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Ban laptops in class

(02/27/13 9:46am)

Virtually every student has found herself in the following situation: A professor is trying to stimulate an in-depth conversation in a small seminar class but ends up talking to a dozen students with their eyes cast down at their computers. This scenario is also common: A large lecture where half of the students are browsing on Facebook, leaving the other half—who, because of auditorium seating, are distracted by their peers—frustrated and inattentive.

Writing for all

(02/25/13 9:51am)

The use of websites and blogs to promote social and political causes has gained traction on campus. The Women’s Center’s Develle Dish blog, HerCampus and the editorial pages of The Chronicle are just a few examples of places where students are able to openly share opinions. With its new Write(H)ers program, the Women’s Center seeks to extend knowledge of effective use of media and communications strategies to undergraduates interested in feminism. In doing so, the program seeks to capitalize on the growing importance of media activism.

Keep life random

(02/22/13 11:16am)

In just a few months, the school year will be over, and students across campus will leave Duke for the summer. For many students, summer is a time spent taking jobs or internships, traveling across the country or abroad or taking classes. But for Duke’s newest incoming class, summer is a time spent preparing for the first semester of college. Between the pressures of choosing their first college classes, preparing to live away from family and celebrating the end of high school, rising freshmen have a lot to do. But one of the most anxiety-inducing aspects of preparing for life at Duke is waiting to receive the freshman year roommate assignment.

A worthy co-major

(02/21/13 9:26am)

Casting itself as a leader in interdisciplinary and problem-oriented education, Duke has spent the last several years rethinking the form and function of its undergraduate offerings. The proposed global health co-major, among other potential and realized curricular changes, reflects Duke’s desire to tap into the excitement and educational possibilities of emerging fields, while signaling a shift away from traditional pedagogies toward more experiential and socially informed learning.

Does it fit the bill?

(02/20/13 10:17am)

Earlier this month, Duke students voted to pass the Duke Student Government bill of rights. The bill was meant to create a standard, unifying legislative bedrock for DSG that would create consistent mechanisms by which students could seek redress for rights violations without going to a state or federal court.

The right question to ask

(02/18/13 9:11am)

Financial aid is an easy policy not to question: Through fuzzy rhetoric like “100 percent need-blind” and “improving affordability,” colleges and universities often skirt close scrutiny of their programs. The reality is more complicated: While financial aid is important to Duke and its peers, the decisions behind it are complex and, in many instances, controversial. In this two-part editorial, we explore some salient and divisive questions regarding financial aid. Today, we look at implications for international students, and Tuesday we will explore impacts on different socioeconomic classes. While we do not claim to have any clear solutions, it is important to crystallize the decisions being made and what they imply about the University’s priorities.

A balanced policy

(02/15/13 11:09am)

Public policy studies is consistently one of the most popular majors in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. In light of Kelly Brownell’s appointment as the new dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy, we would like to investigate the success of Duke’s undergraduate public policy curriculum.

Crazie for love

(02/14/13 12:09pm)

Last week was One Sexy Week for Duke, and Cupid has struck the Editorial Board with his arrow, for we have decided to take on a softer, fuzzier, but nonetheless important topic for today’s editorial. Of course, love should not be confined by the restrictions of our corner of the editorial pages, but we hope to deconstruct the state of romance on our beloved campus in honor of St. Valentine’s Day.

A fresh perspective

(02/12/13 10:24am)

This year we have seen remarkable instances of freshmen boldly and publicly making their opinions known as commentators for The Chronicle, precocious candidates for elected positions and creators of new campus initiatives. Certain freshmen have made controversial claims, garnering tremendous criticism from their fellow students. Some criticism was warranted; respectful critique of public ideas has always furthered Duke discourse. However, some criticism devolved to personal attacks, especially based on the opiner’s age. This type of criticism is inappropriate and, moreover, hurts dialogue. Being a freshman does not preclude one from participating in debates about Duke issues. In fact, it brings a fresh and needed perspective to the table.

Liberal arts for all

(02/11/13 10:33am)

In a radio interview last month, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory vowed to change the way the state funds higher education in its public universities and community colleges. Through directing funds to fields that supposedly offer better employment prospects, McCrory desired to shift away from fields that offer “no chances of getting people jobs.” He cast the responsibility of teaching these disciplines—specifically singling out gender studies and Swahili—to private institutions, stating, “If you want to take gender studies, that’s fine. Go to a private school, and take it... I don’t want to subsidize that if that’s not going to get someone a job.” Like many public university students across the state, we strongly disagree with the extremity of McCrory’s comments and the role it implies for private universities such as Duke.

A new level of uncertainty

(02/08/13 9:44am)

Duke Kunshan University has been a project mired in obscurity from the very beginning. However, as faculty became more forceful in voicing their concerns, the academic development of DKU became transparent. But this transparency in academic structure has left another aspect of the project in the shadows—discussion of the physical development of the campus.

More practice rooms needed

(02/07/13 9:30am)

We commend Duke University’s efforts toward promoting arts on campus. Music, dance and theater positively impact University culture. But more important than putting on weekly concerts and productions for students to observe is ensuring that students can participate directly in the arts themselves. The accessibility of music practice rooms on campus restricts the ability of students to improve and disenchants casual musicians. When one considers that Duke offers classes that require students to practice regularly, the problem becomes increasingly pertinent.

Implicit racism is still racism

(02/06/13 11:18am)

Drawing students bearing kimonos and calculators, Kappa Sigma fraternity’s Asia Prime party is the most recent in a long line of insensitive party themes conjured up by groups at Duke. Although very few, if any, Duke students harbor explicitly racist views, pervasive sexist, racist and otherwise disrespectful party themes remind us that insidious forms of prejudice operate in the absence of overt racism and that our community continues to suffer from norms that allow this unseen prejudice to persist.

For YTNC consideration

(02/05/13 11:50am)

A popular game in the last few years has been to declare what the role of the Young Trustee is. One answer has become obligatory: The Young Trustee does not represent undergraduate students—he or she merely provides the perspective of an undergraduate to the Board. Obviously, most of the attempts at play ring hollow, since it is not at all clear what line separates representatives from those who supposedly bring perspective.

Re-evaluate YTNC

(02/04/13 11:54am)

The Young Trustee Nominating Committee was founded to amend a process once conducted internally by Duke Student Government, which had previously helped many of its members become Young Trustees. The YTNC was founded on two main principles: First, DSG should not monopolize the Young Trustee selection process and, second, some committee is necessary to screen out unqualified applicants who might otherwise be elected by the student body.

Was it worth it?

(02/01/13 9:16am)

As everyone comes back from breaks, the usual question-and-reply routine (“How was your break?” “Good, too short”) begins, but after winter break, one question, specifically geared towards the hundreds of students who have returned from a fall semester abroad, is also asked: “Where did you go?”

Critique Duke

(01/31/13 9:20am)

Duke is a school renowned for its spirit. From the much-lauded Cameron Crazies to the strong alumni network, the University is seen as a place where people can receive an excellent education while also having fruitful social, academic and community interactions. However, this rose-colored perception of Duke can be a double-edged sword as it leads to an ignorance of the things that can have a negative impact on one’s college experience.