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Don't bet against our schools

(11/29/16 5:10am)

Last Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump announced that he would nominate Betsy DeVos to serve as his Secretary of Education. A politically conservative billionaire philanthropist, DeVos has centered her career around increasing the availability of school vouchers. Although “vouchers” sound benign, they—and DeVos’ efforts to propagate them—have drawn ire from critics who hold that they fundamentally weaken the U.S. public school system.

Standing up for Standing Rock

(11/28/16 5:01am)

Since April, hundreds of protesters have marched into North Dakota to camp alongside native tribespeople in protest of the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The project is a 1,172-mile-long underground oil pipeline that will carry almost 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day from northwest North Dakota to southern Indiana. At its heart, the struggle being fought over it is one against the clout of big oil interests in our government processes and against the continued invisibility of indigenous peoples and their issues in the media.

An unsafe climate

(11/21/16 2:28pm)

In the past week and a half, President-elect Donald Trump has nominated a slew of controversial candidates to serve in his administration and cabinet. Among them is Myron Ebell, a libertarian think tank member whom Trump has selected to lead his Environmental Protection Agency transition team. Ebell’s fellow transition team members include lobbyists, former policy wonks and industry experts all bound together by a common thread—staunch denial of climate change.

Shedding our stigma

(11/18/16 5:19am)

A few weeks ago, a small art installation made of tampons and menstrual pads suspended from strings stood beside the bus stop on Abele Quad. An initiative by The Feminist Make Space, the sculpture encouraged students to pause, reflect and ask questions to combat the stigma surrounding menstrual health. In light of President-elect Donald J. Trump’s comments on breastfeeding and allusions to a reporter’s period affecting her job performance, candid conversations about women and women’s health seem particularly necessary. While cisgender women are not the only people who menstruate (some transgender men and non-binary individuals do as well), the gendered history associated with how we address menstrual health as a society foregrounds a necessity to open dialogue on campus about this topic.

​PASHion for sexual health

(11/17/16 5:43am)

On Friday, the Peer Advocacy for Sexual Health (PASH) Center opened its doors in Crowell Quadrangle’s Griffin House. Staffed by sixteen peer advocates, the center aims to provide sexual health peer counseling and pleasure products to the student body. Since its conception, it has garnered attention and controversy for its promotion of a sex positive attitude. We believe it provides an open and inclusive platform for students to discuss sex and sexual health. Its unique position as a student-driven initiative separates it from other Student Affairs programs by allowing students to cultivate their own sex health discussions, a welcome change from the rigidity with which many of us have studied the topic in the past.

A nation divided

(11/16/16 5:07am)

As last Tuesday night wore on into Wednesday morning, liberal Americans were surprised and then blindsided as an overwhelmingly expected lead for Hillary Clinton was eroded and then reversed as the numbers began rolling in for Donald J. Trump. Over the course of this past week, too much of America has gone to look in the mirror to try and find itself after the election, only to realize that it no longer recognizes what it sees.

A nation turning against itself

(11/15/16 5:06am)

In President-elect Donald J. Trump’s acceptance speech, among his messages to the country was the statement that Americans should recognize that now is the “time for America to bind the wounds of division.” Echoed in calls by pundits, officials and President Obama for a peaceful transition and the country’s support of the incoming administration, Trump’s ask challenges us to think about tomorrow.

A nation unsettled

(11/14/16 3:01pm)

Donald J. Trump is now the President-elect of the United States after an election season that divided our country like no other. No matter your political persuasion, the reality stands that last Wednesday campus fell silent. The quiet halls of buildings, the muted sounds coming from main quad and the shuffling few in the West Union all reflected the shell-shock, fear and questioning uncertainty felt by our campus community.

Restoring respect

(11/11/16 5:16pm)

Last week, the Harvard men’s soccer team was sidelined over the creation of a spreadsheet that ranked members of the women’s soccer team by attractiveness and contained sexual “summaries” of each player. The team members’ actions were widely denounced across Harvard’s campus and the broader country. Today, we explore the necessity of Harvard’s strict punishment, put the issue in broad context and examine what needs to be done further—at Harvard and at other institutions, including Duke.

In praise of DEMAN

(11/10/16 5:31pm)

Coming soon to a Duke University near you is DEMAN, the Duke Entertainment Media & Arts Network’s program. This weekend, Duke will celebrate its star alumni who have sought careers in arts and media with a celebratory event during which alums will hold events designed to expose students to their careers. The group of alumni, which will include employees of HBO, MSNBC, Fandango and Google, will serve as guides and career models for current students, looking to establish an atmosphere that celebrates the intersection of the arts and the career world.

An election to remember

(11/09/16 3:31pm)

What has arguably been an interesting election culminated today in the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America. Though many ordinary Americans, on Duke’s campus and beyond, probably wish to move on from political drama of 2016 and relegate it to the backlogs of their Facebook feeds, for others the work has just begun. With the recent presidential election now relegated to the status of “history,” political scholars and historians can now begin the process of assessing the historical and political legacy of 2016.

Level the playing field

(11/08/16 11:04pm)

Today, on election day, we stand entirely steeped in the brew of national politics as the remainder of Duke students cast their votes alongside the rest of the country. A time such as this seems the least pressing to talk about gerrymandering since congressional districts do not ostensibly relate to a presidential election, especially one as polarizing as this one. Still, today we reevaluate the tradition of gerrymandering, reminding students that even though they have cast their ballots, many necessary political conversations should continue.

Overcoming a two-party wall

(11/04/16 4:03am)

Four days. Four days remain until we pack into school cafeterias, ward offices and at Duke, the mysterious Devil’s Den, to cast votes for the next president of America. College-age students have been told this is normally a prideful affair. This year though, no one denies that things have turned poisonous. Sure, there are some of the usual healthy elements of voter enthusiasm—bumper stickers and record CNN election coverage ratings—but underneath, things are sick and turbulent. Half of Americans believe that they have no good choice for president: that one major candidate is a lout and the other a liar, and that neither of them represents their country well. Scholars have flooded discourse with explanations for how we got here, but almost all have gotten caught up in diagnosing symptoms of the problem while failing to acknowledge one of its roots—that the choice must be between Clinton and Trump—that only two parties can seriously compete to win the presidency.

Moving past Clinton

(11/03/16 12:19pm)

According to just about all of the election prediction models out there (except the one in Bill Mitchell’s mind) Hillary Clinton has a strong chance of winning the presidential election next Tuesday. After 240 years without a female president, we may finally have one. So the question looms: what does this mean for feminism? Has its ultimate goal been accomplished? Is it finally over?

No basket of deplorables

(11/02/16 4:00pm)

After a stomach-roiling election season, we are now just a few days away from Nov. 8—the day final votes are cast in mass and the American people choose their next president. On campus, most students seem to have made their electoral decision. With 75.7 percent of polled students planning to vote Clinton and only 6.4 percent recorded as Trump supporters, Duke’s population is even more blue than usual. Unfortunately, the red tinge on campus and around the country has been ferociously maligned. Trump supporters have been universally categorized and dismissed as white, poor, dumb racists—angry artifacts of politics past. Though the dismissive narrative is near ubiquitous, it lacks nuance. A large portion of Trump’s support base is the product of a complex history of racial and socioeconomic strife. It is important to dig deeper into the birth of the “Make American Great Again” crowd rather than cast them aside into a basket, because even if Trump does happen to lose next week, his supporters are not going anywhere.

​What we have forgotten

(11/01/16 4:22am)

As students visit the polls for early voting, campus is abuzz with political discussion, especially surrounding the two major party presidential candidates. However, despite the pressing issues at stake this election, we have been caught in a firestorm discussing the emails sent by one candidate and lewd and inappropriate comments made by the other. Both of these issues have severe implications for either candidate and ought to be appropriately discussed. However, during this election, sensationalized news stories have continuously overshadowed any discussions about substantive policy. Today, we remind everyone of what has been left unsaid.

​It's never just politics

(10/31/16 3:47am)

With the presidential election less than a week away, it may seem that politics has completely inundated our lives from social media to dinner discussions. Beneath the supposedly lively debates over the merits of our presidential candidates as well as the caustic vilification of them, however, lies a disturbing trend toward the depoliticization of politics from political outcome. The idea that people can separate themselves and their lives from political outcome has led to a superficial participation in the democratic process that ignores a greater political responsibility beyond just voting.

Vote Clinton for president

(10/31/16 3:51am)

Our country’s history and established tradition of progress set a threshold that all presidential candidates much reach. This threshold is defined by a standard of ethos, and in this election, only one candidate passes such a test. As a result, as The Chronicle’s independent editorial board, we endorse Hillary Clinton to be our next president. Clinton has the political resume of an able leader ready to gain office. We support such a leader but do so with reserve, lamenting our current system’s inability to produce two viable candidates for election.

A brave new bookbag

(10/28/16 4:00am)

Registration for spring semester is a few short weeks away. That likely means you’re either cherishing the new method of semi-excusable procrastination that is bookbagging or dreading digging through course guides and taking a step closer towards the post-Duke future. For second semester seniors, this iteration of bookbagging might seem particularly tedious. They have been through the process seven times before and the magic of course selection has grown dull. Their explorative freshman spark muted, many will not take full advantage of the opportunity a final semester at Duke presents.