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Q&A with Heather Smith

(02/29/12 5:00am)

Two days before the North Carolina presidential primary and vote on the Amendment One same-sex marriage referendum May 8, an early voting site is coming to campus. President of Rock the Vote Heather Smith, Trinity ’98, believes this is a step in the right direction toward encouraging youth to vote. Smith, who has directed the nonprofit voter registration organization for about six years, visited campus Tuesday to speak with students about political involvement. The Chronicle’s Lauren Carroll sat down with Smith to talk about the importance of the youth vote at Duke and across the nation.

Duke Law and China

(12/02/11 10:00am)

Deciding between Duke and Columbia University for law school was a tough choice for Gao Xiqing, Law ’86. His phone rang several times a day for about a week with calls from the dean at Columbia. But Gao, now the president of the China Investment Corporation and a member of Duke’s Board of Trustees, had a full-ride scholarship waiting for him at Duke, as well as beautiful landscape and beautiful girls, he said. He ultimately chose Duke because of Durham—he thought it was a place where Chinese students could be free-thinking without oversight. Wanting to be completely immersed in American law and culture, Gao thought there would be too many Chinese people in New York City for him to achieve that at Columbia. “After [the Cultural Revolution], we were still in fear of being reported by people,” Gao said. “There might be students who were spies for the government, and any free thinking we had would be reported back.”

Thanksgiving Soundoff

(11/28/11 10:00am)

Although many students fled home to enjoy the Thanksgiving break with their families, an assortment of athletes, international students and others remained at Duke. There were several events for the few who stayed on campus, such as Thanksgiving dinner at the Refectory Cafe at the Divinity School and a bus trip to Southpoint mall on Black Friday. Still, the campus was practically silent since the break began Tuesday—some called it eerie, and others said it was a welcome respite from the University’s typically rushed atmosphere. The Chronicle’s Lauren Carroll spoke with students about their experiences at an almost-empty Duke.