Valeria has demonstrated an ambitious and expansive vision in which she deeply desires a connection with a diverse range of student groups across campus and proactive initiatives.
In tandem with calling out the atrocious behaviors of controversial speakers, we are calling on all members of the Duke community to hold the root of the problem accountable.
To exclusively value individual achievement and to dismiss the role that support networks and larger structures have played in that achievement breeds narcissism and minimizes harm.
This is not the first time we’ve seen the conflation of diseased bodies with political bodies—HIV/AIDS and Ebola were also racialized diseases that resulted in calls for travel bans.
Campaigning is a worthwhile action, but we should not consider it the most valuable or impactful. To do so would be to ignore the necessary and difficult community work of showing up for people consistently and reliably, and holding local officials accountable for deeply local issues.
As it stands, the University has abdicated almost all responsibility for community-building to students, as though independent houses and selective living groups are equally equipped with the resources to rise to the occasion.