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Securing the area, no hysteria

(08/28/13 8:17am)

News of the robbery between Bostock and Perkins libraries this past Sunday has quickly spread across campus, alarming administrators and students alike. Their concern is understandable, as the location and time of the crime call into question the security of the entire campus. Although administrators and the Duke University Police Department should act to prevent future robberies, we caution against reactionary measures that either unnecessarily restrict campus activity or fail to directly address the problem at hand.

Students should fight Voter ID law

(08/27/13 7:15am)

If you blinked this summer, you may have missed the North Carolina legislature’s push to revise policies on hot-button issues ranging from Medicaid to abortion. The legislature nestled its aggressive leap to the right in bills about Sharia law and motorcycle safety, drawing wide criticism and spawning the Moral Mondays protests. But of the issues that received attention this summer, Duke students should be particularly concerned about the new voter identification laws that threaten to undermine student involvement in politics.

Reconstructing Duke

(08/26/13 4:37am)

As students pour onto campus for the first day of classes, they will find themselves in the middle of a massive effort to rebuild and reconfigure the University. They will confront administrators, professors and students hard at work dismantling old structures, retooling existing ones and creating a set of novel institutions and policies that promise to dramatically reshape the physical, intellectual and social character of the school. Although projects like the West Union renovations stand out, many of Duke’s structural changes are less conspicuous, stemming not from changes in official policy but from shifts in our intellectual and social culture.

Prioritize faculty input

(04/29/13 6:36am)

Although discussions about the purpose of higher education continue, the debate over for-credit online courses has, for the time being, ended. Last week 75 professors penned a letter to The Chronicle in which they criticized Duke’s partnership with Internet Education Company 2U. Last Thursday the Arts and Sciences Council voted down the proposal to offer for-credit online courses.

DukeEngage should avoid growth

(04/23/13 8:25am)

In two short weeks, students will finish the academic year and leave campus. Although many students will spend their summers lazing in the sun, enjoying the company of friends, taking a class or participating in an internship, others will embark on a trip sponsored by DukeEngage. The recent release of the program’s new strategic plan warrants another look at DukeEngage’s role in students’ lives.

Open the door for innovation

(04/18/13 8:32am)

According to some professors, Duke’s overly restrictive intellectual property policies are hampering the University’s ability to achieve its full entrepreneurial potential. A portion of Duke’s Policy on Inventions, Patents and Technology Transfer allows the University to collect 50 to 75 percent of the net profit made off of faculty or student inventions that are made with institutional resources. Although questions surrounding Duke’s intellectual property policies are complex, a liberalized policy that demands less in royalties is both fairer to innovators and in the best interest of the University.

Toward a better Southside

(04/16/13 8:18am)

A new project aims to revitalize Durham’s Southside neighborhood through a partnership between the Duke and City of Durham. The Southside Housing Incentive Program allows University and University Health System employees to purchase housing in Southside through subsidized costs and forgivable loans from Duke for use on the down payment. We commend the University and Durham for this collaboration, which addresses the needs of both communities.

Rethink online courses

(04/15/13 7:17am)

At last week’s Arts and Sciences Council meeting, faculty members voiced concerns about Duke’s proposed Semester Online—a consortium program with other universities in which students can take online courses for credit. Although the issues identified by faculty members reflect legitimate anxieties about the future of higher education, the discussion recapitulated a familiar debate about whether a prestigious university should offer online courses for credit. Given the rapid propagation of online courses, we are no longer convinced that considering the issue in this way makes sense and believe the Duke community ought to rethink the debate about online education to better address the growing popularity of online courses.

Small steps

(04/12/13 6:42am)

In what may be a growing trend in higher education, colleges across the United States are seeking new ways to teach creativity to their students. Stanford University now requires that freshmen satisfy a creativity requirement, indicating an increased appreciation for the practical, societal and personal benefits of creative thinking. While creativity is an inherently valuable attribute and a central tenet of liberal arts education, it is extremely difficult to integrate creativity into curriculum.

Reform sexual assault sanctions

(04/11/13 8:37am)

Developments in the Duke Student Government elections have brought sexual assault policy back into the limelight. We do not have the facts to come to any conclusions about the recent controversy and will not attempt to do so. Instead, we would like to comment more broadly on our University’s conduct policy. Far worse than simply fostering controversies, the sexual assault policy—specifically, the sanctions doled out to perpetrators—raises serious safety concerns.

Vote Li for academic affairs, Tobia for equity and outreach

(04/10/13 9:16am)

Academics are the epicenter of a university. From advising to intellectual climate, the Duke Student Government committee for academic affairs addresses a broad range of important policies that have significant consequences for all students at Duke. Therefore, the vice president for academic affairs must not only have a firm grasp on the educational issues that are important to students and faculty, but also possess a broader conceptual understanding of the relationship between academic policy and the liberal arts institution.

Rhodes, Zionce ready for second terms

(04/08/13 7:32am)

The breadth of topics impacting students at Duke extends far beyond the purview of any individual student leader. Annually, Duke Student Government is confronted with challenges in an array of discrete yet interlocking spheres, many of which impact students in tangible ways. To effectively represent the student body, DSG requires a cadre of engaged vice presidents committed to understanding the intricacies of their committee’s core issues. They must work to engender a broader awareness of how these issues impact students, while also connecting their own projects to the mission of DSG as a whole.

An unfair advantage

(04/05/13 8:21am)

A recent Chronicle article suggests that Duke undergraduates have an advantage when applying to the University’s professional schools. If this is the case, then Duke is one of many universities with elite graduate programs that admit large numbers of undergraduates from both their own institution and other top-ranked colleges. While this phenomenon is not particularly shocking and can be attributed in part to the high-quality education that these top colleges provide, we question whether Duke’s tendency to admit its undergraduates at high rates is fair or healthy.

Open the door for safety

(04/04/13 9:09am)

Universities have a responsibility to ensure that their students are safe, and their conduct policies should reflect that responsibility. Recently, some at Duke have challenged the efficacy of the University’s alcohol policy, contending that it fails to promote safety and is inconsistently enforced. Moreover, students have expressed concern that the language of the policy does not align with its implementation. Although Duke claims to prioritize harm reduction, students are not always left with this impression, and many perceive administrators to dole out punishments unpredictably and unfairly. In today’s editorial, we identify some of the problematic features of the current alcohol policy and explore ideas that might improve it.