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​Selecting a Young Trustee

(02/04/16 7:53am)

While the Editorial Board will not be endorsing a candidate for the Young Trustee election, we thought it necessary and important to take time to discuss the role of the Young Trustee as students make their decisions on who to elect. There are three Young Trustee candidates with three equally forward-looking but nuanced visions for the University. In deciding how to evaluate their candidacies, it is in our estimate vital that students first understand the role itself.

Sustaining socioeconomic diversity

(02/03/16 5:20am)

In November Duke announced its newest financial aid initiative, The Washington Duke Scholarship Program, aimed at improving the experience of first-generation students and those coming from under-resources backgrounds. We applauded Duke for looking to not only increase our student body’s socioeconomic diversity but to offer resources to the students who choose to come here. While we will have to wait for some years and more fundraising for that program to scale up, it was announced last week that Duke has become the 37th university to partner with QuestBridge—a program that allows high-achieving, low-income students to apply to a coalition of top universities with the chance to earn a full scholarship and financial and advising support along the way.

Untaming the Cameron Crazies

(02/02/16 3:59pm)

This week, the Associated Press released its first Division I men’s basketball ranking since the 2007-08 preseason poll without a ranked Duke team. This follows the women’s fall last month from its rankings for the first time since 1999. Basketball is certainly at one of its regular season basketball at Duke is at one of its lowest points in recent memory, but perhaps what is more disappointing is the lack energy displayed in Section 17 of Cameron and for sports more generally at Duke outside of pockets of enthusiasts.

An educational drinking culture

(02/01/16 5:25am)

Last week, students were relieved to hear that a new member hospitalized for an alcohol-related incident is expected to make a full recovery. Thankful as we are, we must not allow near misses of this nature to be okay. Remembering that Duke has previously lost students due to alcohol in 2000, 2010 and 2011, no rate of student deaths — even every several years — is acceptable. Our futures are far too bright to allow unhealthy drinking to make its way into student habits, putting ourselves and our peers at risk.

​Saving the lone student the long walk

(01/29/16 4:33pm)

For most undergraduates, Duke’s three campuses are supposed to be home, from waking up in twin or full XL beds to late walks back from socializing or the libraries. But in recent months, students have found themselves less than certain of their safety after a rash of crime has troubled campus from February’s armed robbery on Central Campus to just four days ago when a student was held at gunpoint in the roundabout leading up to the Chapel.

Translate student voices into change

(01/28/16 6:26am)

Earlier this week, Mi Gente published a letter in The Chronicle announcing their decision to cease working with the Admissions Office on Latino Student Recruitment Weekend. The letter also leveled complaints at campus and administrators for dismissing the needs of students of color with ten demands listed for the administration. The demands ranged from financial aid expansion for undocumented students to the creation of a Latino Studies department.

​Cracking open the Open Campus Coalition

(01/27/16 7:04am)

Last Wednesday, the Duke Open Campus Coalition published an open letter to President Brodhead in The Chronicle, requesting a meeting with the administration to “reaffirm the Duke community’s commitment to preserving ideals of reason, debate and intellectualism at Duke.” Though we appreciate and value intellectual debate and the need to have open dialogue and conversation, we find a number of fatal flaws in their arguments and reasoning.

​Promoting the humanities

(01/26/16 6:10am)

Ask most Duke first-years what they plan to major in, and pat come the replies, BME, pre-health, CS, with an assurance that betrays their being new to college. Indeed, in what comes as no surprise to most, Duke has established itself as a reputed university for those looking to dive into STEM fields and those like economics that lend themselves to sure career tracks. Yet one of Duke’s most outstanding qualities is the depth of its opportunities across a wide variety of fields. We boast not only of top-ranked medical, business and engineering schools but also highly regarded cultural anthropology, political science and literature and language departments.

​Universalizing Duke’s strengths

(01/25/16 5:18am)

Last semester, we surveyed the Imagining the Duke Curriculum committee’s first year of reflection. Halfway through this year’s phase of making proposals, the committee released its first iteration of a conceptual framework for our new undergraduate curriculum. We asked that the new curriculum “help enshrine and perpetuate the ethos of the University we see emerging: leadership oriented around thoughtful engagement with issues, incorporating different analytic approaches to solve problems.” The proposal, titled “Experience Duke, Deliberately” is a good first attempt to bring this concept—a crucial next step for our university’s maturation—into reality.

​A reminder to first-years

(01/22/16 8:45am)

As the last week of January approaches, first-years move closer to their final decisions about housing for sophomore year. Selective Living Groups have completed roughly one-third of their rush event calendars, and Panhellenic sororities and IFC fraternities are approaching bid days on Sunday and Monday respectively. As first-years comb their way through the eclectic thicket of organization personalities, many feel left behind and or anxious about their options.

​Venture into start-ups at your own risk

(01/21/16 8:23am)

Since at least 2006, the Career Center, Computer Science Department and Pratt School of Engineering have hosted TechConnect, an event that brings together students and employers to promote engineering and technical careers on campus. Over the years, this more informal career fair has grown as the tech industry has risen and started to recruit more heavily from colleges, especially in the Research Triangle. But in recent years, another choice has presented itself to those interested in technology. Alongside the traditionally featured companies like Epic, Microsoft and Google, more and more students are working on tech start-ups. With the innovation and entrepreneurship certificate, Duke Angel alumni network and start-up challenges, the push at Duke towards a more Silicon Valley-like start-up culture is undeniable. But students who are considering entrepreneurship should be cautious and not discount Duke’s traditional education or underestimate what it takes to balance full-time study with around-the-clock business projects.

Separate housing from SLG membership

(01/20/16 6:05am)

As students come back for the spring, many look forward to a semester of change. For some, there are new classes to explore and appreciate, while the gauntlet of tenting in K-Ville will be the highlight for others. Yet it is still hard to escape the atmosphere of rush. Whether students are in fraternities, sororities, other Selective Living Groups or independent, there is a palpable layer of tension, energy, anxiety and other emotions surrounding rush. Especially for first-year students, hallways become emptier, weekend get-togethers disappear and there is a sense of a change. These organizations are in the middle of their yearly rush dance to shuffle up campus housing for hundreds of students.

​Detach strings from student health care

(01/19/16 3:47pm)

In October 2014, Duke announced plans for a new Student Health and Wellness Center. The 72,000-square-foot structure brings Student Health, Case Management and other health resources together under one roof. While the new building will greatly improve student health care on campus, it fails to address a striking problem with how health care is administered on campus. Many campus providers—including the Women’s Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, and the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity—answer to and are budgeted under the Division of Student Affairs.

​Tackling the issues, not each other

(01/15/16 5:01am)

Last semester, racial tensions shook campuses across the nation, including our own, leading to forums and task forces convened to tackle the inequities stratifying our shared experiences. The Fall semester put a spotlight on underlying issues in campus conversation and how students relate to each other. Last year, Rolling Stone’s coverage of the University of Virginia brought sexual assault and case management again to the attention of students and administrators. As each event notches itself in the belt of our college experiences, we have to look forward to this semester and require not only a firm understanding of the facts but also a more robust set of attitudes and questions to explore each debate.

​What can Duke Kunshan do for you?

(01/14/16 7:08am)

Duke leadership has been working for years with Wuhan University to create a liberal arts research university in China. The product of this mission, Duke Kunshan University, is now halfway through its second year. The process of its creation has not always been a smooth one, with delayed openings, concerns about academic freedom, turnover of top leadership and discussion of the toll on Duke’s resources all featuring in skepticism of Duke Kunshan.

Take the bait

(12/04/15 8:37am)

We on The Chronicle’s independent Editorial Board have noticed a decline in our readership this semester, so we’ve decided to makes moves to boost our clicks and page views. Here’s a sample of our newest (and cheapest) tactics to lure you into reading our edits.

Reassessing historical campus figures

(12/03/15 7:34am)

On Nov.18, members of the Black Justice League at Princeton University occupied the office of the university’s president as part of a wave of college protests against racism last month. Among other items, the group demanded that Woodrow Wilson’s name be removed from memorials on campus, including from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs. These demands come on the heels of a nationwide push to rectify and appropriately reassess the legacy of historical American figures and how they have been honored with namings on college campuses throughout the country. Although the deliberations about racial and other negative aspects of institutional histories are important especially given current campus climates, it is vital that we exercise caution in moving to strip the entirety of any figure’s efforts from being recognized.

​Giving independent housing meaning

(12/02/15 7:02am)

As first-year students begin to consider housing options for next year, they have doubtless heard of the very different residential experiences of those who choose selective living groups versus those who choose independent housing. This time last year, we pointed out on the lack of agency independent students have over their residential communities compared to affiliated students. The reasons we cited then continue to contribute to the weaker sense of community in independent houses, but Duke Student Government's Academic Affairs committee offers hope as it introduces a new kind of independent housing model next fall. Located in Edens 1A, the Visions of Freedom living-learning community is a philosophy, political science and political economy-themed house. In addition to bringing together students with similar academic interests, students in the LLC will be encouraged to take a house course together and receive funding to invite guest lecturers, go on house trips and participate in faculty outings and mentorship opportunities.

​Balancing the books on divestment

(12/01/15 6:47am)

Last month, the University’s Advisory Committee on Investment Responsibility hosted a public forum to discuss with students the transparency and management of the University endowment. A central question regarding any major university’s endowment is how socially responsible its investments are. On the one hand, ACIR maintains the growth-driven interests of endowment management and that divestment may seem initially appealing but is nonetheless a complicated movement. On the other, Divest Duke voices student opinions from a national movement that divestment is both possible and effective as part of approaching a sustainable future.