorial Board into an independent section, members have relished being able to discuss and write on topics ranging from the never-ending tuition hikes to Kendrick Lamar. With the 93rd academic year now in full swing, the Editorial Board would like to take a break from our usual commentating to instead reflect upon and highlight some of our favorite editorials from the preceding year.
As the frenzy of fall job recruiting grips campus, throngs of suit-clad, portfolio-armed Duke students have become a familiar sight. Behind the scenes, students spend hours perfecting resumes, polishing interview answers and diligently networking with company employees. The targets of these all-consuming efforts are coveted job opportunities with a handful of elite firms—predominantly within the consulting and finance industries—that recruit extensively at Duke every year.
At the U.N General Assembly on Monday, President Trump ushered in a new era of American foreign policy with a bellicose speech that, among many other things, openly mocked North Korea and called for an American prioritization within international relations. In the days leading up to the UN meeting, many within the media had speculated the political impact of Trump’s speech, which was part of an annual address given by the U.S President to welcome world leaders. Nonetheless, the impact of such belligerent language used by Trump in his speech—including a pledge to “destroy North Korea”— has been greeted with disbelief around the world. Trump’s behavior at the UN, clearly borne out of the belligerent, nationalist sentiments of his paradoxical domestic policy, represents an unprecedented moment within contemporary international relations that threatens the already strained political state of the post-Cold War era.
The University of California Berkeley campus was quite literally on fire this past February when riots broke out on campus during a planned speech by fascist and well-known agitator, Milo Yiannopoulos. Following the outrage and protests that made national headlines, two subsequent events, a planned visit by Ann Coulter—which was cancelled—and a speech by Ben Shapiro last Thursday, cost Berkeley roughly $600,000 each.
Last week, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos reaffirmed her stance on repealing the Title IX reforms made under the Obama administration. Although her statements have once again brought campus sexual assault policy back into the forefront of national news cycles, for many survivors, discussion of how universities deal with sexually-based offenses can be an everyday reality. Just in the past month, outrage took over the University of North Alabama as allegations surfaced that the school was trying to silence a student who had reportedly been assaulted by a former professor and at the University of Rochester, students threatened a hunger strike over the handling of a case of alleged misconduct from a faculty member. DeVos’ comments and the constant stream of new scandals like these are signals for a dire need to reflect on Title IX and its functionality in protecting those on college campuses.