Duke Disorientation Guide 2018


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Duke Disorientation Guide 2018




Durham, North Carolina



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Welcome (back) to Duke!
This disorientation guide you 're reading is meant to give you a glimpse into
what Duke and life as a Duke student is really like beyond the glossy brochures
and carefully curated booklets. The manufactured image of Duke sold to you ,
your parents , and everyone else will likely clash with your actual experiences
and realities. You may be disappointed , discouraged , and demoralized. You may

But you should not despair. If you're looking for a starting point to understand
the contradictions and conflicts in Duke 's apparent commitments to diversity
but the ongoing racism , able ism, classism , homophobia , transphobia , sexism
that students and workers endure ; in the university 's initiatives on Durham
but its active gentrification and exploitation ; in striving to be student activists
on this Duke Planta tion built on the backs of Black and brown folks, then this
guide is a good place to start.
However , it's just a place to start. By no means is our disorientation guide com prehensive. Unfortunately , we are missing voices that address topics such as
Islamophobia , a history of Duke student activism , and undocumented students
and workers , just to name a few. There 's so much more that we wish we could
have included because the narratives not in this guide are as valid , as important ,
and as needed as the ones in the guide. NoNEOF us ARE FREE UNTIL ALL OF us ARE

We hope that by reading this , you will be encouraged to think and engage crit ically with Duke. This is a place built on stolen indigenous land , profiting off
the underpaid , underappreciated labor of mostly Black and brown workers , and
designed to groom the elite to maintain the status quos of oppression. As Duke
students , we are heirs to and often perpetrators of Duke 's legacy of institutional
and structural violence.
But we can also become part of the legacy of brave student activists here at
Duke-from the Black students who took over the Allen Building in 1969 to the
coalition of students who disrupted President Price 's speech in 2018. And we
can also become part of the Durham community with its vibrant past and pres ent of activism-from toppling a Confederate statue to banning police exchang es with Israel. There 's a reason why they say to Do It Like Durham.
The struggle to learn and unlearn and to fight against injustice seems daunting.
But you are not alone . The contributors to this guide are just a few of the many
people who you can find community , solidarity , and strength with. And we can not wait to meet you and work with you!
Duke Disorien tation Guide


table of contents

Anonymous Anti-Blackness, Institutional Inaction


Is Duke Southern?
Labor, Power, and Gentrification in and Around Duke University


A Brief History of Labor at Duke University
Know Who Funds and Manages Duke University
Mental Health in the Academy
My Own Space
Advice from an Anxious Non-Athlete Independent
East Campus
Sexual and Gender Diversity at Duke
People's State of the University
Are We Men, Women, or Family?
Oh, White Feminism


A Visa Application
Love Letter to Black Duke
Have You Eaten?
Sexual Assault
A Forgotten Pride: Navajo Identity
My Answer Was Patience
Fact Check: Duke's Climate Action Plan

94 Disability and Accessibility
96 Duke Students for Justice in Palestine
99 Common Ground
100 AAS at Duke
105 CAPS Demystified
119 Course Recs,~


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Mu1nbi M Kany ogo

Like every other institution of higher education in the US, Duke is a place
where Black people exist in a state of constant upheaval. There is never any
The fall of my first year at Duke (Fall '15) was a period during which Black peo ple were reeling from the everyday trauma of living and being on a campus that
was home to a student that hung a noose , a symbol of Black torture and mur der , and an administration that feigned powerlessness in the wake of that racist
assault on Black people 's psyches. Both the action and the institutional inaction
in the wake of that violence were underpinned by a fundamental belief that
Black lives are disposable-the idea that Black lives are worthy of racist threat
and unworthy of institutional protection . Blackness seems to always exist at the
dangerous in-between of
racism and non -racism.
Both lead to pain, trauma
and more. None lead to
the revolution that anti-racism promises . How ever, that moment and
the trail of trauma that
would be created in its
wake, would constitute the
theme of my time at Duke
as a Black queer woman:
Anonymous anti -black [Image descriptio n: Duke students rallying and holding posters after
ness and institutional
a noose was discovee d on campus . The posters say "DEAR DUKE :
Your halfassed attemp ts to please the black community have failed. Do
better.", "Don't use the cover of nigh t to hide", and "NOT your strange
Don 't rinse
But repeat
We would see this particular type of anonymous racism again when a poster advertising a lecture that Black Lives Matter co-founder , Patrisse Cullars would be
giving at Duke , was defaced. What read "Black Lives Matter " now read "White
Lives Matter , No Niggers ." Here the racist threat posed was targeted at Black
lives and also a movement that had been created to resist the threats posed to


Black life. That corporeal act of non -Black fingers crossing out the word "Black"
and instead writing "White ...No Niggers " was to throw away blackness , to violently disremember blackness and any resistance organized to protect it. And
on a campus where whiteness is virulent , it served to remind us all of the hege mony of whiteness and the Black upheaval that always emerges in its wake. The
existence of whiteness as a construct is founded upon black demise . Whiteness
exists to cross out blackness.
Following that racist incident , Student Affairs Vice President Larry Moneta sent
an email to students attempting to reassure them that "we'll do everything we
can to instill confidence that we genuinely care, that we won 't tolerate harm to
others and that we are a campus where love trumps hate. " Here , the "we" was
nondescript , purposed to anonymize parties , such as Duke 's administrat ion ,
that should have taken responsibility for preventing racism on campus . Instead
this statement worked to redirect responsibility to the entire Duke community.
The result was to burden Black students with protecting themselves from an ti-blackness and flatten administrative power to write anti -racist policies that
deter racist violence. The result was anonymous anti -blackness and institutional
inaction .
At the end of the spring semester of my Junior Year (Spring '18) where a racist
wrote "Nigger Lover " on an Asian -American woman 's apartment door. She had
many Black friends. This time there was no formal institutional reaction-just a
personal tweet from Dr . Moneta directed at those that called for the institution
to prohibit hate speech. The tweet read "To those who believe that colleges and
universities should prohibit hate speech , I encourage you to read this : [Link to
"Free Speech on Campus " by Erwin Chemerinsky and Howard Gilman] Freedom of expression protects the oppressed far more than the oppressors. " Here
the institution via Dr. Moneta , sought to justify its lack of action with academic
writing that imagines hate speech as "free inquiry "; centrist work that wants us
to believe that racism is an "expression of ideas." Here , Black students are gaslit
into believing that their brutalization and dehumanization are essential parts of
academic pedagogy. In the context of Duke , an elite institution , anti -blackness
and institutional inaction were not only normalized but exceptionalized as con stitutive of an elite college experience.
And right now , as I sit here writing this , on the first day of my senior year (Fall
'18), a racist crossed out "Black" in a sign that read "The Mary Lou Center for


Black Culture " and replaced it with "Nigger ". It now reads "The Mary Lou Cen ter for Nigger Culture "-hard R This was a racist defacement of a sign that
notified people that they were stepping into a place where black joy, hope , pain
and love are experienced- The Lou. It was the disruption of the only space on
campus that is supposed to be for all Black students-the only space on campus
where blackness never feels scarce. In an email to the Duke community following the incident , President Price wrote , "WE can 't undo or unsee this painful
assault on OUR right to live and study " as if the violence evoked by the word
"nigger " is experienced by those on this campus who are not black. What might
have read as a sense of collectivity in the words "we" and "our " was actually
yet another tactic deployed to flatten and understate administrative power to
curtail these frequent racist acts, and imagine that we all have equal responsi bility and power to prevent racism . Additionally , "we" and "our " served to erase
the specificity of Black pain-to imagine that the lethal sharpness of the word
"nigger " pierces through non -black bodies as it does through black bodies . In
that email President Price did not say the words "Black" or "Racism" even once
and he made no mention of any efforts to investigate the incident Despite a
history of anonymous anti -blackness and institutional inaction-a thread I have
attempted to trace here-President Price still presented this incident with the
same reticent incredulity that allows one to convince themselves that indeed
"such a cowardly and hateful act has absolutely no place in our community ",
even though these acts are central to any Black person 's experience on this
In an essay that was part of the Boston Review's political Forum, "Black Study,
Black Struggle ," American History Professor , Robin D.G. Kelley argues that the
university is fundamentally a racist institution. For him , the racial capital upon
which the modern university is built cannot simply be exorcised by "adding
darker faces, safer spaces, better training , and a curriculum that acknowledges
historical and contemporary oppressions. " Here , he maintains that the univer sity can never be an enlightened space "free of bias and prejudice "; he reminds
us that given its entanglement with institutional racism , capitalism , imperial ism and militarism , it is always already unable to disrupt the reproduction of
oppression. Instead whilst referencing Fred Moten (Former Duke professor of
literature) and Stefano Barney 's The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and
Black Study, Kelley proposes that we treat the university as a space of refuge
but never a place of enlightenment (a space that disrupts systems of oppres sion) ; a space where we work towards the reform that we need to survive, but


never a place that can ever love or value our existences. Quoting Moten and
Harney , Kelley tells us that "one can only sneak into the university and steal
what one can," for the purposes of political education and activism that is necessarily positioned away from the university . As queer Kenyan literary scholar ,
K'eguro Macharia always reminds us, in these spaces of un -freedom we must
always thief sugar .
At Patrisse Cullors ' lecture , someone in the audience asked , "How do we get
rid of racism at Duke? " In response , Cullors said that in order for Duke to get
rid of racism , it would have to be burned to the ground and built again. Cullors
sought to assert the innate nature of racism on Duke 's campus and other cam puses like it-the fact that racism is weaved in and out of its cobblestone struc tures and always already mixed into the foundation of any building that has
been built or will be built on its grounds . She told us that we stood on stolen ,
blood stained ground and the university balked at the possibility that its existence and the safety and wellbeing of Black people were diametrically opposed.
As I embark on my last year at this university I have participated in and observed many efforts to improve the conditions for Black students at this univer sity and every time we have come up short. Every time we protest , negotiate ,
fight , go through formal policy channels , we come up short. No matter how
many pieces of ourselves we lose in these battles , there is always a stone left
unturned Anti -blackness and institutional inaction are constitutive of the uni versity 's fundamental disposition . Unfortunately these things are not atypical
failures , but instead evidence of the university choosing to stay true to its racist
rootsThis is not to say that Black student efforts to improve our conditions on
this campus are useless and futile. We know that our existence on this campus ,
and our ability to learn about our communities are as a result of radical student
organizing by our forebears and ourselves. As African -American Studies Professor , Keeanga Yamahtta Taylor states "rarely has there been revolution without
reform. " Instead I say this to remind us all that even as we are in the university
we can never be of the university ; I say this to assert that even as we work to wards improving our conditions on this campus through reformative efforts , we
must always link our struggles to the radical abolitionist revolution that is being
fought for outside this university. That is a revolution that promises safety and
wellbeing in the face of anti -blackness , never inaction.


Zachary Fairdoth

To low-income studentsfrom the South:
Welcome to what you have by now been convince ·l'l""'=:t!lrleast told ad nau seum- is the South 's premier academic institution . Yi u"il spend the next
couple years intermittently being subjected to a debate surrounding Duke 's
relationship to the South , a debate I presume Duke students , professors, and
administrators have been having amongst themselves (and without people from
Durham or its surrounding areas) for years. It's a cute icebreaker that you 'll be
prompted at the beginning of semesters , and you may even be lucky enough to
hear some ineffectual adminis trator like Larry Moneta give his two cents on the
issue whenever something forces him into paying pithy lip service to Duke 's
southern heritage . This debate will mean one thing to him and another to you.
For most people at Duke , it 's a cute thought experiment: Is a school southern if
it's in North Carolina? Is a school southern if it serves sweet tea and occasional ly makes its kitchen staff heat up canned collard greens? These questions , while
riveting to tons of kids from Massachusetts and California, won 't keep them up
at night
For you , it will play a role in defining your relationship to this school. You've
chosen to attend university in the South , whether for that reason or as a result
of other considerations. You may be expecting a sense of familiarity and com fort in this place. You may be expecting to enter into a place that will one day
become like a second home to you . While I don't claim to speak for every poor
southern kid who walks around on Duke 's campus , I'll tell you that I believe it's
very difficult for a working class southern kid to feel "at home " in Duke 's brand
of saccharine Southern cosplay.
I'm from a small town in South Carolina , and there 's an old man in my com munity that responds to every "how are you?" with "pretty good for a two cent
stump -digger." He says this every time , with no sense of irony or comic inser tion. He doesn 't think much of it and wouldn 't care to explain it if you asked ;
for him , it's a fact of life, not worthy of much academic doodallying. He is a
two cent stump digger , he works clearing lots , which here consists of running
a bushhog or bulldozer over pine stump after pine stump , and then he goes


When I moved to Durh am to attend Duke , I moved from the world of
stump-diggers to the world of people who pay people to come dig stumps up
on the properties they own. Every summer during my time at home I work a
landscaping job where I shovel shit and dig ditches and plant flowers and pitch
mulch into the yards of the sort of houses kids at Duke vacation in. I work this
job in North Myrtle Beach, I work it all summer , and during beach week I occasionally have to shovel vomit-covered mulch out of the flowers we plant outside
of the Spanish Galleon. It is never so apparent that Duke isn't "home " as it is
when you're in the passenger seat of a work truck driving down the boulevard
watching other Duke students walk to the beach , or when you're shoveling the
vomit of another Duke student from the night before. That'll make you feel
like a stump-digger and make you hate the world of those that look down on
A lot of you are going to come from stump-digger families, were raised by
stump-diggers, and have many stump-diggers you love. This place wasn't made
for you. This place was made for kids with money. You'll watch service workers
be treated poorly by students, you'll see kids make a mess with no regard for
the fact ( or perhaps no concept of the idea) that someone has to clean up after
them. I've heard kids tell bus drivers that the bus drivers are paid because of
students like them. Those students won't care about the mostly Southern, mostly Black workers who mop their vomit, or drive the bus, or both on Saturday
and Wednesday nights. You'll see this, and you'll remember that your parents
are working people , and that these kids would just as quickly treat those you
love that way simply because that is the way of the world. Kids that go to Duke
are not required to give a shit about inconveniencing some Black woman from
Durham. Kids that go to Duke are allowed to demand that Duke's workers stay
up later, work longer hours, and spend less time at home with their families so
that Duke students can order from the loop at 2 AM on Christmas Eve. Duke 's
administrators are allowed to throw a fit and demand that workers at a campus
coffee shop be canned for inconveniencing them by playing music Black people
listen to.
And that is what Duke is. Duke is not unlike the old Southern planter class:
it exists because of value extracted from the labor of poor, mostly Black and
Brown people; it exerts time, power, and money attempting to block union-


ization efforts; it actively works against the accessibility of its institutions by
marginalized people ; it makes life harder for poor people ; and it insulates itself
from legitimate criticisms from laypeople while feigning concern and solidarity
(Duke will hold forums on its relationship to Durham until the end of time). So
in this way, Duke is Southern . There 's your answer.
More importantly , you are not part of that South. Do not aspire to be. Aspire
to be the part of the south that knows that workers have worth as human beings beyond their immediate instrumentality in your life. Aspire to be one who
knows that the real South can be working people forming community and
doing right by each other , not shrimp and grits at the Washington Duke . Duke
will attempt to convince you that it's the Carolina Cup and stopping at South
of the Border on the way to Myrtle Beach and yelling at Black workers and hot
weather make an institution southern.
You know better.
Zachary Faircloth

[Image description: black and white
drawing of tree branch]



Durham is a prime example of the post -industrial university town , comparable
to the classic case of New Haven and Yale. Though there are many resources
to learn about the social and political structures that create such an unnatural
imbalance in the land and labor markets (I recommend Gordon Lafer's piece 1) ,
this paper will focus on their general trends and Duke's specific history. More
specifically, given recent transformations in the political economy and social
geography of these post -industrial cities, we see two overarching trends: that of
labor monopoly , and that of private development in the surrounding land.
The labor monopoly seems to be more subtle than other monopolies , given that
it is covered up by private practices and the image of an institution of learning.
Given decades of "white flight, deindustrialization , and [ turn of the century]
capitalism ",2 urban universities have inherited immense portions of the labor
market , often becoming the largest , or even only, economic engines in their
host cities. Because of this solid control of the labor market , universities become centralized factories , bringing in local labor while also attempting to close
themselves off from the surrounding communities suffering from urban decay
and disinvestment.
One may think that given the control of labor , universities would be partial to
explicit land ownership and geographical expansion in the surrounding areas.
On the contrary , universities often embrace neoliberal market strategies , opting
to invest in private development rather than explicit land seizure. 3 While seizure of land may attract bad press and criticism , smart private development can
avoid visibility while still remaining incredibly effective.


Gordon Lafer, "Land and Labor in th e Post-Indu strial Uni versity Town: Remaking
Social Geograph y," Political Geograph y 22 (2003 ) 89-117
Bennett Carp ent er, Laura Goldblatt , and Lenora Han son , "The Uni versity Must Be
D efend ed! Safe Spaces, Campu s Policing , and Uni versity-Driven Gentrification ," English
Languag e Not es 54 (2016) 192-193.
Gordon Lafer, "Land and Labor in the Post -Indu strial Univ ersity Town : Remaking
Social Geograph y," Political Geograph y 22 (2003 ) 89-117


Duke University is a perfect example of this post-industrial urban university. As
evident from the remnants of American Tobacco, Durham 's large manufacturing infrastructure once offset Duke's power in Durham. Durham 's manufacturing industry would also oppose Duke in its labor practices. Unlike many industries in the South, Durham 's textile and tobacco mills were heavily unionized, 4
while Duke consistently contained any unionization attempts and stubbornly
held onto its scrap wages.5 These differences resulted in Durham 's manufacturing creating a renowned Black business class, while Duke became nicknamed
'the plantation.'
Ironically , these practices became more evident after the closure of Durham 's
textile and tobacco mills in the '80s. This led Duke to become the largest employer in Durham by a factor of six, and the largest private landowner by a
factor of four. Duke inherited an unprecedented level of control and influence
over the city's economy while local communities sharply declined, resulting in
Duke becoming a symbol of immense wealth surrounded by poverty. All the
while, "university administration had resisted repeated requests from city officials for voluntary payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) to compensate for the
university's property and sales tax exemptions, which together represented an
estimated $14 million in lost city revenue annually." 6 It seems that Duke wanted
Durham , its businesses, and its government to be well-off, it just didn 't want to
do its part in ensuring that.
Duke 's strategy for investing in its city ended up being very different than Yale's
for New Haven. Instead of exploiting record low prices of surrounding land to
buy up the entirety of the city, Duke resolved to rely on market strategies to
reverse the effects of white flight and deindustrialization and attract investors,
businesses, and people to give Durham a chance. It started to work with the local government to reinvest capital through tax, zoning, or other incentives. This

Leslie Brown, Up building Black Durham: Gender, Class and Black Community
Development in the Jim Crow South (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2008), and Robert Korstad,
Civil Right Unionism: Tobacco Workers and the Struggle for Democracy in the Mid-Twentieth-Century South (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2003).
5 Erik Ludwig , "Closing in on the Plantation: Coalition Building and the Role of Black
Women's Grievances in Duke University Labor Disputes, 1965-1968," Feminist Studies 25.1
(Spring 1999), and Karen Brodkin, Caring by the Hour: Women, Work and Organizing at
Duke Medical Center (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1988).
"Durham questions Duke's tax record," The Chronicle, June 1, 2000


strategy manifested itself in two distinct steps: A triangular partnership with
the city government and private developers to redevelop former tobacco warehouses , and another partnership with city government and local non-profits to
stabilize local neighborhoods. 7
In downtown Durham , Duke primarily focused on the American Tobacco and
Liggett Myers factories, which had closed down in the late '80s and '90s. How ever, instead of buying up these properties directly, Duke worked heavily with
the private industry , offering to pay up to 50% of rent and providing financial
backing for credit with their triple-A credit rating. This allowed Duke to facilitate downtown development and a more marketable college town without
having its fingerprints on the evidence. Associate president of capital assets
and real estate Scott Selig, in a Durham Magazine interview in an article titled
"How Duke Helped Save Downtown ", revealed this intention of Duke to 'develop' Durham without it being pegged as "Downtown Duke." He pushes Duke 's
emphasis on private development , explaining that "the private sector redevelops more efficiently than an institution would." 8
Around the same time period as Duke's development plan came the Duke Durham Neighborhood Partnership (DDNP), a more explicitly philanthropic
organization that worked with the local Self-Help Credit Union , Durham 's
city government, and nonprofits in an effort to redevelop and refurbish twelve
historically Black neighborhoods around Duke , specifically East Campus. The
strategy developed included Duke lending money to Self-Help , who would buy
and renovate decaying properties in the neighborhood. After being developed,
the homes would be sold to low-income families, with a preference for Duke
Both of these initiatives, though well-intentioned (the latter even being designed as philanthropic) , resulted in mass displacement. In downtown Durham ,
black and brown owned businesses were consistently priced out, as surrounding
neighborhoods saw an increase in home prices of up to 400 % over just the last

Bennett Carpenter, Laur a Goldblatt, and Lenora Hanson, "The University Must Be
Defended! Safe Spaces, Campus Policing, and University-Driven Gentrification," English
Language Notes 54 (2016) 192-193.
"Meet Scott Selig, the Man Behind the Plan," unabridged interview for an April 2011
Durham Magazine article titled "How Duk e Helped Save Downtown. " Intervi ew transcript
provided by Durham Magazine.


10 years, resulting in displacement and rapid gentrification. 9 In the historically
Black Walltown next to East Campus, where Self-Help's strategy was first im plemented , in 1995, rehabilitated units were sold to low-inco me buyers for a
reasonable $75,000. But then, the average price of a home rose to $107,000 by
2005 and a whopping $230,000 by 2015, as its Black population fell by 25%. A
largely minority, low-income Walltown slowly gave way to more wealthy renters and homeowners , many of which were Duke faculty and graduate students
who were attracted to its proximity to East Campus.
However , private development did not mean Duke didn 't want to intervene
in the market. By acting through institutions and avoiding direct ownership ,
Duke managed to maintain enormous (financial) influence over the city center
of Durham , guiding its development as a high-end hub of consumption and
production , which led to the pricing out of local minority owned businesses.
In addition , while Duke invested in businesses that priced out local businesses in Durham , it also invested in policing that protected (and enforced) those
interests. While not surprising that an increase in policing follows an influx of
wealthy businessmen and homeowners , the university did not hold back in its
implementation. In Walltown , concern for the 'safety' of off-campus students
and faculty resulted in an expansion in Duke Police, all of which culminated in an $80 million police mega-complex conveniently placed between "the
rapidly-gentrifying downtown " and the "tra nsitional " neighborhood of East
Durham. 10
In conclusion , Duke has been vital in developing the identity of the post-industrial college town of Durham. While some of its projects undoubtedly had (partially) good intentions , the overall impact Duke has had on Durham has been
controversial at best and catastrophic at worst. Through its monopoly on the
labor market, a series of timely investments into downtown Durham and Walltown, and an increase in policing and spatial segregation, Duke has managed
to increase its stronghold on the city as well as market Durham to prospective
students and rich businessmen, all while managing to paradoxically remain in-


Eric Tullis , "Does Black Wall Street need to be blacker?" IndyWeek , Oc tober 28,
2015. Lisa Sorg , "Take 5: Durham 's gentrification challenge ," News & Obs erver, November 3.
Virginia Bridges , "New Durham police headquarters could top $80M ," News & Ob server , August 20 , 2015.



visible in the process by avoiding direct ownership or credit. These developing
efforts of Durham , while increasing its product and pull , also misplaced many
Durham residents , especially black and brown business owners and workers. To
many , Duke 's relationship to Durham seems to be pretty complicated. While
its presence in the city certainly is complicated , even "complicated " may be too
basic of a word for this situation.

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1'lunicipal Ernployces (t\FSC~IE) Local 77.
dcinanding thal l)ukc recognize and bargain
,villi Lheunion as ,,·ell as raise U1c rnininltll11
,vage for nonacadcrnic "'·orkcr~slo 1.60. In
supporLof the de1nands dining hall ,,,orkc rs,
house,vorkcrs and operalio ns c111pl
joined LhcpickcLline. and 6 days atlcr U1c
assass ination of l) r. King, Lhe board orLruslecs
announced a ,vage increase Lo 1.60.
.\FS(~~IE Local 77,~·ins ils election and
gains union recognition and bargaining rights.

1973 l)ukc's Young ~!en's and \'oung \Von1cn's
llcbrc,, · ,\ssocialion (\ '~1- \'~I( ~\ ) organized a

[Image description: Black and white photo of po~c~
tear-gassing students who occupied the Allen Building]

boycott ornon- union lettuce in support or the
United Farin \Vorkcrs of J\1nerica (UF\V).ending
,viU1agrcc111cnlby l)uke U1aLU1e dining hall
,vould only use union lettuce.

197-1 Scr,·icc \Vorkcrsal Lhc Duke ~ledical

1991l)urha 111
lransil \VOrkcrsreprcsenled by

LocaJ •~37 Lakeover l)uke tran sit operations.
199,1, SLucle

,\1U1Farm\vorkcrs is
founded l)y !Juke professors and sLudcnls.

l)uke sludcnl labor activists begin a
•e1ncnl against s,,·catshop labor Lhalspreads
Lo30 ca111puseli
alion,vicleand beco111esUnited

199lJ In response lo pressure fro1nstudent

organir.ers. l)ukc agrees Loa code requiring all
or ils clol11i11
g 111anufa
cL11rcrs Lopcr1niL
independent 1nonitoring of factories and
disclose !'actor,·

sludcnl and raculty prot csl. Duke
annouJ1cesL11atil ,viii not rene,, · iL-;contract
"'ilh Ne,v Era Cap Contpany, accused of
proYidingunsafe ,vorking conditions in ils Ne,,·
York factory.

C:cnlcr bcgi11organizing a unio11drive allcr an
an1cnd1ncnl Lothe National Labor Relations t\CL
(NLR,\) per111i
ls lhc crnployecs of nonprofil
hospilals Lo unionize. Local77leader Oliver
I la1·vey
nolcs Utecolor line bct" ·ee11..,,·orkcrs:

-,\II Lhenur se·s aides \\'Cre,vhilc and all Lhe
nurse·s n1ai<ls"·ere black. They did Lhesa1nc
\vork. but Lhenurse's aides ,,,ere 1nuch heller
paid.~ ,\flcr a \\'alko11lby data Lcr111inaJ
operators. Ute adn1inistratior1raised U1eir
"·ages, gave l11c1ndays orr. and increased the
size of lhc D'l'O ,vorkl'orce. In response Lo
organizing, Duke hires a nolorious union
busting Ja,v ilr1n ,vhi<;h ,\·orkcd for years lo
re\'crsc Lhcunioni'l.ation.
'fhc National Labor Hclalions Board linds
LhcDuke I lospilal guilty of using illegal 1ncans
lo pre,·cnt nurses rro111


200 1 1\fl.cr

, lJ1ril..!.O<J2 Over filly sl11denls and emp loyees

111archfront Easl to \Vesl Ca1npus Loprolesl
of ,vorkers al l)uke.

.\lay 2002 Duke University I lealth Syste1n

.u1nounces that il ,viii cul 300 jobs.
. lugust 2002 Duke IHls iL<;
J\IL.Olive Pickle

•\ 'ove111b
er ,1,002 F'ornter nurse Lynne Burgess

accuses l)uke Univers ily Ilospital of firing her in
rcla1iatio11Loher supporL or u1Lionizalion
s a1lcr former nurse Conslancc Donahue
files a la\\·su il on si1nilar charges.
,\lar clt .zo<>-1rac ing student pressu re. Duke
declines Lorenc,,,. its Lradcntark ,vilh cloLhing

Con1pany hoycoLt, Lothe outrage of labor
aclivisls al Duke and in Ute ,,·icier 'l'rianglc 1\rea .
(Jclober ,1,<><
>J .\bout 1;0 Duke studc11L'>.

and co1r11nu11il
y 1nc111b
crs gather ouL<;idcthe
Duke C:hapcl i11prolesl or Duke's decision lo
drop a hoycoll of U1ct\lounLC)lh·c Pickle

co11tpany Lands' End. citing unl'air labor
,ll<u·clt 2004 l)ukc announces plans lo outsource

aln1osl1j unio11la11ndry ,vorkcr jobs lo 1\ngelica
'l'extilc ScrYiccs,a con1pany k1Hi,,
·n for iL<;poor
\\'Orking conclilions and union-busting aclivity.

. lJ1ril,1,00,1 1\ <:L
ivislS fro1n l)uke and Lhclocal

Durha1n co1n1nunity gather oulsicle l)ukc C:hapcl
in prolesL of l)uke LlnivcrsiLy I lcallh Syslem's
sale or iL'I laundr y facility Lo1\ngclica c;orp.

[Image description: Duke students, faculty, and community
members advocating for a boycott against the Mount Olive
Pickle Company]

October 2005 'rhc

annou nces LhaL

beginning in 2006, lhc c;radualc School " 'ill
pro,·ide funding for heallh insurance for all
Ph.D.students. '!'his <lecisionconies alter
tireless years of ad\'Otacyon Lhepar lor the

l •'ebruar •v ~006 .\fLer •rea rs or tireless sludenl

advocacy, l) ukc announces lhal all Duke apparel
,viii he produced in factories Lhal pro,·iclefair
,vorki11gco11dilions and a livable '"age.
,\Jay 200 7 :\!embers of Local465 or the lliOE

agree lo a U1rce-year labor contra ct \Yilh Duke.
'fhis contra ct guarantees ,,·age increases of 3
percent each year.

. tu.rust 2 00 .1 Durha111
County rescinds ils
contra ct ,,·ith 1\ 11gclicac:orp .. citing unsafe
,,·orking conditions and unfa ir labor praclices.
Duke docs not l'ollo" · suil.
Johnny I ludson, a former
custodian al c:a,neron Indoor Stadiu1n, is fired
10 days before Lheend of his probationary
period. In response. student acli\'isLgroup Duke
Organizing liles a pclilion Lo for111a joinlDurha111-and- U11i
versily panel Lo re,ic",. the
tiring orI ludson. as ,,·ell as a second pelilion for
Lhccstablish1nenl of a public gr ic,·ance process
for Duke cn1ployccs during U1eir90-day
probationary periods.
J' 2006

.lfll.\' 20<, lJ !Juke cn1ployce Rayford c:ofcr dies on
lhc job ,vhcn hot slc a 111bursL-sfron1a ruplur cd

sLca111line. 'l'hc N.C. Ocparl.Jncnt or Labor's
.~·1 .t<, 14 Executive \'ice

President ·ra11111a11
'l'rask hils parking aueu dant Shelvia ndcr,vood
"iU1 his silver Porsche before a football ga1nc
and. U11der,vood alleges. uses a racial slur
against her. ,\fler U11dc1,vood liles a con1plaint
\\ilh U1e Duke 'nivcrsily Police l)eparlm enl.
she rccei\'eS a t,vo-scnlcnce "'apc>IO!-,')'.
f'ron1'I'rask that reads. "!)ca r :\Is. Under,vood. I
,·cry much regret the incidenl hefore LheElon
foolhall ga1nc. I should ha,·e been more patient
and I apologize..,

Dh·ision or ()ccupaliona1Safely and I lca!U1
subsequcnlly cites l)ukc for nine ·serious
,,iolations· and fines il 3::;,000 .

.\l llr ch 20 16 Non- regular rank faculty vole to
forn1a union.

. tpril 2,, 16 Nine sludcnL'>
occupy an

achninistral i\'e office inside Lhe .\lien 13uilclingLo
an end Loinslilu lionalized racis111c>
ca1npus. acco11nlahility for inciclenl in "''hich
'l'rask hit Shch·ia t.;ndcr,,·ootl ,,·ith his car. and
greate r rights for ,,·orkcrs at Duke. In support or
lhc studenl occupiers. students set up LenLe;
ouL'iidc of :\lien and ca111p

[Image description : No-regular rank faculty members and their
friends and family in front of the Duke Chapel with colorful signs,
celebrating becomng eligible to unionize ]

. tu.gust 2016 'l'hc NLRBvoles Lorecognize

gTadualc students as c111pl
oyccs ,vilh collcclivc
bargaining righls.

ocrlJPIEr M


NO ~ u.:



[Image description: Nine Duk e students occupy the Allen
Building. They stand with their fists raised in front of a banner that says "O CCUPIED NO JUSTICE NO PEACE"]

: Ju_gusl 2016 Facing pressure fron1student

activists, l) ukc a11now1ccsU1aLhcgiiu1ingin
January 20 17, il " ·ill pay l'ull-t i1ne sla(f of
contra ctors and regular staff 13/hour.

.,, 'o11e111/J
er 20 16 l)ukc Undergraduat es rally in

Jla rch 2<Jl 7 Duke i1npounds over 400 ,·oles.
sLallingLhccleclion. oc;s decides Loconli1111
dirccl acliou instead of lighling l)u ke in courl.
• l/1ril 2<>17 .\ller

support of U1c !Juke (;rad ualc StudcnL~ ·11io11
afler Duke hires 110Lorious union husling la,,·
lir1n Proskauer Rose,,vhich bills at o,·er
1000 / hr .

a petiLion and puhli<.:aclions on

the La,vn of \VcsLC~an1pus by oc;su.Duke
Lhal il is reinslaling gym access ror 5
years. extending parcnl.al leave Lilnc and
increas ing pay caps for ~raduale sludent.'i.
, tu.gust 2<J17 l)uke agrees Lophase in a 1;/ hr

1ninin1un1""age for <.:a.n1pus ,vorkcrs hut docs
noL1ncnlion lhaLil \\"illnol include graduat e
,rorkcrs, parLtin1c and conLracl ,,·orkcrs, or
underg raduate '"orkers.
. tugust 2 ,117 Oukc Facully Union rnc1nbers ratify


1 the (>,add- ~

em.- tJni

[Image description : Two students holding a banner that says
"Undergrads for the Graduate Student Union"]

a bargaining agrecn1cnLLhat includes lon,l{er
conlra cL"and pay i11crcascs .

st 2<J17 Duke c;radualc SLuclcnL nion

. lpri/ 2018 l) ukc Undergraduates i11L


President Price's Slate or the UnivcrsiLy• talk at
alun1ni ,ree kcnd evenLSon the annh·ersarv• of
the 1968\'igil '"ilh their o,v11~Peop le's Slate of
LheUniversity- dernanding in part. LhaLI) 11ke
pay a livi11g ",·age or 15/ ltr for .\LL ca1npus
,vorkcrs. Protcslors also called for clin1inaling
U1e unjusl hiring practice of rcquir i11
applicanls Lo disclose I heir crirninal- legaJ
histor ies for all l)ukc University posilions on Lhc
initial applicaLion. including those in the f) ukc
l.inivcrsily I lcallh Systcn1 a11dundergrad uate

affjli,1Lcs,viU1SElli SouU1crn l~egion\\'orkers
l.inilccl as Local 27. a dir ect aclion rncn1hcrs only

11ant to _l(e
t i11vol vetl lllilli lflbor r iglit .i· 011

s?/Jere are so1
11e active orga11
s to
get in /01,c/i ltiilh:

l)ukc (;ra duat c SLudcnLUnion
People's SL.:
1Leof LheUni,·crsiLy
l)ukc Faculty

[Image description: Students from Duke People's State of
the University disrupt President Price's speech , standing on
stage and holding signs]




Caroline Waring

The Board of Trustees acts as the "governing body of Duke University" (trustees.duke .edu )
and oversees the Health System and (most importantly) the university's investment company, DUMAC, Inc. Though private universities like George Washington and UPenn encourage public attendance at their board meetings, Duke's meetings are entirely closed and
opaque. Recently, the Board of Trustees enacted a rule which allows the Board to excuse
all student and faculty representation (voting members) and hold closed-session meetings.
Moreover, neither the public nor the full Board has access to information on where the university invests its money-instead, it is restricted to only the ten-member Board of Directors
for DUMAC. Without the necessary public accountability on its investments, DUMAC has
broad authority over the university's finances.
That said, here's a brief rundown on who runs, manages, and finances this institution that
we attend. Note the concentration of the exorbitantly rich and the representation from the
financial sector. And remember, especially given the new rules on closed-session meetings,
not all members are equal.

Jack 0. Bovender, Jr., Chair

Lisa M. Borders

President, Women 's National Basketball AssociRetired Chairman and CEO, Hospital Corporation of America. After a federal probe into the
ation. She was also the Vice President of Global
company's "questionable billing practices to Medi- Community Affairs at the Coca-Cola Company
care," the government received over $2 billion in
and the CEO of a consulting company.
criminal fines and civil penalties for "systematically defrauding federal health care programs "
(justice.gov ).


Tim Cook

Ralph Eads III

CEO, Apple , Inc. The new Apple campus
coming to the Research Triangle Park marks
a new era of gentrification , displacement , and
rent increases for Durham residents. After
hoarding money overseas , Apple avoided
paying $50 billion in American taxes this past
January. Apple is also responsible for numer ous labor and human rights violations .

Vice Chairman , Jefferies , LLC.
An American multinational investment bank. Sued for institu tional bias against women.

Gerald L. Hassell
Retired Chairman and CEO , BNY Mellon. BNY
Mellon "safeguards " $28.5 trillion in assets for
companies , money managers , and clients. It also
actrs as an investment manager of $1.7 trillion.

Janet Hill
Principal , Hill Family Advisors. She's also on the board
of directors for the Carlyle
Group (see below).


Betsy D . Holden
Senior Advisor, McKinsey & Company. Worldwide
management consulting firm. McKinsey has a culture
of corruption scandals . As Enron 's consulting firm ,
for example , McKinsey endorsed Enron 's accounting
fraud in 2001. According to the Independent , McKinsey facilitated the Enron blow -up and the 2008
credit meltdown. A former CEO , Rajat Gupta , was
convicted for insider trading in 2012.

Peter J. Kahn
Attorney -Partner , Williams & Connolly LLP. Law firm ,
represented Israeli citizens , demonstrating a vested interest in protecting specifically wealthy and influential
Israeli citizens with interests in the US. He 's represent ed the Israeli government in the Jonathon Pollard case
(Pollard was an undercover Mossad agent working in
the US; Kahn worked on his behalf). He's also pro tected the interests of wealthy and influential Zionists
like the family of PM Rabin. Kahn has also defended
corporations and individuals charged with tax evasion ,
breaking anti -trust laws , and fraud; one of his special ties is white collar crime .1

Michael Marsicano
President and CEO, Foundation For The Carolinas .
Between 2006 and 2015, FFTC contributed $16.8
million to anti -immigration causes. Because FFTC is
donor -advised , Fred Stanback Jr., one of its biggest
donors , uses it to promote his racist views , including
the sterilization of non -white women and barring
immigrants to the U.S. based on race , according to
plotagainstdacacom. Stanback also funded an intern ship program with Duke 's Nicholas School , placing
students with conservative , anti -immigration orga nizations like FAIR, CIS, and NumbersUSA, until
IndyWeek reported on it.


Stephen G. Pagliuca
Co-Chairman , Bain Capital. Mitt Romney
co-founded the private equity firm Bain in
1984. Private equity firms have been criticized
for their practice of "leveraged buyouts, " in
which they make profit via acquiring a busi ness , cutting its costs and making it profitable
in the short -term , and then selling it at a profit ,
to the long -term detriment of the business and
its (laid -off, underpaid) workers.


Description changed from Kahn "represented Israelis,
including the former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin" to
provide further context.

Adam Silver
Commissioner, National Basketball
Association. Many controversies
surround the NBA over racism and
employment discrimination.

L. Frederick Sutherland
Retired Executive Vice President and Chief Financial
Officer, ARAMARK Corporation. A corporation that
aggressively acquires businesses focused on food service. A client for Boeing and at many sports facilities,
Aramark has moved into servicing food in prisons.
Subject of nearly penalties since 2000, rangin g from
OSHA violations at $5,000 for lack of workplace
safety/health, to a $4 million lawsuit for wage/hour
violations. Their poor-quality, low-cost food allegedly
incited a prison riot in Kentucky and the ACLU has
sued them for mistreatment of inmates.

And let's not forget our university'smajordonors and founders:
David M. Rubenstein. ( See: Rubenstein Library, Rubenstein Arts
Center, Rubenstein Scholarship Program.) Co-founder and co-executive chairman of the Carlyle Group , a private equity firm. The Carlyle
Group acquires underperforming defense contractors, installs its own
management, and then revitalizes the companies through landing
contracts with the Pentagon. They then sell these contractors to other
investors. Overall, between 1998 and 2003, the Pentagon granted over
$9.3 billion in contracts to over a dozen companies that Carlyle had
controlling interest in. According to The Center for Public Integrity ,
"The group cashed out many of its investments when the stock of defense companies rose dramatically in the aftermath of September 11
and the buildups to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars," netting the firm
billions of dollars. Carlyle's executives have included former secretary of defense and CIA
deputy director Frank Carlucci, former secretary of state James Baker III, former president
George HW Bush, and other major political figures. According to the Wall Street Journal ,
Bush even convinced the Bin Laden family to personally invest millions of dollars in the


group until the firm cut ties in 2001. To find out more, read The Iron Triangle: Inside the
Secret World of the Carlyle Group or the Center for Public Integrity 's article on "Investing
in War."

Edmund T. Pratt Jr, former chief executive of pharmaceutical company Pfizer , Inc. In 2010, Pfizer spent over $25 million to lobby
health care reform in its interest. According to WikiLeaks , Pfizer
"lobbie d against New Zealand getting a free trade agreement with
the United States because it objected to New Zealand's drug buying
rules." Pfizer also settled in a $23.85 million lawsuit to resolve allegations that it provided kickbacks to Medicare patients.

George Washington Duke , American tobacco industrialist and slaveowner. He enlisted in the Confederate Army and Navy.

Julian Carr, industrialist and white supremacist
Carr was elected a trustee of Trinity college in
1883 and gifted 62 acres of land for the founding
of Duke University. Infamously , he supported the
KKK and celebrated lynching . He was also the Commander-in-Chief
North Carolina's United Confederate Veterans.


An addendum: the university functions as a corporate entity. Its ever-increasing tuition
costs pay for the expansion of its athletic teams, its tenured faculty, and its administration
(according to a study published in the LA Times back in 2010). Administrators manage the
"busi ness" side of the university-bureaucrats
who manage public relations and "stu dent
life," paid to manage Duke 's finances and increase its reputation. An administrative bloat is
occurring nationally-according
to the Chronicle of Higher Education, "The number of fulltime faculty and staff members per professional or managerial administrator has declined
40 percent, to around 2.5 to l."


That's to say, the university is not meant as a refuge of enlightened education; it's an active
participant in capitalism , just as any other corporate entity. (Think , too , of Duke 's rampant
culture of professionalization and all the recruiters that visit here.) Its position is inextrica bly linked to investments in Wall Street-and thus , in weapons manufacturing , white supremacy , and the perpetuation of global wealth inequality. This list of the board of trustees '
membership and their social positions is perhaps one of the most apparent ways that Duke
contributes to global exploitation , but really, we're in it. Deeply and structurally.
So, obviously , the university can do more to increase accessibility to its resources (let 's, say,
abolish tuition?) and pay its workers ' fair wages (what about the same salary as administra tors?). But when you 're doing activism , it's imperative to recognize that reforming the uni versity-while important-will always just be that: reforming a fundamentally broken system. Never forget the work outside this institution-the work of politically educating both
Duke students and community members , the work of Durham grassroots activism , and the
work of community solidarity.


Annie Yang

You've likely heard about the "mental health crisis" sweeping college campuses.
Since you 're coming to Duke , you might have also heard of a culture of "effortless perfection". 1 Explanations abound for this troubling phenomenon-stress,
competition, too much work , too little sleep, and stigma surrounding mental
illnesses. All of these are compelling reasons , but rarely do people identify
the underlying factor driving a concerning percentage of college students to
anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and alcohol abuse. 2 I'm talking about, of
course, capitalism.
What does the mental health of college students have to do with capitalism?
A whole lot actually. This is not to say that capitalism is the cause of mental
health issues because it isn't. Mental illnesses can and do exist independently
of capitalism, but capitalism creates many of the conditions and circumstances
that facilitate and exacerbate mental illness because it's a system that relies on
the exploitation of people's labor and reducing humans to profit , returns, and
productivity. 3
The key is to look at the university as an academic-capitalist institution. What
does that mean ? We live in a capitalist society, and the academy (as in the institution of higher education) is one of the wheels that keep this capitalist
machine running. The university has long been an engine of maintaining class
inequality. 4 The elite send their children off to college so that they can mingle
with other upper -class children, go off to become doctors , lawyers, bankers ,


1 Originally coined by female Duke undergraduates to describe the pressure to maintain
perfect grades, perfect bodies , perfect social lives, etc. http :// universitywomen.stanford .edu /reports/Wome nsinitiativeReport.pdf
2 http ://www .apa.org/monitor/2017 /09/numbers .aspx
3 https://www .ncbi.n lm.nih .gov/pmc/articles/ PMC4609238/, https:/ /medium .com/the -establishment /if-not-for-capitalism-would-i-still-have-been-abused- 73e9f4860d6d as just two
4 And college is really just the end of a long line of class-based inequality in education.
How much your parents make determines what zip code you can afford to live in and how
well-funded the public schools are. The stability granted by a good income also enables better-off
students to stay in school longer rather than leave to provide for their families. The more money
your parents have, the more extra resources they can devote to you to further your chances of
admission into an elite university-whether that's more books to read , SAT/ACT prep, soccer
practice, music lessons, etc. A good introduction to this topic is John Kozol's Savage Inequalities.

CEOs, and maintain their wealth and status.
The academy itself is a capitalist space. Think, for example, of the academic
papers hidden behind paywalls. But, more importantly, the exploited labor of
graduate students, contract ( or non-tenure track) faculty, and non -academic
staff ensure the everyday functioning of the university. No graduate students
means significantly fewer papers graded, office hours held, courses taught. No
contract faculty, and Duke 's Writing 101program, which is mandatory for all
first years and staffed by many contract faculty, might as well collapse. No janitors, housekeepers, bus drivers , or other workers who are taken for granted and
whose labor is underrecognized and underpaid , and Duke would grind to a halt.
Under capitalism, sickness is defined as the inability to work. 5 Therefore , health
is defined as the ability to work. In the university, your health, physical as well
as mental, is tied to your productivity as a student.

[Image description: Black and white sketch of two eyes that are looking into slightly different directions]

This translates to things like grades, internships, awards, leadership positions,
research positions, and jobs. The better your grades are, the more organizations
you can be on exec board for, the more prestigious internships you can land ,
the more respect you gain from everyone else and the more accomplished, even
fulfilled, you feel. Working yourself to the bone is like a badge of honor-whoever can stay in Perkins the longest or whoever can pull the most all-nighters
is rewarded with a perverse kind of prestige. Effortless perfection valorizes the
student who can do all this and more without breaking a sweat.
Also, fundamentally, your very existence as a student at Duke is predicated on
your ability to achieve a certain standard. You can be involuntarily withdrawn
5 Spaces of Hope, David Harley, page 106; also first encountered this quote in GSF 275:
Food, Farming, and Feminism.


for academic reasons. 6 If you don't do well enough in school, you can't be a
student here anymore. At the end of the day, Duke the institution doesn't really
care about you as a holistic being but instead as a summation of numbers and
an accumulation of resume experiences. After you graduate and become an
alumni, you'll become either a source of donations or of good publicity ( to get
more people to invest in Duke) , and maybe both.
The organization and structure of the academic-capitalist institution can be
brutal and unforgiving. Deadlines on top of deadlines on top of deadlines , plus
all these other aforementioned things that people just expect you to have and
do-not even to be exceptional, but just average. If you fall behind just a little
bit, it can be difficult to catch up. Who thought it was a good idea to condense
all the knowledge of a college course into just 15 weeks? We run on a capitalist
timescale, and the academy mimics the capitalist model of work because it is a
capitalist institution.7
It's impossible to be the effortlessly perfect student When you can't live up to
the impossible expectations, your mental health suffers. Your inability to work
is interpreted as sickness. For many of the high achieving students who go to
Duke , self-worth is often tied up almost inextricably with these capitalist defini tions of success-grades, research, internships, awards, jobs.
Despite all these mental and emotional pressures on students who are expected to achieve the impossible , mental health is not taken nearly as seriously as
physical health at Duke . Lots of people STINF as a way of taking desperate ly-needed breaks and self-care days, but official STINF policy only covers temporarily incapacitating physical illnesses. The wording discourages anything
else, so is mental illness a legitimate excuse? Will a depression so severe that it
keeps you in bed all day get you in trouble with the academic deans? Reported
to the Office of Student Conduct?
My personal understanding of how Duke as a academic-capitalist institution
bears down on mental well-being really crystalized during a particularly difficult semester in which I tried to get an extension for a paper. My professor
6 https:/ /trinity. duke .edu/ undergraduate/ academic -policies/withdra,-val-dismissal
7 The capitalist model of work tries its very best to render flesh into machine and tries to
turn people into robots who never need breaks or make mistakes. It focuses on efficiency, productivity, and profit regardless of the physical and mental stress on the peop le within the machine.
Schools themselves were (and to an extent still are) designed to make good factory workers.


didn't allow extensions except for extenuating circurnstances. 8 This was a semester in which I regularly pulled all-nighters multiple times a week and had
literally hundreds of pages of reading to do every week I was getting very little
sleep and eating very little too. Several people were worried about me. Wasn't
my imminent collapse good enough of an extenuating circumstance?
I went to my academic dean , who said he couldn't do anything besides offer to
meet with me to talk about my courseload next semester so it could be more
manageable than the current one. I went to CAPS because I thought this situation might be in their domain and that they would, at the very least, be sympathetic. They told me that CAPS can only intervene in extreme situations and
when the student has an extensive relationship with their counselor and CAPS.
I could understand their reasoning and why they would make strict requirements to prevent students from abusing this.9
But at the same time, this was incredibly frustrating. The only way I could get
something as minor and innocuous as a paper extension was to have an extensive and documented history of mental illness? Personally, and as is the case for
some Duke students, being able to maintain my grades up and keep up with
school is a major crutch for my mental health. As long as I was able to meet all
the deadlines, as long as I could continue to be a productive student-even if I
was constantly on the brink of collapse-things would be sort of okay. I didn't
go to CAPS that often because I was barely able to keep my life together by
focusing on school
It felt as though I was being punished for being able to jump through those
flaming hoops. Evidence that I could survive and be sane, work and work well
felt like it was being used against me. According to the academic-capitalist institution, I was "healthy" when I knew that not to be the truth.
In order to survive Duke , I had to be a productive student and worker, whatever
cost that was to my mental health , and the moment I needed help it seems like
I needed to have a complete breakdown. Mental illness needs to become bad
enough that it affects your ability to work and achieve results before it will be
taken seriously.
8 For the record , most professors are usually generous about giving extensions, especially
if you ask in advance. They were undergraduates , once, too.
9 The idea of students "abusing" things like STINFs or "cheating the system" perhaps can
be recontextualized as ways for students to survive the impossible demands of the university.


After I got the email from CAPS that said unfortunately, you're on your own, I
cried a little bit in my 4th floor Perkins cubicle, the one I had been sitting in all
night . But after a few minutes, I wiped my face on my sleeves and went back to
work. Had another deadline to meet , after all.
For many students at elite universities from middle to upper class back
grounds, part of our exposure to the negative impacts of capitalism-whether
we realize it or not-comes from the stresses on mental health. This makes it
easy for us to focus on stressed and depressed college students-a legitimate
concern-and to forget that capitalism induces mental illness as a byproduct
of exploitation, namely of the poor and working class. It is dehumanizing to
be reduced to what you do (grades, internships, research) instead of who you
are. But we must recognize that this dehumanization process is part of making
somebody an expendable worker whose body and labor can be easily exploited.
And this is how capitalism functions. Choosing between food and rent , not being able to afford basic necessities despite working until exhaustion, just trying
to literally survive capitalism is an incredible burden economically and mentally. To end the suffering-physical, emotional, mental-created by capitalism, we
need to target capitalism itself.
In the university , it is first-generatio n, low-income students, many of whom
are students of color, 10 and non-academic staff, many of whom are people of
color, who face the brunt of capitalism. I offer an illuminating quote that many
Duke students, like the 69% of students who come from the top 20% families in
America, 11 can learn from:
"..The cultural-artistic critiques of capitalism (by students, against the
alienating and dehumanizing aspects of capitalism) won out over the social critiques (by workers, against the exploitation of capitalism). Some of those same
protestors later took up government posts and corporate jobs, transforming
wage labor into a more personal, humane, and anti-authoritarian experience
without challenging the capitalist mode of production itself. Instead of dismantling capitalist relations of production, they bargained for a more palatable
form, and with it, left behind the language of 'exploitation' and 'ine quality ' for
10 The poor and working class are disproportionately people of color. How Capitalism
Underdeveloped Black America is an excellent place to get started on how class in America is
raced. Also on the syllabus of SOCIOL 215: Sociology of Racism in America, another great class!
11 https://www .nytimes.com/interactive/projects/ college-mobility/ duke-university


'exclusion'." 12
Many Duke students are interested in social good, social change, and social
justice. They want to see an end to exploitation, inequality, and exclusion. Many
of these same students go on to take up government posts and corporate jobs
or work in the nonprofit industry. They become "an elite, bourgeois group of
doctors, activists, and donors help the poor out of moral sentiment, refusing or
erasing their own class responsibility in what Marx rightly called out as 'conservative, or bourgeois, socialism."' 13 This is not to say that anyone who takes these
jobs is bad but to encourage a critical questioning of whether or not the work
that you take on is truly helping the people you want to help and actually challenging the systems that keep them down.
We need to keep our eyes on the prize-the elimination of capitalism. We cannot want to help the poor and working class and not realize that many of us,
like the 69% of Duke students, are part of the problem . We need to be committed to the reform and revolution necessary to end class-based inequality , exploitation, and suffering.
Wait, how am I supposed to do that, you might ask. I just graduated high
school, and I'm , like, 18! Perhaps start by thinking critically about what you've
been taught to believe about capitalism and communism. If this piece left you
with a lot of questions and a desire to learn more, then read up!14 Learn about
social justice , anti-racism, anti-capitalism, and more. Educate yourself about
the capitalist abuses of governments, corporations, and the ultra-rich. Begin the
lifelong practice of detaching your sense of self-worth and identity from capitalist measures of success and value like your GPA and which colleges accepted
you. Start reevaluating the way you understand the world and begin seeing it
through anti-capitalist lenses. Support your local unions like AFSCME Local 77,
the Duke Graduate Students Union, and Duke Faculty Union.
12 http://samdubal.blogspot .com/2012/05 /renouncing-paul-farmer-desperate-plea.html
Excellent read on a very different topic but which also happens to cover an organization that one
of the members of our Board of Trustees runs. Also potentially very enlightening if you're premed and want to do humanitarian work at Duke and in the future.
13 Ibid.
14 Check out the stuff linked in the footnotes for articles, books, and class recommendations! Search up topics like abusive labor practices at Amazon , the World Bank manipulating
statistics to make poverty seem less severe, how capitalism is fueling climate change and blaming
you personall y for not recycling, overthrows of democratically elected socialist and communist
leaders of other nations by the US government., just to start you off.



Jasmin e Lu

Yes, what you 've heard is true-your college experience will allow you to figure
out who you are and how you want to exist in this world. This is a time rich
with self-discovery and exploration , a time for understanding how you are
unique and what special force you 'll bring to the world. What they didn 't tell
you is how it's not easy-you 'll have to search in the crevices of Duke 's campus
culture and tear away from Duke 's mainstream notions of who you ought to be
and how you should occupy your space on campus to figure that out for your self.
This is such an exciting point of your life. You'll have autonomy and are away
from anyone you knew in your past-complete freedom to be whoever you
want to be. It 's exciting but also scary , and you likely won 't know what to do.
You might wonder-what are the steps I need to take to succeed in social , per sonal , and professional life? There will be so many answers (both explicit and
implicit) offering you scripts for living out your Duke career . I hope that these
scripts will be helpful , but ultimately you should write your own .
The Duke environment will inevitably impose upon how you go about writing
your own. You will have to carve out your own space to do the growing and
figuring out that you so desire. In order to write your own script , these are a few
things about being a student at Duke that are helpful to consider /things I feel
have helped me:
1. Duke student culture is sometimes overwhelmingly homogenous . The idea of
having a common Duke student experience may be great for forming a sense of
community with your fellow peers , but it also makes for a lot of the same kind
of kid across campus. You don 't have to follow the script of whatever the next
person says is essential to "the Duke experience " or , in other words , "you do
you "
2. Success and productivity are things that Duke students like to exude . Social
media is likely to reinforce the idea that everyone is going through things in a
much better way than you are. Success and productivity aren 't everything , and
also your peers ' definition of what is success and what is productive will likely
be products of their immediate Duke environment. For example , if you don 't





Anonymou s

I came to Duke very,very,VERY,naive.
I came to Duke without ever experiencingbeing drunk.
I came to Duke to be a double majorwith a minor and a certificate(impossible,
pick three).
I came to Duke with a lot of baggageon my shoulders.
I came to Duke believingI was going to make a ton of friends.
I came to Duke thinkingI was going to being in so many clubs and activities.
I came to Duke believingthat I may end up in Greeklife.
I came to Duke thinkingI was going to studybiology and receivea Bachelor's
of Science.
I came to Duke believingthat I was good at math.
I came to Duke thinkingthat I was readyfor college.
If any of these "I came to Duke " statements relate to you , please continue read •
I came to Duke with many presuppositions and beliefs. Nevertheless , I have
endured and witnessed many things during my Duke career. Would I go back
and change a few choices that I made ? Maybe. Do I have regrets? Yes, and no.
However , I wish to emphasize that I have had a memorable college experience
to which I believe I can bestow knowledge onto hopeful applicants and starry-eyed prospective freshmen of Duke University. Trust that I know how excit ing it was to receive the acceptance letter from Duke , to walk on campus , and
to start your First Day of Class (FDOC). I also know what it is like to fail, to
lose friends , to be rejected , and to be overstressed to the point of medical atten tion. These instances are not inevitable, but they are possible.
This is due to the fact that there exists an uncertainty in your Duke Blue Dev il experience , both academic and social. However, this is not going to entirely
depend on how you construct and cultivate it There are so many underlying
factors on this campus that can impact your Duke experience , positively and
negatively. Here , I only wish to provide you with cautions or warnings that are
based on my lived experience at Duke. Keep in mind that I too , have external
factors outside of Duke that have influenced my performance in this amazing
university. Factors I wish I could control better , but not everyone possesses the


gift of balance. I digress, but I wanted to note this for those of you who worry
about your personal external challenges, or even internal challenges and how
they may affect your Duke experience.
Here is some advice and some warnings that I believe should be mentioned
before you enter onto this campus. If you wish for some elaboration on some of
these warnings, please reach out to the publ ishers of the Duke Disorientation
Guide , and they will put me in touch with you because the warnings I am about
to provide can be controversial and may harm my social identity (what is left of
it 101) :

Take(many) intro-levelclasses
Do not jump up one level or two because you think you are amazing in them.
Find courses and topics that intrigue you and enter into them slowly rather
than diving head first This can hurt your track if you are not careful with the
order in which you take classes. Unless you have excellent AP or SAT scores
in those subjects, do not jump ahead (e.g. ECON 101, CULANTH 101, CHEM
99D/101DL, BIO 201DL, PUBPOL155D , ANY MATH COURSE etc.). For example, Duke math will try to play with you. It is a VERY hard class at Duke
for those who are not above and beyond amazing at math when they come in.
Choose your courses wisely because you will not have advising on them until
you enter Duke or unless you reach out to people currently on campus.

Do not jump into Greeklife quickly.
PLEASE. Do not. Greek Life is NOT essential to be involved socially. In fact, it
can harm you socially if you are not careful. In Panhellenic Council and NPHC,
even Selective Living Groups (SLGS), both arenas you must tread water carefully. One wrong move, and the whole organization, fraternity or sorority, will
exile you. They will try to recruit you and make you believe that you are special
to them and that you could be one of them. Do not let that attract you toward
their organization unless you wanted to join them in the first place after researching the organization . HAZING IS ILLEGAL. HAZING IS ILLEGAL.
Sorry, I just needed to put that in all caps for the people in the back.


Do not seek popularity.
Sometimes it will feel like social life is defined by the Greek people you know
and the organizations you are in. Do not let this mindset consume you. Please.
Be your own person, you can have friends in any organization but do not think
you need to be a part of something to have an identity. Join what you want,
there are over 400 clubs on campus to choose from, find your fit.

Treatothers the wayyou would like to be treated,or you may face the consequences.
Prejudice and discrimination exists on this campus. Therefore , it is a very sensitive topic. Jokes of any nature will not be tolerated by the student body , especially if they are expressed on social media or publicly. You will be exposed. It
is important to be educated and respectful. In this guide , I am certain there are
people who can explain the issue of racism on this campus better than me. Also,
there will be people on this campus that you may not get along with, I had an
incident where I was personally targeted and made fun of on social media and
gossiped about. There is a harassment report you can file, however, those people never got in trouble and I did not get any justice because "it could not be
proven" that I was targeted, and yet the messages were there. From my experience, Duke will not take care of you unless you undergo a sexual harassment,
sexual assault, or other more serious case (understandable but this harassment /
bullying affected my academic courses). They say they do not tolerate bullying
or hate crimes, but their policies are non-existent or not well structured whatsoever. Unfortunately, for those who are more sensitive , you are forced to be to
build up a resilience.

Get out of Duke. Get out of the Duke bubble because it is toxic for your personal and professional character if you do not learn about the world beyond the
classroom walls. I do not care whether you are pre-med or engineering or not ,
you need to experience the outside world. There is more than just Duke , there
is more than just Durham , there is the planet on which we live. The most memorable experiences can happen abroad and on campus. Opportunities to study
or go abroad can be found through the Global Education Office, DukeEngage ,
and the Duke Marine Lab.

Do not be afraidto seek help and ask questions.
There is an effortless perfection fac;:adethat exists on this campus. Always has


and always will. Because we are Duke students, some of the "best and brightest" minds in the country. There are many resources for you to have if you have
mental health issues or physical health issues. You can receive accommodations for your challenges, just contact SDAO. You can also receive support from
CAPS, DukeReach , DukeWellness , etc.

Do not walkaroundin dimly-litplaces on campusat night by yourselt
I am not sure if this will apply to the students in future years due to Central
being closed, but especially do not walk around on Central Campus alone at
night . On main campus, West Campus , there have been incidents of strange
people walking around. Be mindful. At night, do not just hold the door open for
anyone, use your best judgment, even if that means asking them whether they
live in the dorm or who are they looking for.

you stay in your room all the time,you will miss out on campuslife.

There are so many activities happening on campus during the year. You can get
free food or meet great people at these events and maybe even learn something
new. I remember I went to a sushi roll making event once that was so much fun
and I was able to reunite with one girl who had lived in my hall in my dorm
building on East Campus my freshmen year. I really wish I went to more events
on campus but I traveled a lot and when I was on campus, I was up to my eyeballs in schoolwork and the job I needed to maintain for my Work -Study. How ever, it is important to note that too much socializing can be detrimental to
your productivity with your class work. Therefore , it is important that you learn
to balance wisely.

Takecare of yourself and your responsibilitiesbecauseDuke is not here to take
careof you.
Duke has many resources for mental health and physical health, but if you do
not speak up or take advantage of those opportunities, Duke will consume you.
This warning can even be adjusted for the people who may also come from a bit
wealthier households, PICK UP YOUR SHIT. The Duke Cleaning and Facilities
Staff are not your maids. They are real people who are employed to keep the
buildings clean for our physical health, taking out the trash to the larger dump sters, etc. The least you can do is pick up your trash, throw it in a trash can or
clean up your mess if you make one because they are not sitting there waiting
to clean up after you. Have some respect for them and for the people who live
near you.


Avoid drugsand if you ~ drink responsibly.
I cannot emphasize this enough for you. Drugs are not helpful for your body.
That line of cocaine your friends are peer pressuring you to do is not worth it
That Adderall pill your friend is offering you to help you study for that physics
exam that is tomorrow is not going to help you in the long run. This may just
be my opinion and people may say that "oh drugs are not that bad , just try it for
the experience". Please just do not. Be responsible at Duke. You can have a good
time without alcohol, you can have a good time with alcohol. But be responsible because once EMS (Emergency Medical Services) shows up, you are not going to want that $4k bill sitting in your mailbox. Many bad choices can be made
once you consume alcohol or take drugs, I know, I have experienced some of
the worst moments (For the record, I have not taken drugs but I know people
who have and I have seen what it does to them). Please take my advice and just
learn your limits and enjoy in a way that does not sacrifice your personal safety
nor someone else's.

Be wise with your food points.
No one is perfect when it comes to managing their food points normally. I have
been pretty smart with mine but it is hard when dinner dates or brunches or
lunch dates add up on your card. As a freshman , you will have less food points
(I believe, unless they change it) and will have to eat at Marketplace using your
swipes. Swipes are limited , so learn the system. Once you are a sophomore and
older, you will eat using food points , and you can spend them at any eatery on
campus, however , Marketplace will no longer be swipes for you, they will be
around $16 food points .

Do not be discouragedby the afll.uenceon this campusif you come from a lower-incomehousehold
I was a victim of this. I was so discouraged by the affluence and feeling like I
would never get clout (definition: immense attention and hype shown toward
an individual , someone who possesses a high popularity in the community)
from my community or the people I knew because I did not have nice clothes,
I was not incredibly beautiful with/without make -up, I was not an athlete, nor
could I afford to maintain a luxurious lifestyle or pay to be in certain organizations. If you are from a low-income family and you do not have a stunning
wardrobe, WHO EFFIN' CARES. You have a style; it is your own. You need to
own your style, be confident in it. Do not long for those Instagram hype comments because honestly , they are just on a screen. Sent in one second, and can


be gone in the next I hype up my friends, sure, but when I send a comment, I
mean it genuinely. Some are just a side effect of clout Do not get it twisted.

Find some time to read
You may find it hard to read at Duke , but try to get a book in or two during the
semester. You need to rest from the work sometimes and transcend the Duke
bubble and be down to earth. Read some bestsellers or the NYT newspaper, or
something. Try to remove yourself from Duke for at least ½ an hour a day (not
via social media).

Learnimportant buildingnames, Duke acronymsand walkaroundboth campuses beforeyou start your classes.
This is really important once you finally become a freshman because you will
need to navigate the campus in order to get to classes, events, and other activities. Walking around campus during 0 -week and on weekends is actually really
helpful and allows you to become more familiar with Duke as a whole. There
are many , many shortcuts to buildings and bus stops that are much faster than
the commonly taken way. I encourage you to seek these out, because they will
be very important in the future.

Do not be discouragedby failurenor rejection.
At Duke there are many opportunities, and with those opportunities can involve several rounds of selection processes or some can be basic entry. I applied
for many things my freshman and sophomore year; I was involved in many
activities my freshman year, trying to find my fit. I was rejected by some of the
most amazing opportunities that I really wanted, and was denied others. I failed
a class my sophomore year, due to so many external and internal factors. Do
not let this discourage you. Please. The journey is worth it when you reach the
end because you learn so much along the way. I do wish sometimes that I was
able to have these opportunities, but I know there is a reason why I did not get
them. It was not for me. You must remain positive during your Duke experience
because it will try to deter you from seeing the benefits and focus you on the
cons. It really pulls you into the darkness, but you need to fight for the light.
The advice I have shared along with my warnings are not meant to dissuade
you from Duke , but more so alert you of what is possibly to come. I want every prospective freshman to be aware of the possibilities and the problems that
exist because once they experience these challenges it can be hard to push


through them. Duke can only support you so much, and this is something I
must leave you with. Once you enter any college, even Duke , you must become more self-sufficient, more independent, and more resilient. As cliche as
it sounds, you are moving on to the next stage of your life once you begin your
college experience, your Duke experience.
Therefore , Duke University is not just a place where you will spend four years
(or more) of your life, it will be a home that you will always want to come back
to. A home where you may meet your life-long best friends. A home where you
will learn your greatest life lessons. A home where you will have a unique college experience. A home that will love you, but will challenge you. A home that
will stress you, but will cultivate you. A home that you cannot take for granted
because your time within its Gothic architectural walls will fly by, in just a blink
of an eye. A home that will show you its "Duke difference", and will send you
off into the world knowing that you will always be Forever Duke.


Lucy Zh eng

I discover early on that freshman year is
young people fucking themselves over
for the "experience ,"
huddling over their beacon beams of loneliness
in rooms lacking insulation ,
where the warmth of each stifled space
never permeates through to another.
"Yeah, it 's really weird actually,
but the thermal detection camera is showing us
that the walls between the dorms on East Campus lose like,
all heat. Really ineflicient"
In my voluntary cell I pretend not to care.
(i haven 't seen my roommate 's face in a week.)
I came to meet people as advertised
in the generic perfection of an admissions brochure
but the meeting happened before it even began ,
cursory , like chatting pleasantly for hours about mathematics in April ,
then holding their hair back a couple months later ,
when it's the second day after move in
and it's 4 AM and the aroma of alcohol -infused vomit
mixes with your sleep deprivation.
You never expected this out of them,
but now you 're here.
Here. Here in paradise where the diversity
manifests as conflict , as people
saying things you never realized you
hoped you 'd never hear. Here where
we apparently have to be taught not
to fling around racial slurs,
not by the administration ,
but by enraged students that I can 't help but be a part of,


be proud of. Here where the main entrance of
the University Hospital is flanked by a set
of steep stairs- and no ramp.
oh the irony.
There 's duality to every facet,
another side to every gothic arch ;
you don 't know Duke until you
realize we don't bleed blue ,
we bleed grey. Grey, amorphous , indeterminate
like the tones of the structures that surround us,
elegant and formidable at a distance ,
yet moss-stained and crumbling up close.
Welcome to Duke.
(i would tell you not to get too comfortable ,
but i don 't think that will be a problem.)

[Image description: Black an d white sketch of a standing
person create d out of contour lines}

Sanjidah Ahmed

The color of first snow
Of marble
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus
IamfromWhere am I from?
I am from
Really from
Worse for the wear
I am weary
Worry lines embroider my mother's face
I don't remember placing them there
I didn't even know I knew how to stitch
I thought stitches
Were fixing-things
Even the fixers are in flux
So where does that leave me?
Of the free
I am free
To melt my flesh into liquid
Melt my liquid into air
And then I'll be free
By another degree
First , second, third degree burns
That 's what freedom looks like


Left isn't right
They tried to suck the venom
Out of my blood
But there 's too much left over
I had a dream where my father threw away the leftovers
My mother protested
It was wasteful
Sacrilege in the face of sacrifice
Sacred tongues
Have left my mouth dry
Speared between a crucifix and a scimitar
All that 's left of my soul is skim milk
The color of first snow angels of marble martyred to mar


Manish Kum ar (he/him /his)

Since the formation of the Duke Gay Alliance in 1972, LGBTQIA+ student life
has changed significantly on campus. To learn more about LGBTQIA+ history
at Duke , check out some highlights in the programming space of the Center for
Sexual and Gender Diversity , created by Janelle Taylor '19.


General Resources for LGBTQIA+ students
The Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity (CSGD):
The CSGD is located on the first floor of the Bryan Center ,
and serves to "We strive to achieve an inclusive campus cli
mate for students , staff, faculty , and alumni with margin
alized sexual orientations , gender identities , and gender ex
pressions through education , advocacy , support , mentoring ,
academic engagement , and providing space ."
The Center has four professional staff, five student staffers ,
and one graduate student assistant . Although they do not en
compass every identity group , staff are friendly and always
have an open door.
The CSGD is involved with several programs and events
throughout the year , such as: Durham Pride , Coming Out
Day on Campus , World AIDS Day, Transgender Day of Re
membrance , and Lavender Graduation , in addition to host
ing different speakers , leading trainings , and having weekly
The center also hosts several "In Group Spaces " for identity
groups within the LGBTQIA+ community. They are :
First year Kickstart: for first years from all different
SOGIEs (sexual orientation , gender identity , and gen
der expression)
Fluid: for bisexual , pansexual , sexually fluid , or ques
tioning students
Gothic Queers Men 's Group: For male -identifying stu
dents attracted to men
Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC) : For the
LGBTQIA+ people of color at Duke
Queer Queens: For female -identifying LGBTQIA+


people at Duke
The Ace Space: for students identifying along the asex
uality spectrum
Trangout : an in group space for transgender , non-bina
ry and gender nonconforming students
Note: The CSGD has a secret door that can be used to enter
the center. It can be accessed through the Student Affairs
office located next to the CSGD.
Blue Devils United (BDU)
BDU is one of the undergraduate student organizations for
LGBTQIA+ identifying students and allies. BDU has occ
sional general body meetings and hosts several social events
throughout the year for undergrads. More information can be
found here . BDU's president for the 2018-2019 school year is
Max Bernell.
Athlete Ally
Athlete Ally is an undergraduate organization the serves to
respect Duke Athletes that are part of the LGBTQIA+ co
munity. Their Facebook page can be found here .

APIQ (Asian American Pacific Islander Queers)
From: Theo Cai (he/him/his)
''APIQ (Asian Pacific Islander Queers) is a safe space
for Asians/Asian Americans and Pacific Islander
LGBTQ+ individuals on Duke 's campus. We seek to be
a support group as well as an organization that holds
events that advocate and raise awareness for the Duke
APIQ community. If you are interested in keeping up
to date with our events and meetings, fill out this form
so you can be added to the confidential listserve!"
The OUTDUKE List provides a list of staff and faculty that
can be reached out to as informal resources for LGBQTIA+
students on campus. It includes both members of the queer
community and allies, and can be found here .
Resources for Transgender Students
The CSGD has compiled a list of resources for transgender stu
dents that can be found here .



Gender Inclusive Bathrooms on Campus
A map of Gender Inclusive single occupancy restrooms can be
found here .

DISLCLAIMER: The LGBTQIA+ community is incredibly diverse, and each
person is likely to have had different experiences . This simply notifies some of
my experiences at Duke and some of my observations. As a cis-male , I still carry
many privileges , and my experience is definitely not reflective of everyone 's.
Two years ago, while walking across the Bryan Center (BC), I would make
cursory glances at the door to the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity
(CSGD) , too afraid to enter , but too interested to just look away. These glances
would become routine over the next several weeks, though for the longest time ,
I could not gather the strength to enter.
I came out to my sister and closest friend just before coming to Duke , and despite wanting to start classes completely out to everyone , I found myself boxed
in. What if my parents found out? What if my friends didn 't accept me ? Growing up in a relatively conservative Asian American household and having heard
plenty of homophobic comments from peers , I found it hard to get myself to
say those two words . Just a year prior , a homophobic slur had been written on
the wall of an East Campus dorm , was Duke even safe?
After keeping to myself for the first couple weeks, I came out to my first friend
on a night after Shooters , while we ate popcorn and watched the Wizard of Oz.
Contrary to what I expected , it wasn't a very liberating experience. I still felt
caged in, as if I had nowhere to go to find others that share my story, others
I would be able to relate to. At a university that had promised such a friendly
community , I didn 't understand why I still felt like I didn 't fit in.
As I soon came to find out, although many Duke students and staff (though I

have heard horrible experiences from peers) didn't seem to carry explicit biases
against the queer community , there were problems with the queer communi ty itself. At Duke , the queer community is still a very white dominated space,
manifesting both explicitly and implicitly. When I entered queer spaces, I often
felt myself shut out from sharing my experiences , or feeling too out of place


to share them. As I would find out , this was a common concern among other
QPOC (queer people of color) that I met on campus.
Duke has become complacent with its so called "diversity." In grouping all
POC into one identity , I found the university has shut out spaces to celebrate
the many individual experiences of people of color, highlighted within queer
spaces. I never found , and still have not found a place on campus I can be both
Indian American and queer , without feeling like I have to compromise on one
part of my identity.
Entering my junior year , I have become much more comfortable accepting my
sexual orientation. I now work at the CSGD (please stop by and say hi!). Last
year, I helped with Greek Ally Week. And this year, I'm getting excited for my
first Pride. However , those pains still remain. A couple of days ago, someone
told me: ''Why don 't you come out to your parents , my friend (a white male)
did it, and I'm sure yours would be fine with it too. Times have changed. " Have
they really? Until Duke takes more time to acknowledge the IND MD UAL
experiences and pains of POC , especially within the queer community , I doubt
they will.






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direc t




Nikki Santo s

As members of the Latinx community , we defend our culture and our heritage
with pride , allowing no one to insult our lifestyles. Yet this does not make us
incapable of seeing the flaws that exist within our beloved community. Among
these is the overwhelming need to conform to gender roles. A sense of machis mo overwhelms us, flooding into the expectations that members of our society
hold for us, bleeding into the words sweetly whispered by our abuelitas, and
molding us to become subservient women and hyper -masculine males . While
there is no doubt gender roles restrict every individual 's behavior , machismo
has been a part of the Latinx community for so long it has penetrated our culture to the extent that it can feel like you are turning your back on your family,
friends , and community if you choose to denounce gender roles. It has poisoned the best parts of our culture for far too long.
This feeling of betrayal is oftentimes worse amongst members of the LGBT+
community. Homosexual males and females are criticized for who they love,
what they wear , and any decisions they make that do not align with what would
be traditionally expected of their gender. Any other members of the LGBT+
spectrum are rarely acknowledged amongst the most strictly traditional Latinx
communities. Non -binary individuals are in a position where their identity , as
well as their lifestyle, is at risk. Even the name of the community they identify
with is typically gendered: Latina/Latino.
As we near November 20th , Transgender Day of Remembrance , it is important

to realize how the identities of queer Latinx brothers , sisters, and others, are
victimized by their communities. Their stories should not be forgotten. Their
identities will not be erased. We must acknowledge their existence and destroy
the gender roles that prohibit them from expressing their true selves. On this
day, and every other day, we must remember the Transgender individuals who
have lost their lives, Latin or otherwise , due to suicide from a lack of acceptance
or homicide due to bigotry. They are humans and they belong to this commu nity as much as any binary individual. Machismo aside, we are a family and, as
any member of the Latinx community agrees, family comes first.
The CSGD (Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity) on Duke University's
campus raises awareness about the social issues which plague members of this


community and offer Trans 101presentations. These events help non -Trans
individuals understand their struggles and explain how to be practical allies
in terms of support and active fighters against discrimination. They also offer
support and a safe place on campus for Trans students regardless of the other
communities to which they belong.

For more information on this , please contact csgd@studentaffairs.duke .edu.



[Image description: Pink
box with white text that
says "the bridge"]



Kristina Smith

Oh, to be a white feminist.
To be a white feminist who, contrary to what one might think, is not necessarily
white nor a woman.
To be a white feminist who upholds the abhorrent truth that mainstream feminism is cognizant of white women first and white women only.
To be a white feminist who walks the same campus as me, who walks in the
Women's March next to me, and who walks the fight against injustice alongside
Yet our paths diverge.
Our paths diverge because yours is one of selectivity. Your feminism, even if
you refuse to acknowledge it, is rooted in hierarchy that does not support universal gender equality. Rather, your hierarchy places white people, white women, at the forefront of a movement that is meant to be undivided.
Your (white) feminism is incomplete.
I was once asked if I would rather a person be a white feminist than not a feminist at all. My answer, nearly immediately, was not one at all.
Nearly all of our struggles over gender equality have been white. When one
recalls women's suffrage, we do so without much thought about which women
gained the right to vote in 1920. We place little thought on the monolithic race
of those women.
Today is not much different.
We speak of a gendered pay gap without racial distinction. We can actively
recall "77 cents to a man's dollar" because if we are going to speak about how
much women earn in comparison to men , we will speak about how much white
women earn in comparison to men.


Feminism without acknowledgment of the variation in treatment or outcome
among women does a disservice to the majority of women. If fact, I would argue that any kind of feminism that places the disparities of some women over
others actively destroys any semblance of hope for gender equality.
To speak of womanhood , to even dare call yourself a feminist , without sustained discussion of race, sexuality , socioeconomic status , and many more intersectional identities , is to speak incomplete feminism. It is to support a select
group of women , which works against the need for feminism in the first place.
We women have a difficult time supporting one another. For so long our opinions of ourselves have been embedded in men 's opinions of us. Our opinions of
one another often reflect our own insecurities or the ways that we fear another
woman may better live up to society's arbitrary standards.
For this reason , we need feminism.
We need the unconditional and factual belief that people of all genders are
equal and are deserving of treatment that reflects that equality. We desperately
need women who believe that other women are worthy of better treatment We
deserve women who understand that all women warrant rights , language , and
action that is no longer stifling or limiting.
Yet your white feminism , or should I say your selective feminism , is perhaps
just as much of a detriment to our society as the patriarchy.
It is often difficult for me to describe where I see white feminism or white feminists. There isn't normally a badge worn or a flashing neon sign that points out
who among us places white women above the rest. Often it is just an absence of
intersectional conversation.
Yet this absence is felt like a crushing weight on my body.
I can see it in classrooms when womanhood is spoken of like a uniform experience. I can see it on retreats where white women have little to say about race
but everything to say about gender. I can see it in social groups that claim to
support women but do not reflect the diversity of women surrounding them.


White feminism is detrimental because to support few women is not to support
You don 't know , nor do you seem to care. Your vision is so tunneled , so white ,
that all you see in front of you is justice for the women who you see around
you. Whether those women are those you see at parties or in the media , they all
have whiteness to them. The oppression of their womanhood lacks many other
dimensions of oppression .
This , however , is not to say that white women do not face oppression. It is only
to say that their oppression does not have as many points of attack.
I just recently read about the successes that women had in film this past year
with Blockbusters like Superwoman and Star Wars. Yet what was most poignant
about the piece was that it acknowledged that we admire the triumphs of white
women but do little to discuss the obstacles for the rest .
While we should admire the successes of these women , because that indeed is
what feminism is, we should also examine why praising these particular wom en might come easy to us. We should stop ourselves from believing too quickly
that the success of a few white women is telling of the ability to succeed for all
women. We should remember that recognizing that it is a white woman who
has triumphed does not take away from her success , nor it does not make her
less of a role model
It does , however , acknowledge the ease of those accomplishments relative to
others , while also being mindful that the presence of a more diverse array of
triumphant woman can provide role models for many rather than just a few.
While I ardently believe that your white feminism is overtly and irrefutably
wrong , it is crucial to understand that white feminism is not stagnant
As I said before , just because you are a white woman who believes herself to be
a feminist doesn 't mean you 're a white feminist. That 's not what white feminism is. Rather , it is a symptom of our society 's racism coupled with sexism and
anyone can fall victim to it.


Our society chooses white feminism because racism is at the core of our social
and political institutions . If one is forced to choose between people of color and
women , whiteness always seems to win.
Yet the longer we allow this to happen , the longer we allow men to hold the
power , rights , and justice that should be distributed amongst us all.
The longer we allow the person next to us in class to gloss over the historical
exclusion of women with other marginalized identities , the longer we sustain
the power divide. The longer we allow the white woman marching next to us
to speak about sexism on a college campus as if the opportunities for college
are the same for all women , the longer we prevent equitable change . The longer
we see ourselves as true feminists without critical analysis of our inclusionary
efforts , the longer our feminism does minimal work .
At a time on our campus when women are joining organizations to celebrate
womanhood and personhood , we must remember that female empowerment
depends on intersectionality. Without it, your claims of feminism do not stand.
Be honest and critical of your own feminism. Perhaps the reality right now is
that you 're not an intersectional feminist , but everyone has the ability to be.
Remember , your white feminism is not feminism.
It is a misconception that feminism can be exclusive , or can be anything other
than inclusive. That is not a feminism I believe , nor is one I want to be a part of.
Oh , to be a white feminist. To not be a real feminist at all


[Image description: Pink
box with white text that
says "the bridge "]

Mia Monae

Y'all ever been doing some self-reflection , trying to focus internally , and on
that random -walk happen across a tiny outpost of nee -colonialist thought just
lurking in some obscure part of yourself? I ran, full-force into one I didn't know
I still had last weekend . I tried writing this then , but I had to step a way for a
while. I wasn 't ready to eternalize my inability to love myself fully by writing
about it just yet.
I was going to a friend 's 21st birthday party. It was on a part of campus I'd never
been to. The white sorority section of Central campus. Y'all know that feeling
when you 're in a neighborhood where nobody looks like you , and you can
almost feel everyone locking their car doors as you pull up? That 's how I felt.
I walked over from the familiarity of Anderson St. with my Australian friend.
She's brilliant , all legs, and recently very blonde. I trailed behind her excited to
celebrate our friends ' special day. We passed a group of white guys, potentially
affiliated with a greek organization , and instantly found myself stumb ling back
into the nightmare that was middle and high school. Each of them checked
my friend out in turn , slowly, methodically. There was a hunger and an appre ciation . They passed me next. I felt the indifferent graze of their gaze as they
looked through me.
Reminiscent of the many times boys at my predominantly white middle school
would rather not dance , tha n dance with me , I found my fiercely proud and
apparently fragile self-esteem shrink quickly back as I was awash in old inse curity and self-critique. Arriving at the party made things no easier . I was sur rounded by white women. Of all varying shapes and sizes, yet still cloaked in
the same basal self-assurance of being subconsciously affirmed in the media , on
campus , and in pop culture . For a long time, I was the only no n-white woman
in the room. Wearing all black, with big hair , and bright red lipstick , my fashion
choice only augmented the differentiation that my skin initiated.
I faded between the present and middle school me. I could almost smell the
burnt hair from all the time and energy spent straightening my hair to try to
blend in more .


Though I really was convinced that straighter hair , a narrower nose , and lighter
eyes were things I no longer desired , or coveted , I did find myself nervous in
that room full of what I had been socialized to believe was normative beauty. At
one point , I shut myself in the bathroom and forced down tears. I choked back
years of looking at movies, magazines , TV shows, and books that showed me
that beautiful would never be attainable for me.
I forcefully tucked my hair behind my ear and reminded myself of how far I
had come. I wore my hair big because it was a part of my personality. I drew
attention to my big lips and the shape of my nose because they were a part of
me. In that party , between toasts and wishing people happy birthday , I confronted an old me. A Ghost of Insecurities Past I confronted those old desires,
and forgave myself for having ever pursued them. I contemplated the system
of white -washing and socialization that I continuously find myself ensnared in,
and comforted myself with the fact that I recognized the source , and chose not
to entertain it.
I took deep breaths and reminded myself of the many people who helped inspire and nurture my self-love. My boyfriend and I have talked several times
about this experience. I have told him how I felt in that moment. I haven 't told
him how much he has helped me move past it. Obviously in the moment , when
I was having a small break down , his texts were reassuring and affirming. But
I'm talking about the everyday affirmation that occurred before the birthday
party , during the birthday party , and continues today.

I mean the many different ways he carves out space and time for me to be
myself and learn to love myself. The more in love I fall with him , the more I
also love myself. He pushes me and moves me to be introspective , to challenge
myself, and to stand up for myself. I was able to recognize those old desires and
fears, and rebuke them because I have a stronger sense of who I am today than I
did then. I teared up for these old desires and was frustrated by how they could
still give me such a sense of discomfort. Yet, I was also able to refute any claims
my insecurity might 've made swiftly and instantly. My sense of self-awareness
and self-love ushered me safely past that danger zone.


This February , during this hallmark holiday that starts with a V, I'm celebrating
a couple of things. I'm celebrating my ability to recognize and accept that I am
a product of the society we live in. I'm forgiving myself to having some socialized misconceptions that I still have yet to root out. I'm jumping for joy that I
have such a beautiful person to share that journey with. And I'm glad to remi nisce on every step of that journey we've already taken which inspires me to fall
more and more in love with him , but also with myself.

[Image descrip tion: Pink
box with white text that
says "the bridge"]




Mumbi Kany ogo


Mflmbi is my grandmother 's name, passed down to me through Kikuyu naming
traditions and the remainder of my father 's childhood. So, when my father says
my name he calls his mother and his great granddaughter too - he summons
present and past and a future that the rest of us do not know. So much is gained
in that naming. And yet , so much is lost between childhood desires that never
manifested into memories and fathering , birthed from a desire to spite absence
and the weight of fatherlessness in a culture that looks for names in the blood
of present men.
Where did our parents find names when so many of their fathers were ghosts?
Where will our children find names when so many of our men want to make us
Mumbi - also the name of the first woman in my tribe. Birthed a whole tribe
yet still named mutumia - "one whose lips are sealed ".
To be miitumia , to be woman is to be undervalued and misnamed, again and
again and again.

Familyname:Kanyogo , origin unknown . Meaning unknown to me. A name
passed onto me through my father , and his mother before. It is a name I will
keep , always.

PermanentAddress:Somewhere before the imaginary line where Nairobi be comes Kiambu , along a narrow, straight section of a road that is intent on bend ing like it has studied rivers - lies the small dirt path that leads to my Guka 's
home in Lower Kabete. This home is a two -story stone building, with a dark
garage -turned -storage room that perpetually smells of dirt and rat poison. It is
roofed by flat, red bricks that crying , black crows make a resting place of just
before sunset. It is a home that has always been a construction site. Someone ,
my grandfather or his children, has always dreamed up new reasons to bring its
old bumpy walls down, new ways to make it more like home.


There has always been an old crack, an old leak or a new struggle to fix. And so
someone has always found a way to remind us of the volatility of the material,
the body - how things collapse and are rebuilt again and again. Yet somehow
we still managed to weave silence into each new wall that was built - to silence
On most nights, we live in a place where so much is possible - where, love can
blossom into 58 years, and three great-grandchildren. I've seen it in my grandmother's living room. We also live in a country where mothers lose children to
big men whose birth rights are pillaging and a traumatized people; people who
breed silence, as if the earth below them is not already saturated with decades
of spilt blood - as if it has not been hemorrhaging to a point of collapse with
each new poor, black body left to rot in its streets.
These days the land is leaking, betraying its own worst kept secrets.

Date of Birth:21/06/96. I was born two years after my parents married each other in September 1994. There was genocide and liberation that very same year on
our continent
1994, I imagine it tasted sweet on their lips - that it left a bitter after taste on
their tongues leaving them unable to rid their bodies of what remains between
personal joy and collective suffering - all that is not said.
23 years later and my father still sings embarrassing Kikuyu songs about my
mother's middle name , Mfuugi. 23 years later and my mother still finds safety
in their bedroom.

Occupation:Student A place in limbo, where happiness can come to die or
simply change its source. Here , I spend too much time trying to hold myself
together and not enough time dreaming beyond the mundane pressure that
squanders passion and will. Here , I spend too much time counting the days till

Objectiveof visit: Education . Over 40 years ago my grandfather filled out a similar application to pursue further education in Canada. I wonder what he was
thinking about when he filled out each section: the life, the family he was leav ing behind or the opportunities that lay at the end of that process?


I wonder whether he thought he would like Ontario a little too much , enough
to want to stay. I wonder whether he thought about coming back home , foreign.
I think about transience - how I am forming memories and relationships in
a place that makes me feel impermanent ; like an addendum. A place, that in
about a year and a half, after graduation , will be looking to oversee an elaborate
exchange : one degree for my subsequent (assumed) absence and four years of
laughter , tears , twangs , successes, sinking feelings in my chest , shivers, transna tional ghosts , fear, opportunities , failure, deep pain , reflection , and memories of
places and people that will be difficult to see.
When they were drafting these visas, I wonder: did they remember that beyond
our occupations , beyond their own attachments to these imperial boundaries
of a country that is determined to keep those that it steals from out - did they
imagine that these visas would serve people , so much like their own people?
People who are tired of justifying their own existences - people , who love places they were never supposed to love; people who dare to hold onto people who
will be difficult to keep.
Did they imagine that these applications would be filled out by people?


[Image description: Pink
box with white text that
says "the bridge"]

Trey Walk

This is an open love letter to Black Duke - the students , faculty , staff, workers ,
and administrators of African descent. This letter is specifically meant for first year students in response to the act of anti -black violence that was directed at
our community the beginning of this semester when the Mary Lou Williams
Center was vandalized. I wrote and I am reading this letter to loudly and public ly affirm you , your brilliance , and your belonging at this university.
In the spring of 2015, a noose was found hanging on Duke 's campus at the Bryan Center Plaza. The student body erupted in outrage , national news flocked to
campus , and the next state over in South Carolina , I followed along anxious ly
on the internet I was a senior in high school who had recently chosen to come
to Duke. When I visited campus during Blue Devil Days a few weeks later , I
asked a Black student the question I have been asked by many of you . "Does
this type of thing happen often at Duke? "
A simple question that expresses many fears. It is a question which asks how
you should prepare yourself for the seemingly inevitab le next act of violence.
It is a question to express doubts about your safety here. It is a question about
Duke 's identity -- does the university actually care about Black students and
Black lives?
The short answer to the question "Does this happen often at Duke " is yes. But
in this let ter, I hope to say a bit more.
Over the next four years , you will have moments when a sense will creep over
you and whisper to you that this place was not meant for us. It might happen
when you find yourse lf the only Black student in a classroom where your classmates discuss racial inequality with detachment and abstraction. It might be
when you walk past the Carr building and remember that your education was
made possible by the money of a white supremacist who wouldn 't have wanted
you here.
For me , it happened when I noticed during my four years and over 20 classes
at Duke , I have only had one professor who looked like me . I felt it when I saw
two senior administrators commit acts of violence against black workers and no


accountability was to be expected. You might , like I have, come to know deep
down that these things are all connected.
And I want to say--1 know that This is not limited to Black students . Latinx ,
Muslim , Asian American , Native peoples face unique but similar challenges.
And not even all of us experience the harms in the same way. The harm of
these systems is felt more by women , my brothers and sisters in the queer com munity , and those from low-income backgrounds. Those of us who might have
different ability statuses. What is unifying , is that we will all feel in different
ways that this place was not meant for us.
I want you to know that creeping sense of dis-belonging is wrong. It is a lie. I
believe, without reservation , that this university - and the world for that mat ter - can and will be better. I'll fight every day until it is so. I recognize that the
university is not ... it cannot be ... the ultimate site of Black liberation , but I do
think that this place and the education and opportunities it offers can be trans formative for individuals. It is a place which at its best , can represent progress
for individual Black people , our families , and our home communities.
During your time here , you will also have the chance to relish in black joy, success, and brilliance. You will feel it when you walk into the Mary Lou Williams
Center and are always greeted by Nate 's smile. You'll feel it when your friends
produce groundbreaking research , win academic awards , and receive impressive
internship offers . Maybe when you find a local barbershop you like and you 'll
joke with your friend about his lineup .
One thing I want to offer to you is the path I've chosen. You might choose to
join in the work of making Duke better , of building the future we know to be
possible .
These systems of white supremacy are big and powerful and won 't come down
if we sit on the sidelines. "Reality needs us to speak out with fire in our blood ,
lightning pouring out of our mouths. " One of my personal heroes , Reverend
William Barber II once said that , "we should strive to say to history that with
our few short breaths we chose not to be silent. We chose to cry out loudly to
say something that mattered. "
This takes many forms and for you it might be joining a social justice advocacy
group (like People 's State of the University) , it might be sending an email to an


administrator about a problem you are having on campus, it might be showing
up to a teach -in, it might even be creating programming and self-care space for
people in your community.
But 1 know it is hard. It is okay if you don't. Sometimes the battle is too much. It
is okay to feel exhaustion; know that you can rest.
In the meantime, until we reach a place where this place looks and feels like a
community rooted in love and justice , know that you belong here.
You are more than enough. You now belong to the stunning legacy of over 50
classes of Black students at Duke . You are in the legacy of civil rights organizer
and creator of Duke 's Black Student Union , Joyce Johnson. Of the activist and
freedom fighter and city councilwoman, Jillian Johnson . Of Reginaldo How ard. Of Raymond Gavins and other Black faculty who brought stu dents alive
in classrooms. Of countless workers whose names we might not ever know. Of
faculty who brought students alive in classrooms. You join the long legacy of
Black folks who make this place better by their being here.
Black students-- look here-- we belong here. We were forged in a fire of resistance, birthed into a history of joy and victory. We inherited a struggle for justice and freedom from some of the world's most tenacious and loving warriors.
There is currently an army of people here rooting for you. Know this and find
comfort in it. Use this history and your Black boy joy, your Black girl magic,
your melanated genius to banish white supremacy from every space you enter.
It doesn 't matter if the systems or incidents try to tell us otherwise-- you belong
here. Your life matters. Black lives matter.



y OU


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Mom: Hello Helen!
Helen: Hi mom!
Mom: I called you yesterday ...
Helen : I know. Sorry. It's been a really busy day, full of meetings, I haven 't had time to return your call.
Mom: What meetings? Have you eaten?
Helen : I had one at four o'clock ...
Mom: Four o'clock until now?
Helen : Yeah, I had one at 4, one at 5, one at 6, and then in the middle I ate a bowl of soup ...
Mom: Goodness!
Helen: And then, I had another one at 8:30.
Mom: Four meetings. And then? Are you done for today? Anything else?
Helen : Right now I'm looking at what classes I want to take next semester. I register tomorrow morning.
Mom: And then?
Helen : And then I have homework!
Mom: Do you have a lot of homework?
Helen : Quite a lot. I have an exam on Tuesday. But this week isn 't that busy, I just have a lot of events.
Mom: Okay ... then ... are you okay?
Helen: I'm okay.
Mom: The semester is almost over. Are you driving home or flying?
Helen : Driving.
Mom: You sure? How about I look at the flight prices? If it's not expensive I can help you buy it.
Helen : It 's no problem, driving is convenient, and it 's not too far. I've driven so many times already.
Mom: Why don 't you want to fly? Are you planning on bringing stuff back?
Helen: I want to bring things back and also bring things back to Duke . It's convenient.
Mom: Yeah. The one good benefit of a car is that you can bring food back. You can't do that on a plane.
Helen : Yeah!
Mom: When you get home I can cook your favorite dishes. Eggs and tomatoes?
We can make dumplings? Potatoes and green beans?
Helen: Yeah, I always like those!
Mom: Have you been eating alright these days?
Helen : Pretty alright. I went to a friend's house to eat last night, ate pretty well.
Mom: What kind of food?
Helen : Chinese food, of course.
Mom: Chinese food is pretty good.
Helen: Of course!
Mom: When you don't want to eat anything else, a bowl of porridge can be pretty good ...
Alright, there's not much else.
Just wanted to see how you were. Then ...get some sleep, okay?
Helen : Okay.
Mom: If you don't have anything, then I'll hang up.
Helen : Okay , I'll call you tomorrow.
Mom: Alright, take care Helen.
Helen: Bye, love you!

an inquiry about whether an individual has consumed food recently, oftentimes used to determine whether the speaker will be available for a shared meal in the near future:
"Hey, have you eaten?"
"Not Yet! Did you want to get lunch?"

a passive aggressive statement meant to dissuade daughters from eating more; subtle commen tary on someone else's weight as a way to guilt and manipulate them into eating less:
You cook my favorite dishes, trails of their spices linger under my door like a friendly ghost. Like lavender incense or citrus-scented candles, this is a kind of aromatherapy. Am I comforted by the smell of
MSG or the warmth of heritage? I inhale . I open my door, and from downstairs, you hear my exhale.
The pan sizzles. You sprinkle in more peppercorns because you know I like the numbing spice. Is it
because I 've found solace in returning to something familiar, despite knowing that it will hurt? Where
did that come from? The pan sizzles. I stand at the top of the staircase and ask how much longer until
dinner. You say soon, so I turn around to walk back into my room . Right when I place my hand on the
door handle, you yell. I run downstairs. You burned your hand. Thepan sizzles. You wash your hands
and take the bag of ice I prepare for you . I help finish cooking and set the table. You're not looking . You
walk to your room . I eat some of the food while setting the table. I take my chopsticks and re-plate the
food so it doesn't look like I made a dent. I smile to myself, knowing that nobody will ever know. You
walk back in . You know. You say nothing . I say nothing. I call Dad to the kitchen. I call Ethan to the
kitchen . We eat. It's been ten minutes, and the plates are almost empty. There are stains on the table from
where we've all dropped food and drizzled soup . I look at the clock . It's been an hour. I like the noise my
chopsticks make when rapidly swooping into the crevices of my bowl. I like that we bring the bowls up
to our faces when we eat. I like the noise that the bowls make when we clink them down in satisfaction .
I sit and listen to Dad talk about Chinese politics I sit and listen to Dad talk about American politics . It's
been two hours . I ask if there is still rice in the pot. You pause . I pause. Dad does not.
"Have you eaten?" you ask. You look at the food on the table. You look at my empty bowl. You look at
the few pieces of rice that have escaped and found a home on the table. You look at me. I look
away. I look down. I look at my legs. My stretch marks stare back with ferocity. They
do not blink. Instead, they whisper to me, write me reminders on the canvas that
is my thigh. It's been two months since I have been to the gym . The first thing
jJJjJJsaid to me when she came to America was that I grew fatter. She
laughed. I did not. She gave me a hug . I smiled until I walked upstairs.
I cried. I went up a pants size . I tell myself it is because the store I shop
at uses European sizes.


[Im age descript ion: Hand drawn word s that say
"H ave You Eaten ??"]



I look back at you. I break eye contact. I don 't know where to look
"Yeah, you 're right," I respond softly I pick up my bowl and my chopsticks and walk towards the
sink I turn the faucet on to soak the leftover bits of food. I begin to wash the oil off the pan.
The pan sizzles.
I look back at you. I break eye contact. I don 't know where to look
"Yeah, you 're right," I respond softly. I pick up my bowl and my chopsticks and walk towards the
sink I turn the faucet on to soak the leftover bits of food. I begin to wash the oil off the pan.
The pan sizzles.
an interrogative used to convey compassion and worry towards loved ones when it is too
uncomfortable to express such sentiments in explicit means:

I start going to therapy Seeing someone every week makes me feel safer. I tell you how my therapist has a soft voice and a soft smile. You worry, thinking that I have secrets to shed like the skin of
a snake; you worry, thinking that my secrets will poison me, fill my veins with anti-depressants and
undiagnosed schizophrenia. I don 't take medication. I just talk. Sometimes I cry.
You call me every day with nothing real to say You think that every minute you talk to me on the
phone is another minute I won 't be indulging in my melancholy. You talk about the office usually,
or Dad and your walks around the lake. You want to ask about therapy but do not know how to,
like an aphasia coated in a language lost in translation. Some days I say the word "therapy " over
and over again so you can become desensitized , but I can feel you wince even over the phone , so
sometimes I don 't. You ask about my classes, and I say they're fine.
You don 't ever say it out loud , but you question how I can be so sad if I can still do
well academically. I want to tell you it 's because I have to, otherwise your
sacrifices for me will be in vain, your migration will be for naught.


[Ima ge description : Black and white drawing of
a bowl w ith chop sticks and th e tex t " Pt J PJb
which translates to ''have you eaten?"]

This is a conversation about shame.
Shame is sister to anger but twin to disappointment.
Shame is realizing that my American nightmare
is breaking your American dream.

We talk about sleeping and how little of it I get nowadays. I 've stopped exercising during my midday breaks and started taking little naps instead. I tell you I 've gained weight so that you can't tell
me first. I finally understand the power in agency You tell me to get more sleep at night. I tell you I
rmss you.
"Have you eaten?" You ask. I say no. There is no comfort in the food here. I think about jidan xihongshi , a classic Chinese concoction of stir-fry eggs and tomatoes. Soft, fully eggs scrambled in
juicy tomato sauce, a quintessential home style dish that reminds me of home even when I do not
know where home exactly is. Is home a place? Is home a person? Is home a feeling? I tell you I miss
You tell me you 'll cook for me when I come home because you know there is nothing you can do
right now. You ask me what I want to eat. You feel powerless. You know part of the reason I am sad
is because of you , because your trauma is generational , because you perpetuated my free-fall in
between two cultures. You want to reconcile that, but your apology becomes a tongue twister too
difficult to say. You want to tell me that I am loved, but your words are like mistranslated subtitles
caught on a loop.
"I love you ," you think "Jidan xihongshi? " you ask.
synonyms: You need to sleep earlier , Where have you been?, How are your grades?, Why are you
always like this?, You need to grow up , You can 't keep going on like this , I am proud of you
synonyms (Chinese): 1?,R:~jt 111'.:., ;J,1\1'~~ . 11f~•~,R:** J , 11fe9i,l~i.# ,
r*if~tJL , 1t~1%tf jt~~~ . 1t~i.:il~~tx..11t% , 1ifiW~'9r~

1tJlif:f'li ,

also see: Eat more , Eat less




Serves 2-3
6 eggs
3 medium -sized tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
¼ teaspoon sugar
2 scallions
¼ teaspoon sesame oil
4 tablespoons cooking oil
Steamed rice , for serving
1. In a small bowl , beat the eggs well with salt , white pepper ,
and sesame oil. Whisk until the mixture becomes slightly
whiter .
2. Cut the tomatoes into halves , core them , and proceed to cut
into 1/2-inch wide wedges.
3. Chop scallions into thin slices.
4. On high heat , add three tablespoons of cooking oil to a
wide non-stick skillet Wait until oil starts to smoothly coat the bottom of the skillet , or when
a droplet of water would sizzle , pour in the eggs and cook until a thin , runny layer forms on
the bottom , about 30 to 45 seconds. Using a spatula , scramble the eggs until they are light and
fluffy , right before they set. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
5. Reheat th e skillet and add last tablespoon of cooking oil. When shimmering , add the scallions and then mix in the tomatoes and salt to taste and stir -fry until the flesh softens and
juices begin to form , about 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle sugar over tomatoes .
6. Reduce heat to low . Add the previously cooked eggs into the skillet , stirring until fully
cooked and mixed , about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish and add fresh scallion
greens on top if wanted . Serve immediately , with steamed rice.


[Image description: Photograph of stirfried tomatoes and scrambled eggs]

[Image description: Photograph of a bowl of rice]

Sanjidah Ahmed

We live in a shinier , brighter world
Gone are the cruelties of days past
We are Just
Dare I say it
We are architects of a new era
The diviners of our supercalifragilisticexpialidocious futures
Demand not flesh
They are not savages, you know
They only ask for a bit of soul
That little potentially fictional breath of air
Puffed into us by the Almighty Herself
They promise plastic in exchange for salvation
What a deal
What a steal
All I have to do
Is breathe in and out of a sarcophagus for the rest of my life
My lungs bleed black
They keep telling me it's blue
I tell them I don't give a single fuck whether it's black or blue
A woman with black hair and blue eyes
No- blue hair and black eyes
No- blonde hair and blue eyes
Smiles sadly at me and shakes her head
'Why can 't you just be grateful? " she asks
She uncaps a pen with bright blue ink
Lifts up my shirt from behind
And begins to write on my back
The pen moves in loops across my skin
As the inks slides down to my final vertebra ,
My nerves prickle with recognition


A signature
My signature
'Wha t did you write," I ask
My voice teeters out in bits of broken glass
No answer
I close my eyes
And reach for a prayer
Knowing I would find none
Six heartbeats pass
Time enough for the universe to give birth
I open my eyes and ask again
This time my voice is solid
Sedimented in layers of fear-borne fury
Slowly, she replies
Flashing a smile that bares every single one of her styrofoam teeth
"I didn't write anything"
I look down and see my fingers stained
With bright blue ink


Miriam Levitin

Trigger Warning - contains discussion of sexual assault, rape
(Survivors deserve to have autonomy over being exposed to something that
may cause them to relive their trauma)
Written-Out Introduction and Institutional History Timeline
• Period from 0-Week until Thanksgiving break is the "Red Zone" for sexual
• Statistics (40% of undergrad female-identifying and 10% of undergrad
male-identifying reported being sexually assaulted since enrolling at Duke
• Not enough talk, and discussions we do have focus mainly on survivors with
• Summary of institutiona l reports
Official Definitions and Policy
• https ://studentaffairs.duke.edu/conduct/z -policies /student -sexual-miscon duct -policy -dukes -commitment -title -ix
• With exception of 5 confidential resources (see: resources at bottom), all
employees of Duke (including those in peer advisor roles such as RAs and
FACs) are required to report
• Title IX: U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights enforced
Title IX of the Education Amendmen ts of 1972, which protects people from
discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive
Federal financial assistance; in the 90s the Supreme Court clarified that Title
IX requires schoo ls to respond appropriate ly to reports of sexual harassme nt
and sexual violence against students; The Dear Colleague Letter issues in
2011 states that sexual harassment and violence interferes with students'
right to receive an education free from discrimination and, in the case of
sexual violence, is a crime
• Student Sexual Misconduct Policy applies when: any Duke student (undergrad, grad, student enrolled in Duke program) is alleged to have perpetrated
against anyone, anywhere, at any time; disciplinary process available as long
as respondent is a student at Duke
• Alleged victim is referred to as "complainant" and alleged violator of policy
is "respondent" -- terminology used is purposefully divergent from the legal
language used in court


• What is prohibited?
(a) Sex/Gender-Based Harassment: unwelcome verbal/physical conduct based
on sex that, due to severity, persistence, and/or pervasiveness, creates a hostile
environment by interfering significantly with individual's work, education, or
living conditions; student's abuse of position of authority to make unwelcome
sexual advances, request sexual favors, or other sexual misconduct
(b) Sexual Violence: particularly severe form of harassment defined as any
physical act of a sexual nature based on sex and perpetrated against an individual without consent/when an individual is unable to freely give consent
(c) Sexual Exploitation: taking sexual advantage of another without consent for
one's benefit or the benefit of another party
(d) Relationship Violence: act of violence or pattern of abusive behavior in an
intimate relationship that is used by one partner to gain/maintain power and
control over another partner; can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, psychological; includes domestic/dating violence
(e) Sex/Gender-Based Stalking: course of conduct (including cyberstalking)
directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for
safety or suffer substantial emotional distress
(f) Retaliation : words or acts taken in response to a good-faith reporting of sexual misconduct or participation in Duke 's complaint process; protection applies
to parties and all witnesses
• Consent: an affirmative decision to engage in mutually acceptable sexual activity freely given by clear actions and/or words; if confusion or ambiguity arises
anytime during a sexual interaction, each participant must stop and clarify
verbally a willingness to continue; cannot be inferred from silence or passivity;
previous relationship can not constitute consent ; consent to some sexual activity is not consent to all sexual activity; unable to be freely given when incapacitated or coerced
- Perspective of a reasonable person is basis for determining whether a
respondent knew or reasonably should have known


- Being intoxicated or incapacitated yourself is not an excuse for sexual
• When the Office of Student Conduct receives a report , if it was not from a com plainant directly they typically reach out to the alleged complainant offering resources. The complainant does not have to respond and the process will typically
not continue without their participation.
• A complainant can meet with the Office of Student Conduct and discuss options ,
such as interim measures and the hearing process , and then decide what to do.
• Examples of interim measures: "no contact" directives (similar to a restraining order) , class reassignment , housing reassignment
• Hearing process :
-Consider seeking legal advice -- Legal Momentum is a free resource (hotline
212-925-6635 ext. 650) and there are many others
- "Sexual misconduct " is a violation of Duke's policy -- the complainant serves
as a witness to policy violation ; in the investigation process , Duke is not deter
mining whether the respondent has committed a crime , rather whether they are
a threat to the Duke community
-Beyond a reasonable doubt usually used for criminal cases; preponderance
of evidence -- the violation is more likely to have occured than not -- used to
protect Duke community
• Amnesty: disciplinary action for violation of alcohol policy not taken against stu dents for whom medical assistance is sought or against those who seek medical
assistance for themselves or others
• It can be helpful to get to know yourself and your boundaries , although this can be
difficult due to the shame and stigma surrounding sex and pleasure
• Consent is not sexy, it is mandatory. There is no such thing as "nonconsensual sex"
- there is sex, and there is rape.
• Consent is willfully given , sober , enthusiastic , revocable.
• How to obtain consent:
(a) Verbally ask
(b) Look for non -verbal signs that your partner isn't enjoying
(c) Check in if your partner seems quiet/unsure/hesitant/scared
( d) Ask for consent at each step


(e) Don 't assume, don't pressure, don 't use substances in order to gain
consent, don't assume that you have consent because your partner gave
you consent previously
(f) Examples: "do you like this?", "do you want to stop?", "how does this
feel?", "how far do you want to go?", "would you like to _ ?"
• Ongoing process! Not a one-time permission
• Location should not change consent - if you wouldn 't walk up to a stranger
in Perkins and touch their body , don 't do it at Shooters.
• Language is important because everyone has different definitions - for example , Person A asks Person B to "Netflix and Chill " and Person B says yes.
Person A thinks that this is consenting to sexual activity , but Person B just
wants to watch Netflix.
Healthy Sex
• The student group Peer Advocacy for Sexual Health (PASH) provides safer
sex supplies for free, examples of sexual pleasure products , books to read ,
resources , and peer advising https://dukepash.weebly.com/
• Condoms are also free in CMA, CSGD , Mary Lou, Athletics , Du Well, Oasis
East, Oasis West, Student Health , Women 's Center
• 40 cents for 4 condoms in vending machines in residence halls
• Also can request safer sex supplies here: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/formf
SV aYlRDUfFuSb52mN
• Student Health : STI testing and treatment , contraceptive counseling , HIV
testing and counseling regarding PrEP, pregnancy detection /counseling
- Ask them about insurance/if you want the tests to be
ambiguously named on your record i.e. if it would be a problem for
your parents to see
• Student group Know Your Status provides free, confidential HIV tests in the
Student Wellness Center every Tuesday 10am-4pm
• Duke Medical Center - Ryan Family Planning Clinic offers reproductive
healthcare as well as abortions (Durham Planned Parenthood doesn 't do
abortions but Chapel Hill Planned Parenthood does)



1. Don't put drugs in women's drinks.
2. When you see a woman walking by herself,
leave her alone.
3. If you pull over to help a woman whose car has
broken down, remember not to rape her.
4. If you are in an elevator and a woman gets in,
don't rape her.
5. When you encounter a woman who is asleep,
the safest course of action is to not rape her.
6. Never creep into a woman's home through an
unlocked door or window, or spring out at her
from between parked cars, or rape her.
7. Remember, people go to the laundry room to do
their laundry. Do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.
8. Use the Buddy System! If it is inconvenient for
you to stop yourself from raping women, ask a
trusted friend to accompany you at all times.
9. Carry a rape whistle . If you find that you are
about to rape someone, blow the whistle until
someone comes to stop you .
IO.Don't forget: Honesty is the best policy. When
asking a woman out on a date, don't pretend
that you are interested in her as a person; tell
her straight up that you expect to be raping her
later. If you don't communicate your intentions,
the woman may take it as a sign that you do not
plan to rape her.


Rape Culture
• 5 root causes : power , violence , notions of masculinity , notions of femininity ,
• Rape is about power and control , not sexual gratification
• Disproving misconceptions : Many survivors "freeze" during an assault and
are physically unable to fight back, only 2-8% of rapes are falsely reported
(same as for other felonies) , nearly 1 in 10 women have been raped by an
intimate partner , 55% of rapes occur at or near the victim 's home and anoth er 12% are at or near the home of a friend /relative/acquaintance , everyone
responds differently to trauma
• Victim -blaming: sexual assault has nothing to do with the victim 's behavior
or clothing choices
- Examples: "if you didn 't want to have sex, why did you back to their
room?", "you shouldn 't have gotten so drunk ", "what were you wearing?"
- When someone confides in you about being assaulted , always listen ,
believe them , tell them it's not their fault , keep the conversation private ,
offer support and resources but don 't tell them what to do, respect their
decisions and recovery process
• Oversexualization and dehumanization of women and also POC , GNC /
trans /queer , etc. -- sexual violence is intersectional
• Toxic masculinity: socially-constructed attitudes that men are expected to be
violence , unemotional , sexually aggressive, etc. It's harmful to all genders.
• Beliefs:

• Men can never truly understand women
• Men and women can never just be friends
• Real men are strong and showing emotion is weakness
(unless it's anger)
• Men can never be victims of abuse
• Real men always want sex and are ready for it at any
• Real men solve problems through violence
• Men should be dominant in relationships and not be
very involved in child-raising
• Interest in stereotypically feminine activities is emascu lating
• "Boys will be boys" - normalization of violence
• Gendered privilege on campus - fraternities (cismale spaces) host the par ties thus have control be their space and their alcohol


"Drunk Sex" and Hookup Culture
• If you have any doubt in your mind about whether your partner is able to
consent/has freely given consent , then DON 'T. DO. IT. you can call them
tomorrow and the sex will be better anyway :)
• Yes, there are people who want to get drunk in order to have sex ( they may
want to rethink whether they are ready to be having sex if they don't feel
comfortable having sex sober). There are people who will not feel taken
advantage of despite finding out they had sex and don 't remember. Still, you
can not consent when incapacitated by alcohol.
• Engaging in sexual activity with someone you don 't know is all the MORE
reason to take extra care to communicate effectively and be positive that it is
Bystander Intervention
• Bystanders often have the opportunity to prevent sexaul assault from taking
• Ways to intervene:
• Distract : interrupt the situation - ask the person you are con cerned about to go to the bathroom with you , bring food out to
everyone , start an activity
• Direct: ask directly if the person you are concerned about is alright
or if they need help; confront the person who is being predatory
• Delegate : ask a friend for help , tell a bouncer or bartender what 's
going on, or put together a group to intervene altogether
• Delay: check in after an incident has occurred and ask if you can do
anything to help
• Silence = accepting the behavior - even if the behavior is words . If
we allow perpetrators to make misogynistic jokes , they learn that
their behavior is ok in this environment and perceive a ''green light "
to commit further harm.
• Attend the Women 's Center PA.C.T (Prevent. Act. Challenge.
Teach.) training to learn more!
Campus Activism Resources
• Duke Students Against Gender Violence (DSAGV)
• We Are Here Duke
• Duke Men's Project
• HeForShe@Duke


• Team One Love at Duke
• Blue Devils United
http://www.assaultservicesknowledge .org/uaskduke
Or download UAsk app on your phone!
• Duk e Women's Center
• Graduate and undergraduate students of any gender
• Call 919-684-3897 or email WCHelp@duke.edu or walk into location in
Crowell Building on East Campus; after hours call 919-970-2108
• Student Health Services
• 919-681-9355; after hours 919-966-3820
• Duke Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
• Graduate and undergraduate students
• Call 919-660-1000 or walk into location in Student Wellness Center on
West Campus
Duke Religious Life and Clergy
• http://chapel.duke.edu/religiouslife or email dukechapel @duke.e du
• Ombudsperson
• Neutral, confidential environment for undergrads and grads to discuss
any concern and identify options
• Call Ada Gregory at 919-684-6334
• Durham Crisis Response Center
• All services are free
• 919-403-6562 is 24-hr crisis line; 919-519-3735 24-hr Espanol crisis line ;
email crisisline@durhamcrisisresponse.org
• National Sexual Assault Hotline (RAINN)
• 1-800-656-4673 24-hr hotline; https ://ohl.rainn .org/online/chat online
• Duke University Campus Police 919-684-2444
• Durham Police Depart111ent Victim Services 919-560-4322
• Crime report: http://police.duke .edu/reportcrime/silentwitness.php


• Student conduct report: https ://studentaffairs.duke .edu/conduct/report -incident or email conduct@duke.edu
• Anonymous DukeReach report : https ://duke -advocate .symplicity .com/care
report/index.php/pid045584 ?
• Office for Institutional Equity : https:// oie.duke.edu/




Shandiin H errera

I am the little girl at the end of a dirt road seldom trave led on. The curious
mind who watched her grandmother weave rugs for 8 hours straight, never tir ing. The young soul who never understood the land she walked on was crying
for help. I walked aimlessly alongside my best friend , whose white paws left soft
tracks in the red sand . We ventured to the cliffs where I stared at the giant mon uments , and listened to the soft breeze of the wind. I was free. In mind , body ,
and spirit. I was happy. Perhaps it was because I had my grandmother 's house
to watch the sunrise from. Or because my best friend was always waiting for
me, prepared for another adventure. Maybe it was because I could breathe. This
of course , was before the storm had begun.
It started every morning at 4:30 a.m. when I woke up to catch the bus to school
30 miles away. In classrooms full of other Navajo students , we embarked on our
educational journey together. As we moved onto the next levels, our class sizes
grew smaller , unti l we reached the end and only a handful of us continued onto
college. This was normal. I understood that I was an anomaly, though at times I
did not want to be. I too stood in the same lines to receive food at the monthly
food banks and clothes from our tribe. I saw the same alcoholics on the corners
of our grocery stores asking to dig into our empty pockets. Still, I understood
them, as they tilted their heads and wondered how I managed to escape our
cycle. These were my brothers , my unc les, and my friends. I never judged them
because I unders tood why they were there. I acknow ledged that one wrong turn
and it could have been me. Still, it would take 100 right tur n s for them to stand
alongside me. I knew that
It became harder to breathe. A lost breath for every one of my friends who went
home to intoxicated parents. A lost breath for the miscommunication with our
elders, because our Navajo language is slowly dying. A lost breath for the beauty of every Native American woman and the rage in her heart. This was the
dark creeping its way across our nation , a dark shadow I spent hours in the library trying to run away from. I spent most of my time on the reservation figuring out ways I could leave and never look back. I was tired of observing all the
beautiful people destroyi ng themselves. Tired of being so angry all of the time ,
and pretending I could be the leader that everyone thought they saw in me.
The truth is, I really never knew who I was because I never wanted to accept


the real me. I did not want to accept the truth. The truth is I only cared about
school because my mother was taken from her home at 7 years old and sent to
a boarding school where she was punished for speaking Navajo , and forced into
Christianity. So, how could I ever do poorly in my education when my mother endured literal torture for hers? The truth is, I was so angry at what life had
become for Navajo people. We used to be self-sufficient, innovative, and strong.
Yet, all I saw on our reservation was the effects of intergenerational trauma. It
was hard for me to be home because I spent most of my time dreaming about
what life could be if I leave the reservation. I was not at all careful about what I
wished for.
It became a little easier to breathe when I was accepted to Duke , when my
reality began to resemble my dreams. Duke had always been my dream school
and I had jumped over so many obstacles to hold onto this hope. But of course
dreams are always more kind than reality is. For starters, it was hard waking up
every day thinking the University made a mistake by accepting me. But existing
as a minority of the minority on the campus was something I was not prepared
for. My entire life had been on the Navajo reservation, and now I was talking to
people who did not even know my tribe still existed. How crazy is that? Talking
to someone and their response to your identity is, "Wait, Natives are still
around?" or "I think I'm I/16th Native too, I don't know what tribe though". I do
not know what confused me more, people who have somehow ignored complete Native Nations for 20 years, or those who pretended to know what being
Native American feels like. This was my welcome to Duke memory.
In some odd way, that is exactly what I needed to change my perspective of
myself. Instead of feeling scared that the trauma of my people would eventually
catch up to me, for once in my life I felt proud of who I am. I was not as ignorant as the rest of these smart Duke students. I knew a history many of them
did not know, a culture they would never understand, and a relationship with
this earth that they have lost. It no longer mattered to me that it had become
harder to breathe, because there were over 300,000 Navajos still breathing
with me. I cannot look back through my family's history and the history of the
Indigenous people of this country without the feeling of disgust, hatred, and
devastation. But, then I look in the mirror and I see the result of my ancestors'
resilience, and the strength of my tribe. For the first time in my life, I was happy
with who I saw looking back at me.


I am the prayer my grandparents whispered at the break of dawn , the hope my
mother kept in her eyes, and the faith my tribe holds onto. My identity as a Navajo woman at Duke is my step on my ladder to a better life. Chief Manuelito ,
was the leader of our Navajo people in 1868, the year our treaty was signed with
United States government , allowing us to return to our homelands , conclud ing The Long Walk. From a young age he has been my hero as I had been told
countless stories of his altruistic ways of leading. He was born for the Bitahnii
clan and so is my mother. It's no surprise she is a leader by nature , and now
the blood of our leader flows through me. He was the first to tell our people
the truth , which was, "education is the ladder , tell our people to take it". On my
toughest days, I hear these words and tell myself if I climb the ladder now , my
children will be born at the top , into a life far removed from our trauma and
The culture I love, and the people who inhabit the beautiful nation our ancestors protected is the only thing I would die protecting. After incidents like
Standing Rock, I have become more vigilant about where Native Americans
stand in relation to the Federal government. It would be nai:ve of me to say I
strive for justice and equality for my people. However , my presence in Duke
classrooms , across campus , and in North Carolina is allowing me to meet more
people , and educate them on Native American resilience in America. This is
an opportunity for me to reach them , network , and resist the neglect often felt
by tribes. My approach to activism is out of necessity . If I do not be the voice,
silence will continue to creep across my reservation.
I have made peace with who I am and clarified my purpose as a Navajo student
I am able to breathe again. I never imagined that I would be living in a world
where respecting and protecting Mother earth becomes activism. I thought
it was human nature to look at the land and be grateful and honor what the
creator has provided for us. Instead , people see land as dispensable and care
only about what the land can do for them. I suppose this is why my identity is
unique. Even though I have grown to see the ugly truth , I hold the beauty of life
in my heart. The moments of liberation as I watched my grandmother weave
are always with me. Her patience and beauty exist in me today. And the feeling
of amazement and resilience as I captured the views from my backyard cliffs,
remain my motivation to keep climbing. I've grown from the little girl who
learned to wake up every morning at 4:30 a.m., the lost teenager who straddled


the line between culture and chaos, to the young adult who has reached acceptance, and regained the pride I was born with.




Shandiin H errera

My answer was patience.
Tiring is the adjective I use to describe my college experience as a Native per son. Countless times I have bitten my tongue during class as I listened to my
professor lecture on American history without mentioning the genocide of its
first inhabitants. I have had discussions with policy professionals who spoke as
if over 500 treaties with Native Nations have not been broken. I quietly sat in
rage as I read another health report that completely ignored my demographic in
their research. I have struggled in the "easy" classes at Duke. I have emailed professors notifying them I would not make it to class because I was "feeling sick",
when really I just didn 't want to sit in my own silence. Silence is lonely. Silence
is reminding. Silence begins to embody your identity. That is what it feels like
when I am reduced to the enemy , the historical figure - the other.

Dine nishlj. Asdz~~ nishlj.
I am a Duke student
My struggles in the classroom stem from my education in a reservation school
system. Unlike my peers , my high school offered two AP level courses, not ten.
I do not speak three languages because I am still struggling to relearn my mother's. I may be seen as the "token " student in all my settings , but I have earned
my place here. I work twice as hard to sit next to students whose attendance
was inherited . My legacy is perseverance.
As a confused , often overwhelmed college student , I looked to my resources.

Unfortunately , but not to my surprise, Duke doesn't employ any Native Amer ican faculty. There are no Native professors or advisors on my campus. I didn't
feel comfortable sharing my financial, academic, and overall Native struggles
with a White person sitting across a desk trying to understand me. They judged
the community I come from, admired my resilience , but only advised me to
"work a little harder " - or worse , "take some time ofF.
But again, even in the office of a supposed advisor, I sat in my own silence. Mis-


understood time and time again.
I always contemplated my three options : transfer , quit , or prove everybody
wrong. Every day I chose the latter .
Partly my own fault I suppose. How could I expect someone who has never
even set foot on a reservation to understand my descriptions of it? Someone
who could not possibly understand the intergenerational trauma I learn to suppress every day sat across me advising me to just "work a little harder ". Needless
to say, I became my own advisor.
"Oh , but life isn't so hard Shandiin , you go to Duke University. You are a role
model to so many Native children seeking higher education "
While I am honored to be labeled a role model . For those who look up to me
for any sense of direction or guidance , I must be honest . College is hard. Not
only in the expected long papers , sleepless nights of studying , cultural shock
kind of way, but for us - in the , "wow, I really don 't belong here kind of way".
My eyes have been opened to the institutional systems designed to keep people
who look like me in the margins. The very result of this can be seen in the edu cation we are receiving .
Last semester , I sat silently through weeks of learning about American History.
In the state of North Carolina , home to a large Native American population , we
managed to make it through weeks without mentioning the prevailed existence
of Native people. It was the dated "Beacon on a hill, kill the 'savages', live happi ly ever after " story you have heard all your life. Except , I seemed to be the only
one who contested the notion that these lands were open for settlement. In fact,
America had been inhabited long before the quest for westward expansion. I
thought of my ancestors who were tormented by the federal government , geno cides that were deemed wars, and truthful stories finding life only in the sounds
of the wind. My silence was broken by the image of a "redskin " staring back at
me from the sweater of a classmate. In that moment I realized that this is where
history has led me. In a classroom full of students who wholeheartedly believed
that Native people were "extinct ", as one classmate told me. These students
have never heard of the American Indian Movement nor could they fathom
that their presidents ordered the murders of thousands of women and children.
Today, they proudly wear the images of our dead men on their backs.


When I wrote a response on the legacy and perception of Abraham Lincoln,
I included his order for the execution of thirty-eight Dakota men on Decem ber 26, 1862, shortly before the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. He
was not a hero to me. My heros lie in unmarked graves , covered by generations
of omission. I received a comment on my response paper stating , "Interesting
comment Shandiin. Exactly what evidence do you know of that Lincoln carried
out these acts you mentioned? " This comment came from a historian. I received
a B on the paper. Here 's my thing - why would I cite sources that have the pages
of my own history , our history ripped from their presence? And then the stories, often oral , in our way of recording , don 't fall under the same category of
"evidence ".
In a policy class, I focused my semester 's memos on the Bears Ears National
Monument controversy , advocating for the designation of the National Monument. It was then that I realized very few people understand and respect the
value of cultural significance. My arguments did not appeal to the majority
opinion , which was to free up the "open space " as a classmate put it, for the
economic development of local residents. I worked tirelessly to prove that
my homelands were sacred , and vulnerable lands will lead to and have led to ,
looting , def acing , and complete destruction. Not to mention , my tribe and the
others who have joined the Inter-Tribal coalition still live off the land - we still
depend on her , therefore we must protect her. Yet, if there was not a dollar sign
attached to my argument, it failed. I received a B. However , when I was instruct ed to write the Op-ed in support of President Trump 's legislation to rescind the
monument , I received an A I don 't know what hurt more , the fact that I was
practicing protecting my homelands and failed , or that joining the other side
meant success.

I read old journal entries from my freshman year. I was excited , proud to be at
this university. The more time I spent here , the longer my entries became. Filled
with frustration and confusion. Why didn 't I say anything to the professor who
did a disservice to our class by not accurately portraying my people? Why did I
lie to my mom when she called to ask how I was doing? Why did I try so hard
to fit into the mold of the "typical Duke student "? Why didn 't I fight harder to


advocate for my people?
I felt like a ghost. I walked across campus dreading every step to class because I
couldn't focus on studying when I saw videos of men and women sprayed with
mace at Standing Rock, images of dog attacks, and the fear of witnessing history
repeat itself. I began to care less and less about school when I saw another post
on Facebook of an Indigenous women missing. When President Trump announced his proclamation to reduce our Bear's Ears National Monument I felt
When Standing Rock remained in the news - no comment. When Indigenous
women went missing - no comment. When another young Native person took
their life - no comment. So, I am sorry if I am a little too distracted to raise my
hand in class today.

Is it really worth losing myself in order to conform to these systems? If receiving an A in a class meant surrendering my tenets as a Native woman then no , it
is not worth it, and I will not conform. I decided I do not need the A everyone
loses their opinion for. I just wanted validity. I thought an A signified my belonging at Duke . In reality, an A only indicated my conformance to their rules.
One day I woke up angry . I promised myself not to bite my tongue anymore ,
not to just listen to someone speak untruthful stories , and not to quietly be left
out of the conversation . I reanalyzed my position as a representative and as the
sole Native voice in many of the spaces I occupied. I was directly harming myself by allowing others to talk over me.
I approached that history professor after class and asked why he chose to leave
so many important moments in our history out. As a professional in history , I
assumed he must have had at least a basic knowledge of Native people. Yet, he
did not talk about the mobilization of Native people with AIM , he did not inform the class that the last group to achieve citizenship did so under the Indian
Citizenship Act of 1924 - but most importantly he talked about Native people
retrospectively. We are still here. I am here.
I challenged opinions , wrote pieces that were important to me, I found ways to
make Duke more welcoming for myself. After all, I knew that if I did not take


action over my education and well-being , nobody would.
I received an email from a professor in the Environmental Policy department
asking if I could speak to her class - I was recommended by the History professor. I agreed and I presented on the effects of Uranium on my homelands and
the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act of 1990.
I returned to that History class at the end of the semester, where I presented on
American History from a Native person's perspective. I was granted the freedom to talk about anything I wanted, anything I thought this class of 100 or so
Duke students should know. I am thankful for that moment and for that professor who allowed me an opportunity to let me speak for myself.
I found my voice. Though I have created more work for myself by giving guest
lectures and presentations, I am grateful for these opportunities. I appreciate
the professors who have allowed me to educate their students. And to the greater Duke community who have opened their minds and hearts to me.
College is about adding moments to your story. For my first two years at Duke
my narrative had been on mute. I accepted the silence- I made it my home. I
am often asked what the turning point for me was, and honestly I just want the
next Navajo student who attends Duke or any institution to understand that
their positions are important Our struggles are important. Our opinions matter.
We matter. It is hard to succeed. We juggle the life of a scholar with our cultural
teachings, and sometimes the two collide. If I have learned anything, it is that it
is possible to remain whole. It is possible to piece ourselves back together when
the world continues to take pieces of our identity.

Dine nishli. Asdz~~ nishli.
I am a Duke student
The question I was asked was, "what do you pray for?"
My answer was patience.


Duke University has committed to carbon neutrality by 2024.
But what does that really mean?
Carbon neutrality does NOT mean zero emissions. Duke wi ll continue emitting greenhouse
gasses beyond 2024, but it will purchase carbon offsets to make it look like zero emissions on the books .
Offsets may be an interim solution, but they cannot come at the expense of actual emissions reductions .

Carbon neutrality does NOT include the Duke Health System, which accounts for 1/4 of
total emissions and over 2/3 of future building growth (which feeds emissions growth) . Duke needs to
include the Health System and Duke Hospital into its sustainability commitments.

Carbon neutrality does NOT mean renewable energy . Duke has failed to meet its goal to
install 4 megawatts of solar on campus by 2012 and Jacks significant renewable energy targets. Duke can
and should do more to grow its campus renewable energy installations, as well as to engage in policy
change to support clean energy in North Carolina.

Carbon neutrality does NOT include the climate impact of Duke's investments . Duke
has maintained investments
mate misinformation

in fossil fuel companies , which indirectly promotes carbon emissions and cli-

by the fossil fuel industry . Duke should listen to student and community voices call-

ing for it decarbonize its financial holdings and divest from dirty corporations .

DukeUniversityrecently proposedto builda newnatural gas plant on campusat a time whenwe needto be endingfossil fuel use
No students, facu lty, or community members had been consulted about the plant and no opportunitie s to

provide input on the plant were offered until students and commun ity members pushed back.
The plant would have run for 35 years on tracked natural gas, locking in fossil fuel infrastructure beyond the

middle of the century - yet Duke initially claimed that this plant would help meet its climate goals.
Student and commun ity advocates succeeded in indefinitely suspending the plant after a 2-year campaign .

DukeUniversitynow hasthe chanceto help solve a radst pollutionproblemor makeit worse
Duke plans to biogas instead of natural gas to meet its campus energy needs and climate goals. This biogas

would be sourced from North Carolina' s swine Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs),which have

plagued primarily low -income and Black communities with pollution for decades.
Duke should only procure biogas if it can ensure cleanup and protections for surrounding communities. It

shou ld conduct a full and fair stakeholder process before it moves forward with biogas procurement. Failure
to proactively and transparent ly engage communities could simply Jock in CAFOs and make pollution problems
worse .

Help us make Duke a real climate leader .

Duk e Disability Allianc e (DDA)

DDA's mission is to make Duke more inclusive and accessible by fostering con versations about disability issues , expanding accessibility on campus and in the
community , encouraging positive perceptions and full appreciations of people
with disabilities , and promoting their legal rights. We strive to engage the entire
Duke community to make Duke a better place for those with and without disabilities. To learn more about or join DDA , please email the DDA exec at duke disabilityalliance@duke.edu.
Over the past year , awareness on disability issues has increased significantly.
From gaining greater recognition and representation in Duke Student Govern ment to hosting artists from across the country at the Nasher to explore the intersectionality of disability and art , DDA has come a long way in helping create
a more accessible and inclusive Duke . But there is still a lot of work to be done.
Accessibility and Campus Culture:
Duke , despite its claims to be all-accepting and accommodating, is nowhere
near as inclusive and accessible as it can be , even though it has every ability to
make it so. The truth is that Duke often favors "aesthetics " and "convenience "
over true accessibility. This means that students must go through a monthslong process to request accommodations from the Student Disability Access
Office (SDAO) , accessible entrances to buildings are not well marked and are
hidden far from the main entrances , and some areas of campus are entirely
inaccessible. Multiple floors of many buildings are inaccessible , while the Languages Building is entirely inaccessible. The majority of bathrooms on cam pus are inaccessible due to lack of automatic door openers. The campus also
includes some seemingly unexplainable half -hearted attempts at accessibility,
like automatically -opening doors leading only to a stairwell (West Union) or to
inaccessible doors (LSRC). If students require accommodations or services from
SDAO, they will find it to be understaffed and in itself , relatively inaccessible
due to it being located in Central Campus rather than West Campus or East
Duke student campus culture oozes with perfectionism and this only makes it
harder to speak about disability issues. It's important to remember that not all


disabilities are visible and just because an issue is not talked about that often ,
it does not mean it's not there. And that 's what DDA hopes to address in this
coming school year: raise awareness and create more dialogue on campus so
Duke becomes less ableist and more inclusive. Here is what some students had
to say about the campus culture at Duke in a 2018 DDA accessibility survey:
• "The competitive nature of Duke often obscures students from understand ing or empathizing with the troubles and limitations placed on others. "
• "The campus culture is superficial . Everyone tries to act like they are ok."
• "Duke is not conducive to positive and healthy wellbeing. "
• "It's competitive. It makes me feel like a failure and decreases my willingness
to try."
• "It is disastrous to my mental health ."
• To learn more about disability and accessibility on campus , please view the
student activism projects and browse the content on the Disability Pride
Week 2018 website: https ://sites .duke.edu/ disabilitypride2018/ .
Activism Goals 2018-2019:
• Work to remove access barriers and implement accommodations to make facilities and learning environments on campus fully accessible and inclusive.
• Fight the pervasive social stigma against people with disabilities to foster a
more inclusive campus culture .
• Promote the creation of a community space for students with disabilities to
foster healing conversations about their experiences.


Stu den ts for Justi ce in Palestine

[Im age description: Two young adul ts
sitting on a camel , smiling at the camera]

Ever wondered what it would be like to explore
the sacred land of your ancestors , where you
can bask in the beauty of the very olive trees
your grandparents farmed , visit the sacred holy
sights of your culture , and be weightless , float ing in the Dead Sea?
Lucky for you , if you 're a Duke student who
happens to be between the ages of 18 and 26
and Jewish , this could be your reality-an all-expenses paid trip to Israel on
beha lf of Duke.
descri p tion :
A photograph of the

Unfortunately , if you 're a Palestinian living in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip
. . are ava ilabl e to you.
to d ay, none of th ese amenities

of Palestinian -settlements.
In the foreground , a
woman lifts
her arms to
the sky while
woman carefully walks
through the
rubb le]

What you do have , howev er, is an
apartheid wall and strict checkpoints
man ned by heavily armed Israe li soldiers which restrict your day-to-day
movement , the cons tant worry of illegal
land seizures by the Israeli government
for the erection of more colonial settle men ts, a severe lack of basic resources
(particularly in Gaza where 97% of
your water is contaminated!) , and a better -than -average chance of being incar cerated and /or maimed.
Israel-Palestine conflict deaths per month
In continuing practices such
as the "birthright " trips to
Israel and the Jewish Agen cy Israel Fellowship , which
brings former members of the """
Israeli military to campus for
two years at a time , Duke is
brazenly displaying support
Plllestnans ~

■ Israelisktlle!d






[ Image descri p tion: A graph of Israel-Pales tine conflict deaths per month. T here are significantly more Palestinians
killed in com parison to Israelis. T here is a significant spike in D ecember 2012 when the death count exceeded 800
Palestinians killed]


for the ongoing occupation-induced genocide of the Palestinian people by encouraging cultural and academic exchanges with an apartheid regime.
Duke students for Justice in Palestine is an organization committed to ending
the oppression of the Palestinian people first and foremost by educating Duke
students and the Durham community about the grave atrocities daily done
unto the Palestinians in hopes of galvanizing Duke's immensely powerful social
capital to make a point that marginalization-of any kind-will not be tolerated
by the university, its students , alumni, and the community at large.
By advocating for a cultural, academic, and fiscal boycott of and divestment
from the state of Israel, SJP hopes to not only change minds but save lives.
SJP stands in solidarity with all marginalized groups affected by systemic injus tices such as colonialism, white supremacy, the patriarchy, capitalism, and myriad other forms of discrimination as we firmly believe that all struggles for justice are intertwined. We are enjoined by similarities: from Palestinian children
detained in Israeli prisons to Latinx migrants separated from their families,
from the murders of unarmed protestors in Gaza to the slayings of unarmed
black men across the United States, and from the mass incarceration of the Palestinians to that of black and brown Americans. But we are also united in our
differences as we choose to respect and cherish all, even when the powers at be
tell us to do otherwise .

[Image description: Activists from Demilitarize Durham 2 Palestine celebrate after Du rham becomes the first city in the United
States to ban police exchanges ,vith the Israeli military.]

Already Duke 's SJP has found intersectional success through our work, alongside various aligned Durham community groups as part of the Durham 2 Palestine campaign, to pass landmark legislation in the city council expressly ending Durham 's practice of training police officers alongside the Israeli military ,
which both encourages a demilitarization of Durham 's police and raises awareness of the military occupation of Palestine.
In the words of Nelson Mandela, "our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians."

[Image description: A child waves the Palestinian
flag in front of a row of five armed soldiers.]

[Image description: Closed green, red, black fist with 'Students for Justice in Palestine' written underneath in black,
green, and red text.]


Asian American Studies Working Group

When did Duke University get Asian American Studies? More than a decade
has passed since the beginning of the movement for Asian American Studies
(AAS) on this campus, and more than two decades since the idea was first
seriously discussed. In all the years of student and faculty activism, of working
groups and task forces, of new courses and new campaigns, of countless meetings and emails: when did the fighters for Asian American Studies know it was
here? The Asian American Studies Program (AASP) at Duke launched on April
27, 2018 with-of all things-a website. No physical center or space, nor a major, minor, or certificate to speak of, yet still there was cause to celebrate because the .edu website represented the difference between a homegrown movement and an official sanction, between institutionalization and derelict.
The history recorded here is the history, at least in part, of the fight for AAS
at Duke. The record is important because the memory of the students is finite
and the memory of the university is selective: the passing down of memories in
this way helps to resolve both. Roughly, there has been two major pushes for
AAS on this campus: the first from 2002-2004 and the second from 2013 to the
present. It should be noted, however, that this struggle has roots that reach far
earlier as well; to the first Asian American-related house courses organized by
students in the 1980s; to the legacy and resolve of Black students who occupied
the Allen building in 1969 and demanded a Afro-African Studies department ,
laying the groundwork for those to come. And the struggle will continue for a
long time from now-if we have structured this movement right-until students
can access an education engaged with communities of color and their dynamics, until the study of difference and power is regarded as essential and not
threatening, until the narratives and histories of marginalized Americans are
legitimated and institutionalized at this university.
Why AAS? A litmus test: Can you name five historical Asian American figures? Five Asian American authors? Five Asian American activists? Were you
ever taught about them in class? If knowledge is power-which schools love to
preach-then what does it mean for the narratives, perspectives, and experiences of white European Americans to dominate mainstream curricula? More
often than not, the study of American history is the study of white Euro -American history. American people of color are brought into the picture, but only as

they exist in relation to white Americans : students only hear about slavery and
Civil Rights , Japanese internment , the Trail of Tears, Texas annexation , and so
on. Otherwise , the perspectives of non -white Americans are either forgotten ,
silenced , or sanitized. Rarely are they taught as having dignity as Americans in
their own right.
Ethnic studies , like Asian American studies , are necessary to fill gaps in per spective , in history , but also literature , politics , gender studies , and more. Ethnic
studies , like Asian American studies , are necessary to redefine the notion of
Americanness , both politically and personally. When students are not taught
about significant Asian American figures , policies , or events , the presumption
is that they do not exist Most do not realize that Asian people have been in
the Americas since the sixteenth century and have been with the United States
since its inception. In other words , in the realm of all things Asian American ,
there is a lot to study. How has immigration and naturalization policy shaped
Asian America? How do writers , poets , and artists both reflect and create the
Asian American experience ? How do Asian American women and queer Asian
Americans navigate their respective spaces?
Scholars cannot pretend that a full understanding of the United States is pos sible without AAS, just as how it is not possible without the inclusion of Black
or Latinx or native narratives , or any other identities of race, gender and sexu ality, class, or religion for that matter. Thus , AAS should be relevant to all those
interested in studying America , not just for Asian American students. AAS is a
means to contextualizing the Asian American community today , as a group that
has been , just this summer , entangled in discussions of income inequality , affirmative action , and refugee and undocumented migration. As celebrated activist
Yuri Kochiyama said : "Unless we know ourselves and our history , and other
people and their history, there is really no way that we can really have [the]
positive kind of interaction where there is real understanding. "
Today, colleges and universities around the country are struggling for AAS,
either to have it or to keep it. At Duke , AASP has a website-the first universi ty in the American South with an AAS program-but until there is more , the
question stands : When will Duke get Asian American Studies? Current goals
include establishing a major , minor , or certificate curricular track , hiring dedi cated faculty , creating core courses , promoting student engagement and public
outreach , and obtaining a physical AAS space for students and faculty. As mem -


bers of the Duke community , learn this history. Try an AAS class. Engage with
Asian American issues. Talk to friends. Get involved with the Asian American
Studies Working Group (AASWG ).
Don 't let this movement die, because this program is so important and its successes so hard -won. Pass the torch. Keep the ball rolling.
The Path to AASP at Duke: 2002-2018
1. 1985: Janet Chiang '86 wins course grant. Though formal efforts for
AAS at Duke did not begin until 2002 , a rising interest in coursework with
an Asian American focus can be seen as early as 1982, marked by the start of
a series of House courses about ''Asians in America ." In 1985, Chiang '86 won
a federal grant to develop a course titled "Asian American Women: Unbound
Feet," motivated by a desire to make visible the issues and causes of the Asian
American community , especially of women.
2. 2002 : AAS Teach-In begins first push for AAS at Duke. Students
formed the Asian American Studies Undergraduate Working Group (AASUWG) , a multiracial coalition with support from students , faculty , and organi zations like the Black Student Alliance and the Freeman Center. Student and
faculty speakers at the teach -in held in West Union emphasized the critical im portance of AAS as a tool for social change . A proposal for an AAS department
was submitted with more than 1,000 signatures to University administrators on
April 10, 2002 . The University supported many of their measures , though only
superficially. The initiative ultimately stalled because no dedicated faculty hires
were approved.
3. 2013: Kappa Sigma's 'Asia Prime ' party sparks outrage. In February ,
students dressed as sexualized geishas and coolies to a themed party hosted
by Duke fraternity Kappa Sigma. Invitation emails contained racially insensi tive language like "Herro Nice Duke Peopre!!" and an image of the Kim Jong -Il
character from the movie "Team America: World Police." In response , students
posted flyers across campus (pictured) calling out the "#RacistRager " and led a
protest at the West Campus bus stop. 'Asia Prime ' represented a revitalization of
the AAS movement. Members of Asian American Alliance presented three demands to administrators in the party's aftermath , including a demand for Duke
to hire three full-time AAS faculty. These demands were reiterated , alongside


the "Demands of Black Voices" and Mi Gente demands, to President Brodhead
in an open forum convened in 2015 after a series of several on-campus hate


[Image description: Seven students stand together at
the West Campus bus stop l1olding a large sign saying

4. 2016: Creation of a new working group formalizes a second push for AAS.
Student and faculty activism and forward momentum coalesced into the current Asian American Studies Working Group (AASWG), officially established
in September 2016 and made up of student and faculty members. The group
launched a petition to support AAS at Duke , which received more than 500
signatures in the first two days and nearly 1,700 signatures in total. In Octo ber, AASWG organized a showcase, "Envisioning AAS at Duke ," to highlight
student research in Asian American studies and discuss the path forward. Dr.
Sylvia Chong from University of Virginia visited campus to perform an external
review of the state of AAS at Duke and to provide the University recommendations, noting that, if successful, Duke would become the first university in the
American South to have an AAS program.
5. 2017: 'Duke Doesn 't Teach Me' photo project becomes the face of a
new campaign. Structured after known models of social action and activism, the
latest efforts for AAS continued on the momentum gathered earlier in the year,
which took on a multi-pronged approach to mobilize campus. Students attend -


ed the open office hours of Dean of Trinity College Valerie Ashby, communicat ed their demands, and developed a five-year plan for AAS to demonstrate viability. AASWG faculty reached out to colleagues to raise awareness of the cause,
and students penned op-eds for The Chronicle, disputing arguments from all
sides of campus that AAS was either unnecessary or unfeasible. The 'Duke
Doesn't Teach Me' photo campaign aimed to bring wider awareness of AAS to
the student population. Cognizant of placation strategies often utilized by the
University (e.g. giving small concessions and then waiting for the activists to
graduate out) , AASWG sought sustainability for the long-term , considering the
fizzling out of the 2002 movement. At the end of the 2017-2018 school year, the
working group had organized an AAS research symposium , and two new faculty hires had been made official.
6. 2018: The Asian American Studies Program launches at Duke Universi ty. The Asian American Studies Program (AASP) at Duke debuted on April 27,
2018, directed by Dr. Aimee Nayoung Kwon of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. Though the creation of AASP is an exciting and tangible step forward, there
is still much to do: establishing a major , minor , or certificate curricular track,
hiring dedicated faculty, creating core courses, promoting student engagement
and public outreach, and obtaining a physical AAS space for students and faculty. Today, AASP owes its success to all those who worked and fought for AAS
before and to all those who continue to strive for AAS at this university, forging
the path ahead.




Location CAPS is located on the third floor in the Duke
Student Wellness Center (305 Towerview Rood). You con get
to the third floor via stairs or elevator. If you walk on the
bridge leading to the BC (Bryon Center) from the main quad,
toke a left when you get to the BC. The large gloss building
at the intersection (of Towerview and Union Dr) is the Duke
Student Wellness Center, which opened in January 2017.




• ...


Phone 919-660-1000

Office Hours Monday-Friday: 8am - 5pm

C :,



Walk-in Hours Monday-Friday: 9am -4pm*


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*If you come in ofter 4pm with an urgent need (i.e. you feel
that you really need to talk to someone), CAPS will NOT
turn you away



*Because there is some paperwork you'll need to fill out, you




you'll be one of the first persons seen at 9am

*Budget at least 45 minutes for a walk-in appointment given

C :,

can also come in 15-30 minutes before 9am, ensuring that

a 15 minute survey, a 15-20 minute consultation, and waittime.
*Make sure to bring your Duke card AND your insurance card

To schedule an appointment with at CAPS either call their
phone number, or go to the CAPS office in person. (They
don't have a way of making appointments online at the
present moment, unfortunately).


All of CAPS' servi~es are available to Duke undergraduate,
graduate, and professional students. And they re all FREE
(because you already paid for them.) Woohoo!
Initial Consultation

Students interested in beginning services

at CAPS should go for an initial consultation between 9am4pm Monday-Friday . This visit will include a comprehensive
survey and speaking with a counselor for about 15 minutes

Workshops and Discusaions Services range from one time
workshops to recurring sessions as part of an informal course.
In Fall 2018, CAPS will hold the following workshops and
discussions : Anxiety Busters, FLOW with Stress and Emotion,
Koru Mindfulness, LEAP for International Students, and Love

11 1
C :,

Individual Counseling one-on-one counseling
Group Counseling In Fall 2018, the groups include: Black
Women's Group, Chem 1-1,Cultivating Mindful SelfCompassion Group, Dialectical Behavior Therapy Group,

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LGBTQ+ Group, Men's Group, Running, Group, and
Understanding Self and Others.

Couples Counseling This service is open to all students,
regardless of marital status or sexual orientation. The sole
requirement is that at least one member of the couple is a
Duke student.


Health Coaching CAPS offers Integrative Health Coaching to
help students create an individual plan to develop and reach
health and lifestyle related goals. Health coaching can be
used by individuals, groups, or student groups.
Psychiatric Servicea CAPS offers medical evaluations,
psychiatric consultation w ithin the Duke community,
medication management, and limited psychotherapy.
Self-Help Online Guides On the CAPS website, CAPS
provides several self-help guides that help students navigate
a variety of topics from surviving the end of the semester to
adjusting to college.

You can come in for an Access Consultation (a walk-in
appointment) anytime between 9am-4pm Monday-Friday.
Bring your DukeCard AND insurance card .
Time Budget approximately 15-20 minutes for a survey and

another 15- 20 minutes for the one - on- one conversation.
Appointments are given on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Depending on how busy CAPS is during your particular visit ,
you could have wait anywhere between no time at all to an


hour. Typically, allowing for at least forty-five minutes for
your whole visit is recommended. CAPS tends to be less busy
earlier in the day .


Conversation The one-on-one conversation with a


counselor is mainly a way for CAPS to get a general idea of


what kind of services you are looking for, and whether or not



CAPS is the best fit. This is largely because Duke does not


necessarily have the capacity to offer all preferred-services



for students.
Survey Before meeting with a counselor, you'll have to fill

out a survey. Most of the questions require you to rank


C :,

(strongly agree to strongly disagree) how you feel about
particular facets and aspects of your mental and physical
wellbeing. Topics will range from family life to substances to
sleep schedules . The survey is used in conjunction with the
counselor conversation to determine what best services are
needed. It is important to note that you should still be
relatively intentional about your answers and your survey
results, as CAPS remains under the purview of Duke as a
whole. For more information, see ~'Thingsto Consider"


Ideally, after your first Access consultation, you've
developed a plan and have a scheduled
appointment. However, if you don't have a
scheduled appointment, or feel that you need to
talk to someone before your appointment or
between appointments, you can always come in for
a walk-in.
The procedure for the walk-in is essentially the
same as it is for the first consultation. There's a 1520 minute survey, followed by a 15-20 minute



conversation where you can talk to a clinician
about whatever you want/need

to talk about. If you

want to talk to someone specific, you can find out
what days they are on Access and plan your walk-in
accordingly as well. As mentioned earlier, walk-in
hours are between 9am-4pm, but you will not be
turned away if you come in after 4pm with an
urgent need to talk .


''Sok-cap'' CAPS describes itself as a '' l,ort-term
care clinic." Because of limitations on resources
and staff, CAPS essent ially has a kind of soft-cap.
(For the record, CAPS rejects this language). After
a certain number of visits (which varies depending
on who are you seeing- the average number of
times a person visits CAPS is 6), the counselor you


see at CAPS will more than likely suggest that you
be referred out if you're still wanting/needing


see someone.




NOTE: There is no cap for group services at CAPS


C :,

Limitations There are certain specialized services
which CAPS doesn't provide. For example, for
care regarding ADD/ ADHD, substance abuse,
and so on, it is advised to consult alternative
options, such as the Duke Center for Adolescent
Substance Use Treatment (CAST), the Duke


Clinic, and other neighboring community partners.
Because they are not covered under CAPS,
financial and professional logistics may be
different. However you can look for referrals
through CAPS (see next page).


Referral If you are dealing with issues beyond
the scope of CAPS, find that CAPS hours are
not compatible with your schedule, or just want
help finding longer-term care, you can get a
referral from CAPS. CAPS's referral coordinator,
Liadainn Gilmore, can help you find a counselor
in the community (i.e. folks who practice in the
triangle area). You can actively start the referral
process from your end by bringing the option


with your CAPS counselor or directly scheduling


a meeting with the referral coordinator.


Cost and Aid With BlueCross BlueShield


insurance (the insurance that Duke uses), the

11 1

co-pay (fee) for seeing a counselor in the


community (who accepts insurance) will be
around $30 per visit. Fortunately, Duke does
actually allow you to apply for a waiver/aid
for this fee. You're eligible if you have have
''demonstrated financial need." CAPS often fails

to mention this option to students, so if you
would like to make use of this option, make sure
to request it yourself.

Requests and Preferences If you have one
or more non-dominant identities, you might
feel more comfortable seeing a therapist who
holds some of those same identities. For
example, if you're a woman of color, you
might feel more comfortable seeing a




I 11

C :,

C )

therapist who is also woman of color. You
can definitely ask for a therapist who shares
a particular social identity with you and the
staff at CAPS will do their best to find
someone who fits the description you provide.
In fact, CAPS therapists are instructed to ask
if you have any identity-specific


in a clinician. You can also request (even
during your first consultation) to see a
particular counselor at CAPS from the
available staf i; at CAPS. Each staff member



has a bio that you can read to find out more
about that person's background, interests,
and specialties.


CAPS can neither confirm deny that someone has come to
CAPS except in the following circumstances
• If CAPS believes that someone is in imminent danger of
harming themselves and others. In this case, CAPS can
on ly notify the hospital and the pol ice. When students are
involved, CAPS only engages Duke Police, which is a
Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) trained to address mental
health concerns.


• If clients share that there is any abuse of a child or
vulnerable adult CAPS must break confidentiality by

contacting the appropriate authorities to protect the
health and welfare of those individuals.
• If records are court-ordered


(which happens very rarely).


In this case, students are informed about this possibility

11 1

and prior to transmiss ion of documents.






C :,

• If students ask CAPS to collaborate with another person,
which only happens when students sign written consent,
CAPS can reach out to those parties. Students must give
permission for what is specifically disclosed and
discussed. (E.g. If students need CAPS to confirm
attendance to a Dean or professor, CAPS can disclose
attendance information after students sign a written
consent that specifically okays CAPS to confirm
• As part of CAPS's informed consent process, students
agree to CAPS sharing medication information with


Student Health to avoid any contradict ions for

SDAO It is possible to request accommodations via
SDAO (Student Disability Access Office) at Duke for
documented mental health issues (along with issues
like ADD and ADHD). Accomodations can take
many forms and are given out on a case-to-case
basis. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to receive


SDAO accommodations for mental health issues.









Academic Dean Another route for receiving
accommodations is through your academic dean
(every student is assigned one and you can find
yours on DukeHub ). If you trust your academic dean
and/ or know them to be helpful and understanding
when it comes to mental health issues, it might be



C :,

beneficial to talk to them about your mental health

C :,

history. If they are understanding, they can


potentially advocate that you receive certain
accommodations (e.g. extensions on assignments,
excused absences) due to your mental health
condition. This process, unfortunately, does require
you to bare your soul to your dean and give them all
the details you can about your condition. This
method is also entirely dependent on how
understanding your dean is and how well you trust
them .


Should you require a leave from campus, you have two options:
a medical leave (which includes mental-health related issues)
and a personal leave. Leaves are handled through academic
deans, so contact yo ur academic dean first if you are
considering this option. Information about leaves can be found
through Trinity policies and procedures as well as the :,ff,ce of
Stud~nt Returns.

Deadlines You can apply for leave between semesters or
mid-semester. For medical leave, the deadline to apply is

C :,


5pm on the Last Day of Classes. For personal leave, contact
your academic dean about deadlines. After either leave, you
must apply to return to Duke by one of the three (strict)


yearly deadlines in order to return.

CI )

Length While historically students taking a medical-leave


have been required to be away for two full semesters, this


policy is no longer in place. Instead, medical leaves ore






handled case-by-case with no official mandatory minimums.
With regards to personal leave, students are typically
expected to return ofter one or two semesters (although
toking an additional semester is possible).

Tuition If you withdraw before the beginning of the
semester, a full tuition refund is possible. Partial tuition
refunds are possible up to the 6th week.

Prohibitions During a leave, students are not active
students, cannot make use of any student resources or
services, participate in student activities, be employed by
Duke in positions reserved for students, or enter Duke
residential buildings. Should you hove o compelling reason


to make use of o Duke resource, you must request and
obtain written permission from the director of the Office of
Student Returns.

A Final Note of Caution It is important to
remember that everyone at CAPS is also an
employee at Duke University which means they
are beholden to Duke bureaucracy, policy,
and interests to varying degrees (depending
on an employee's position and their own


11 1

t )

sensibilities regarding Duke). For example, it is
in Duke's interest to always be cognizant of
liability issues; consequently, Duke and CAPS
employees may exercise extra caution at

C )

times. For this reason, we suggest that you be


mindful of the language use and who you are

C )

talking to, especially when talking to someone


other than your counselor.




DukeREACH If you ore concerned on behalf of someone

else {i.e. peer, roommate, classmate, etc.), you ore also free
to contact D11kef<EACH
. o service for students, faculty, staff,
parents, and others to get resources to help students in
need. A lot of DukeREACH deals with case management, in
aiding students when they have diff lculty navigating
circumstances. Oftentimes, DukeREACH will help individuals
manage resources and connect students with contacting
11 1
C :,


staff members and departments. If you are

concerned about someone, you ore also free to go through






Women's Center ''The Offir.. of Gender Violence

Information provides confidential crisis support for people of

all genders who are survivors of gender violence, including


sexual assault, stalking or unwanted contact, harassment, or

l >

intimate partner violence." The Women's center is located in


the Crowell Building underneath Duke CoffeeHouse on East


Campus. The Women's Center hos counselors on staff who


t )

con see you for a walk-in anytime between 9am and 5pm


Monday through Friday. Counselings services are

and no information will be shared without your

consent. Staff will not file a report with the University or
Police unless you request them to do so. You can also coll

919-684-3897, or email WCHelp@duke.edu. During afterhours, weekends, or holidays: page 919-970-2108 or email




& design




Helen Yang


Shorn Tiwari


• Mass Incarceration - Wahneema Lubiano
• Work level: Easy/Medium
• Some reflection submissions
• Final: paper, 8-10 pages
• Comments: Lubiano is amazing and she sounds like an academic reading when she talks. Truly a genius and the loml and a wise n kind human.
• She is also really kind as a professor and met with me to discuss my
papers and shape the direction of them. I know that for other people,
she has also been very understanding about personal life conflicts and
given extensions accordingly.
• Moral Panics - Wahneema Lubiano
• Work level: Easy/Medium
• Some reflection submissions
• Final: paper, 8-10 pages
• Comments: The best class I took at Duke ; fall 2018 course!!!
• Chinatowns: A Cultural History - Eileen Chow
• Work level: Easy/Medium
• Weekly reflection submissions
• Final: paper, 8-10 pages
• Comments: Chow will ramble sometimes, but she's amazing; usually in
the spring
• Life Within Capitalism - Dirk Philipsen
• Work level: Hard
• Reflection submissions for almost all readings (1-3 per class)
• Midterm: class debate (split up into three groups, 4-8 people per group)
• Final: short ep-ed and presentation
• Comments: You need to talk a lot in this class. Lots of white pubpol/
econ ppl also. But dirk is great and truly wants you to think critically
about the material/capitalism and how it impacts your life; usually in
the spring
• First professor to give me the tools and vocabulary to talk about why
capitalism sucks.
• Sociology of Racism in America - Eduardo Bonilla -Silva (TBP [the best professor])
• Work level: Medium/Hard
• Primarily based on class participation and tests although you can im-


prove your participation grade by taking notes on the readings. EBS is
the funniest and best professor and genuinely cares about his students
and their education.
• There is a lot of readings--to do well in class participation, you either
have to have pretty good memory or take decent notes to participate
and answer his questions. But once you go to class, you'll get a feel for
what he might focus on within the readings and streamline your read ing on that. I'd say the readings are manageable if you don 't do all the
readings in one night; I'd say doing two chapters per day made it better. Taking notes also can only help you for the exams because you can
bring your notes to class, highlight whatever he goes through (in the
beginning, he hinted at what he would test you on later) , and use that
as review material. Beyond that , he's a very caring and funny professor.
• Comments: on leave during 2018-2019
• Writing 101 - Mike Dimpfl
• Work level: Medium/Easy
• He is teaching a new Writing 101this year and changing the assignments,
so work level might not be the same as the Writing 101 I took with him.
That said, he swapping the final research paper for a 1000 word paper, so
the workload actually looks easier than previous course.
• Comments: Mike is two years into his five year appointment, and we will
all be sad when he leaves because this man 's courses are amazing and his
rants are impeccable. I wish I could return to first year so I could take
his new Writing 101-The End(s) of Work. Amazing choice of expletives,
still uses an iPhone 4, and won't hesitate to call you out on your shit.
Mike taught me how to write a research paper.
• GSF 275: Food Farming and Feminism
• Work level: Medium /Hard
• Comments: You'll be doing a lot of reading in this class: about 5 books
on top of regular weekly articles and papers. Many of the readings are
really interesting and intellectually challenging although a couple veer
into the zone of almost inscrutable. The class covers topics from feminism to neoliberalism to Foucault to capitalism, so it's definitely worth
taking. Grades are based on essays and a take-home final. They're relatively tough graders on the essays, but you will be given a study guide
for the final, which is already take-home, and that should help you out.
• ICS 195: Comparative Approaches to Global Issues
• Work level: Medium



• Comments: There is quite a bit of reading & writing in this class that
felt overwhelming as a first semester freshman but may feel familiar to
upperclassmen. Introduced me to a lot of important writers / thinkers
(Frantz Fanon , Immanuel Wallerstein, Marx, Said) that introduced to me - a critical lens on capitalism, ideology, neoliberalism, etc. The
course also sharpened the clarity of my writing. My semester also included some tough graders, but I think the professor changes most
semesters. The midterm and final exams were straightforward and there
is a collaborative final paper toward the end on any topic you'd like. I'm
grateful I took it my first semester!
GSF 366: Nature, Culture, Gender - Nicole Elizabeth Barnes , History
AMES 142: History of Chinese Medicine - Nicole Elizabeth Barnes
• Work level: Medium
• Format: Reading based discussions , culminating research paper - tedious
but extremely rewarding
• Comments: Though many a premed comes to this class looking to round
out their transcripts in prep for thei r Western medical training, this class
is all about understanding Chinese medicine in its own right and beyond
the narrow scope of how it can appropriated to complement Western
biomedicine. A non-western-centric look at medicine and "science " as it
relates to politics within China + East Asia, with the theme of cultural
imperialism consistent throughout.
• Barnes is a white lady studying Asia, but truly quite thoughtful and cares
SO MUCH about her students and their wellbeing. She starts every class
with meditation and is very understanding of personal conflicts.
SOCIO 339: Marxism and Society - Michael Hardt
• Work level: Easy/Medium
• Format: three written exams, for which you're given study guides to
prepare with
• Comments: Michael is really nice dude, though he tends to ramble. The
class format makes it easy to fall behind on readings but not actually
miss that much. He'll help you establish a theoretical foundation to
reference when engaging with related discourse like black liberation or
HIST 202: Gender and Socialism -Anna Krylova
• Work level: Easy/Medium, can be quite particular with your writing.
Will assign unrealistic amounts of reading without actually holding you
accountable for most of it.

• Format: reading based presentations , three 3-5 page papers, take-home
• Comments: Wouldn't actually recommend this class because it was not
well structured enough. But intersection of feminist and marxist thought
is something that Hardt isn't able to touch on too deeply.
Professor Recommendations

Wahneema Lubiano
Antonio Viego
Claudia Milian
Laurie McIntosh
Diane Nelson
Esther Gabara
Charmaine Royal
Frances Hasso
Mike Dimpfl
Omid Safi
Reeve Huston
Adriane Lentz -Smith
Anne Allison
Bob Korstad
Eli Meyerhoff
Bill Chafe
Nancy Maclean
Gunther Peck
Nick Carnes
David Malone
Charlie Piot
Adam Hollowell
Thavolia Glymph
Thomas Ferraro
Tsitsi Jaji
Jarvis Mclnnis
Martin Smith
Joseph Winters
Mark Anthony Neal
Jedediah Purdy

Sandy Darity
Eduardo Bonilla -Silva
Michael Hardt
J ecca Namakkal
Jen Ansley
Roberto Dainotto
Mark Hansen
Negar Mottahedeh
Anna Krylova
Anne-Maria Makhulu
Saskia Cornes


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