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The Chronicle T h e i n d e p e n d e n t d a i ly at D u k e U n i v e r s i t y



New director ‘not just an army guy’

Burness to head Franklin & Marshall

It’s “The Climb”

by Lindsey Rupp

Perwich aims to mold Robertsons into leaders


by Diana Sheldon THE CHRONICLE

Alex Perwich likes to be clear that he has no bias when it comes to the Tobacco Road rivalry. “I’m not from Duke, and I’m not from UNC,” he said. “I just am.” This is fitting, given Perwich’s recent appointment as executive director of the Robertson Scholars Program, a position he assumed Feb. 15. Perwich replaced former director Tony Brown and will serve as the third head of the 10-year-old merit scholarship program, which grants approximately 18 undergraduates each at Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill full scholarships, including tuition, room, board, mandatory fees and summer stipends. Brown said Perwich’s impressive background make him a strong addition to the program. “There’s no question in my mind that we are a leadership development program,” Brown said. “To have someone with

lawson kurtz/The Chronicle

A Duke senior looks out over the University’s campus from the top of Duke Chapel. Members of the Class of 2010 lined up on the Chapel Quad Monday for the annual Senior Chapel Climb.

John Burness will return to Lancaster, Pa. to lead his alma mater, Franklin & Marshall College, this summer. Burness will begin a one-year term as interim president of Franklin & Marshall July 1, according to an announcement from Dale Frey, chair of the college’s Board of Trustees. “I’ve just had an extraordinary experience over the time that I’ve been [at Duke] and I’m going to a place that I care about very, very deeply,” John Burness Burness said. “I think it’s like a sabbatical—it’ll be a very interesting year for me, hopefully I can do some good for [the college], and I’m looking forward to coming back to Duke.” Burness has served in a number of roles at Duke, including 17 years as senior vice president for public affairs and government relations. Provost Peter Lange, who worked with Burness for eight years, said Burness’s time at Duke will serve him well in his year-long post. “I’m just really really pleased for him, and

See perwich on page 6

See burness on page 4

New recreation Brown to explore dining, busing options dept. to improve progamming dsg vice president for student affairs candidate

by Matthew Chase THE CHRONICLE

michael naclerio/The Chronicle

Freshman Chris Brown, who is running unopposed for vice president of student affairs, will make dining and transportation his top priorities.

Despite his current role as a Durham and regional affairs senator, freshman Chris Brown hopes to start addressing issues pertaining to another part of the University. Brown is the only candidate running for Duke Student Government’s vice president for athletics and campus services. “Athletics and campus services is, to me, what affects the day-to-day life of Duke students,” Brown said. “And in my opinion, when I go about my day, the ideas and what I am passionate about changing fall under the athletics and campus services bubble.” Although junior Metty Fisseha, a Chronicle columnist, and sophomore Yingyi Shen submitted campaign packets to run for the position, they were among 13 candidates whose campaigns were nullified April 9. These candidates had submitted their packets after Attorney General Var Shankar, a senior, had extended the campaign packet deadline—an action that the DSG Judiciary deemed unconstitutional.

Students looking for ways to get active outside of varsity sports will have new options, thanks to the Duke Department of Campus Recreation. The new recreation department, headed by Managing Director of Campus Recreation Felicia Tittle, aims to revamp the way students can participate, exercise and get involved in sports and activities by “engaging the mind, body and spirit through recreation,” according to its mission statement. The department oversees four areas of recreation, including aquatics, intramurals, outdoor adventures and sport clubs. Director of Athletics Kevin White appointed Tittle to the position last September. Most of the changes that Tittle has made already in the department involve internal administrative adjustments

See brown on page 5

See recreation on page 7


“If you’ve just graduated from college or if you’re a CEO in the [Research Triangle Park], we have housing options for you.”

­—Carver Weaver, DCC director of business retention on housing. See story page 3

by Caitlin Guenther THE CHRONICLE

DUSDAC: Devilishly good Committee gives Central’s newly opened Devil’s Bistro high marks, PAGE 4

WR Williams makes switch to cornerback, Page 9

2 | TUESDAY, APRIL 13, 2010 the chronicle






U.S. Marines try novel tactics to disrupt opium harvest

Top U.S. officials stress U.S. budget deficit narrows country’s nuclear strength WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States posted a budget deficit for a record 18th straight month in March, reflecting gains in government spending to bolster the economy. The excess of spending over revenue declined to $65.4 billion last month, compared with a shortfall of $191.6 billion in March 2009, according to Treasury Department figures released Monday in Washington. The year-over-year narrowing reflected a decline in outlays for the Troubled Asset Relief Program to shore up financial firms. A deficit that’s forecast to reach a record $1.6 trillion this fiscal year illustrates the challenges facing President Barack Obama and Congress as they struggle to spur the recovery while keeping the budget gap manageable. Deterioration in the government’s balance sheet in coming years raises the risk of higher interest rates.

Nothing endures but personal qualities. — Walt Whitman

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Even as President Barack Obama met Sunday with a succession of global leaders to discuss better control of nuclear materials, his administration highlighted a seemingly dissimilar message: The U.S. nuclear approach remains as strong as ever. While Obama entertained foreign leaders at Blair House—shaking hands, bowing politely and posing for pictures—Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave interviews meant to reassert the nation’s military strength. They indicated that the United States would spend $5 billion this year to modernize its existing nuclear weapons, which they said could be used if the country’s security is in danger or in response to the threat of a biological attack.

TODAY IN HISTORY 1980: U.S. boycotts Summer Olympics in Moscow, Russia.

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — U.S. Marines are mounting an intensive effort to disrupt the opium harvest in the former Taliban enclave of Marja by confiscating tools from migrant workers, compensating poppy farmers who plow under their fields and collaborating with Drug Enforcement Administration personnel to raid collection sites. The steps amount to one of the most novel U.S. attempts to crack down on a key part of Afghanistan’s drug trade while seeking to minimize the impact on individual farmers, many of them poor sharecroppers who face economic peril if they cannot harvest or sell their crops. The plan to pay farmers, who will receive $120 for each acre of tilled fields, prompted a tense debate among Marine officials and civilian reconstruction personnel, some of whom argued that it

provides preferential treatment to those in Marja who planted an illegal crop. But the Marines’ program eventually won the approval of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In a March 30 cable to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, she called the effort “the best decision in the face of an array of less-than-perfect options.” President Barack Obama’s administration ended a program to eradicate poppy fields, saying it would drive farmers into the hands of the insurgency. Instead, the military and DEA operations here have been directed toward catching traffickers and drug kingpins and toward interdicting shipments of opium and processed heroin. “When we went into Marja, we didn’t declare war on the poppy farmer,” said Brig. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson, commander of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade.

Adeel hallm/The Washington post

Amit Jain, owner of an electronics shop in Mumbai, India, sold five 64-gigabyte iPads for $2,258 each, three times more expensive than the $699 retail price in the U.S. He received the iPads through unofficial distributors. Consumers outside of the U.S. will account for half of the 2010 iPad sales, said Brian Marshall, an analyst at San Francisco-based Broadpoint AmTech Inc.

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the chronicle

TUESDAY, APRIL 13, 2010 | 3

Writing is for everyone, author says Housing in

Durham stays strong

by Maggie Love THE CHRONICLE

If critically acclaimed author Jonathan Safran Foer adheres to one writing rule, it is to avoid any rules on writing. Foer, author of the books “Everything is Illuminated,” “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” and “Eating Animals,” used the humor and storytelling for which he has become famous to explain his own writing process and encourage other writers to pursue their literary ambitions. Monday night, Foer addressed an almost full Griffith Film Theater as the opening dialogue of the 2010 Archive Literary Festival. The 33-year-old author has been both praised and criticized for the ingenuity of his novels. His first book, “Everything is Illuminated,” is the story of a protagonist, also named Jonathan Safran Foer, and his journey to Ukraine to find a woman who may have saved his Jewish grandfather from persecution during the Holocaust. Foer said the novel is loosely related to a trip he took to Ukraine to learn about the history of his own family. “I really begin with nothing,” Foer said. “I’ve come to think that I actually don’t have ideas or thoughts unless I’m writing.” Because writing generates ideas, Foer said, the world would benefit from more writing outside of the profession. But he added that art was valuable to society, a fact that is not necessarily reflected in the percentage of humanities majors in U.S. colleges. “Certainly, [our] culture needs artists See foer on page 7

by Sonia Havele THE CHRONICLE

maddie lieberberg/The Chronicle

Novelist Jonathon Safran Foer opens the 2010 Archive Literary Festival by recounting his unique writing process in front of an almost full crowd in Griffith Film Theater Monday evening.

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Despite a sagging U.S. housing market, Durham is still seen as a community with the potential for real estate growth and investment. Consumer journalist Broderick Perkins describes the national housing market as “anemic at best,” but he lists all three cities in the Triangle—Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill—in his top 10 “Hottest Housing Markets for 2010” ranking published March 31 on AOL News. Although Durham has seen a rise in unemployment and a decrease in real estate spending, experts say citizens have not experienced the effects of the recession to the same degree as those living in other U.S. cities. Perkins writes that Durham and other recovering housing markets are still not “housing-boom strong,” although they have shown signs of improvement. “We’ve seen a number of people laid off in work and a slowdown in the housing market [by] 8 percent,” said Michael Walden, William Neal Reynolds professor of agriculture and resource economics at North Carolina State University. He added that the Triangle has one of the strongest economies in the country and is well-positioned for future growth.

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4 | TUESDAY, APRIL 13, 2010 the chronicle

burness from page 1

duke university student dining advisory committee

courtney douglas/The Chronicle

At their meeting Monday, DUSDAC members taste test Devil’s Bistro, Central Campus’ new restaurant, finding few complaints about the eatery’s food quality.

New eatery garners positive reviews by Sanette Tanaka THE CHRONICLE

The new Central Campus eatery, Devil’s Bistro, is going strong—serving approximately 1,320 meals since its opening Friday, said Director of Dining Services Jim Wulforst. The Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee dined at and critiqued the new restaurant Monday night for the first time. The members gave the food rave reviews and only had minor suggestions regarding logistics, said DUSDAC co-Chair Jason Taylor, a senior. DUSDAC suggestions included a separate line for grab-and-go purchases, easier access to condiments and utensils and labels on the dessert items. The committee plans to submit its recommendations to Bon Appétit Management Company, which runs the eatery. The food, though, received little criticism. “The [grilled tofu masala salad] was excellent,” said DUSDAC member Caroline

Yoder, a senior. “The menu is creative with healthy options and a lot of variety, and it is extensive enough that I could get something different every time.” A Central Campus resident, Yoder said she plans to eat at the restaurant two to three times per week, but added that the wait time was “too long for a salad.” Bon Appétit Marketing Manager Sarah McGowan attributed the delayed service to the Bistro’s brief time in operation. Unlike many off-campus restaurants, the eatery did not implement a “soft opening” or testing period before Friday’s grand opening to the public. “We are still working out the kinks of getting food out fast enough,” McGowan said. “But we have had a lot of people in here [this weekend], and we’ve received awesome feedback on the food and the building.” With a menu ranging from noodle dishes to salads to burgers, the Bistro offers something for everyone, said Franca Alphin, director of nutrition services at Student Health,

who dined with DUSDAC Monday. “Central has always been underserved in terms of food, and this restaurant has been very much needed,” Alphin said. “The ambiance is nice, clean and inviting, and there is a lot of variety and healthy options.” Although the outside construction is finished, the interior of the Bistro is still under development. Bon Appétit plans to install a projector screen in the lounge area for games and decorate the walls primarily with photos of Duke sports teams, McGowan said. Taylor said the committee agreed that the Bistro needs some decorations but added that he prefers simplicity. “We don’t want it to be a Duke shrine or fan club,” he said. “Personally, I like it stark and plain.” DUSDAC suggested the Bistro focus its $2,000 decorating budget on minimal non-Duke decor. “We want a nice balance, and we welcome any feedback,” McGowan said.

I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to contribute to his alma mater in a way that will really help them and he’ll be really good at,” Lange said. “John is a very observant person. He observed three presidents, and I don’t know how many provosts, and lots of administrative changes and things. And he’ll absorb all that and see how it relates to being interim president at Franklin & Marshall.” When Burness was approached about the job informally about six months ago, he said he dismissed it. But he began to reconsider the possibility when he was formally approached about a month ago. “It occurred to me that it’s the kind of contribution you can make to an institution. Just like this place changes lives, [Franklin & Marshall] changes lives,” Burness said. “So the more I thought about it, the more interested I got.” Burness, who has been a member of the Franklin & Marshall College Board of Trustees for seven years, will serve while a search committee looks for a replacement for current president John Fry. Fry is leaving the college to become president of Drexel University. In a Franklin & Marshall news release, Fry said Burness was the first person Fry approached him to become a trustee. “I admired him both for his great expertise and standing in American higher education as well as his incredibly warm personality and wonderful common sense,” Fry said in the statement. “I welcome him and Anne in their new capacity to the Franklin & Marshall family and know that their presence will be wonderful for the faculty, professional staff and students for the coming year.” Burness is currently a professor of the practice in the Dewitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy at the Sanford School of Public Policy. He has been a consultant to several universities and is an invited columnist for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Michael Schoenfeld, the current vice president for public affairs and government relations, praised Franklin & Marshall’s decision and said Burness had been a mentor figure since they met more than 15 years ago. “[He’s] one of the best in the business and is widely respected and highly regarded by anybody who has been in this profession,” Schoenfeld said. “I think it’s a brilliant move for Franklin & Marshall to bring him in. He loves and cares for the school as much as he cares for anything.” Burness said he will miss Duke, and although he will not be able to teach his scheduled Fall course, “Higher Education and News Media,” Burness said he is looking forward to returning to teaching in Fall 2011. Taylor Doherty contributed reporting.

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the chronicle

TUESDAY, APRIL 13, 2010 | 5

At nuclear summit, Obama presses for unity on Iran new U.N. sanctions against Iran is urgent. “The two presidents agreed that the two delegations WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Barack Obama should work on a sanctions resolution in New York, used an unprecedented summit on nuclear terror- and that's what we're doing,” said Jeffrey Bader, the ism Monday to press global leaders to support further National Security Council's senior director for Asian isolating Iran for its nuclear activities, and the White affairs. The Chinese, he said, “made clear that they are House said that China's prepared to work with us.” leader had agreed to coopBader called the meeting erate with tightening U.N. “I think it’s an indication of how “another sign of internasanctions on the Islamic retional unity on this issue.” deeply concerned everybody public. China has backed three should be with the possibilities previous sanctions resoluThe Nuclear Security Summit is the first large meeting tions on Iran, and its supof nuclear traffic, and I think of world leaders focused on port is crucial, because it how to keep nuclear materiat the end of this we’re going to is one of five veto-wielding als away from terrorist groups members of the Security such as al Qaeda. The event see some very specific, concrete Council. Ma Zhaoxu, a drew 36 heads of state and actions that each nation is tak- spokesman for the Chinese delegations from 10 other delegation, was more cauing that will make the world a countries to the city, which tious about Monday's meetbecame a blur of flashing poing, indicating that the two little bit safer.” lice lights and speeding black sides still differed on the convoys. — Barack Obama, elements of a sanctions U.S. officials structured resolution. Ma repeated the President of the United States standard Chinese diplomatthe summit to avoid controversial topics and achieve ic formulation, saying that broad agreement on improvHu told Obama he hoped ing security at places where nuclear material is stored: that countries would “actively seek effective ways to remilitary installations, civilian research reactors and solve the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and other facilities. But, in bilateral meetings leading up to negotiations.” the event, Obama sought to send a message to Iran— Iran was not invited to the summit. Nor was North which denies it is developing a nuclear weapon—that Korea, which quit the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty it must heed international efforts to restrain its nuclear in 2003 and has twice tested a weapon. But with a flurprogram. ry of meetings on the sidelines of the summit, “those White House officials said Obama told Chinese President Hu Jintao in a 90-minute meeting Monday passing See summit on page 8 By Mary Beth Sheridan and Scott Wilson The Washington Post

brown from page 1 Brown said dining and transportation will be the two biggest issues facing the Athletics and Campus Services committee. He added that he hopes to represent students in upcoming discussions about changing dining policies. “We have the power in these negotiations, we just need to use it,” Brown said. “[Vendors] want to be on campus and it’s a matter of what’s appropriate for the University.” Because transportation is a “crucial” part of the Duke experience, Brown said he wants to re-evaluate bus routes, increase student accessibility to ZipCars and consider replacing the bus fleet. In addition, Brown will pursue a GPS-based bus tracking system and a text message notification program for parking tickets. Brown said he also intends to preserve the Tailgate traditions but also provide options for students desiring a more traditional college tailgating environment. He added that he hopes to make tenting manageable, possibly by adding an ePrint station in Wilson Gym. Although Brown is running unopposed, he said he wants to hear Shen and Fisseha’s ideas. “They are two people that have great ideas and there is a place for them to work towards those goals,” Brown said. Junior Will Passo, vice president for Durham and regional affairs, said Brown was an active member of the cabinet this year. Passo added that Brown worked with Steve Nowicki, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education, on a faculty interaction program that is still being developed. “He showed a lot of initiative just as a freshman weeks into his job, which is pretty impressive,” Passo said. Brown’s responsibilities next year will include sitting on the Facilities and Environment Committee of the Board of Trustees. Passo said Brown will be a productive member on that committee. “He will be able to solicit a lot of student input,” Passo said. “He’s just a freshman but he’s very impressive.”

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perwich from page 1

housing from page 3

his leadership experience will be a real asset to the program. He’ll be a breath of fresh air.” Perwich said he is a leader by training, experience and profession. He added that his background is unique because he has spent time in the army, corporate sector, non-profit sector and as an entrepreneur. After graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point, Perwich received his MBA from Harvard University. His past experiences have included teaching economics at West Point, serving as chief executive officer of Golden Key International Honor Society—the world’s largest collegiate honor society—and acting as president of alternative energy start-up company WaterDesk Corp. “People like to put other people into buckets,” Perwich said. “They say, ‘Alex is an army guy.’ But that’s just one part of who I am.” Helping others realize potential has been a lifelong interest for Perwich. He worked to enable students to reach their greatest achievements in the Golden Key society, that was how he saw his role in teaching economics at West Point and that is how he has interacted with his colleagues at various other corporations, he said. Perwich said when he came across a posting for the Robertson position in the Harvard Business School Club job board, it was clear that this was a position made for him. “It was almost like it had a light on it,” Perwich said. “It was looking at me, blinking at me. And when I read it, I realized this is the ‘realize your potential’ program, supercharged. It was everything that brought together an alignment of lots of different interests.” Although scholars have only had limited interaction with Perwich, given his recent appointment, several said they are impressed with what they have already seen and have high expectations for the new director despite his challenging position. “I think it takes a lot of flexibility and creativity to lead the Robertson Scholars Program,” sophomore Lina Colucci said. “We are a large group of young adults who want to change the world and we all have our own ideas on the best way to do that. The leader of the program has to help each scholar achieve his or her vision while remaining a stable core to the program. Given my im-

Walden noted that as a whole, the Triangle possesses a robust underlying economy based on industries like health care, finance and the network of Duke, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. The strength of the region’s economic foundation should cause the economy to grow faster than most others in the future, he added. Sheena Johnson, director of communications and marketing for the Durham Chamber of Commerce, also attributed the strength of Durham’s economy to the prevalence of these sectors. Johnson added that the Durham community has allowed its industries to evolve over the years. While the recent automotive industry crisis in Detroit has been “devastating” to that city’s economy, Durham has been able to avoid a similar fate through industrybased changes made in the past, said Carver Weaver, director of business retention for the Durham Chamber of Commerce. “[A similar industry collapse] happened here 40 years ago when we realized that tobacco wasn’t going to be enough to sustain our economy,” Weaver said. Since then, Durham has expanded its economy and explored other ways to create a variety jobs, she added. Weaver noted that Durham’s housing market has since benefitted from its wide range of real estate that has been able to accommodate residents of varying income levels, spanning from recent college graduates to established professionals. “If you’ve just graduated from college or if you’re a [chief executive officer] in the [Research Triangle Park], we have housing options for you,” she said, adding that real estate prices can range from $150,000 to $1.5 million. Weaver went on to say that because of Durham’s low costs of living and ample employment opportunities, businesses and individuals from other states have begun relocating to the city. “[People] not only come here for the jobs, but also come here to start businesses,” she said. “If you have an economy that’s losing jobs, you don’t have developers building houses.”

caroline rodriguez/The Chronicle

Alex Perwich was appointed director of the Robertson Scholars Program in February, succeeding former director Tony Brown. pressions of Alex so far, I don’t think there’s a challenge that he isn’t up for.” UNC sophomore Andrew Sugrue said Perwich is an “all-star in his field.” Sugrue added that he is excited to see where Perwich takes the program. Perwich said he sees his role as the leader of the next phase of an evolving program and does not arrive with any mandates for monumental change. He said he is simply the next leader of something moving forward. He added that it is an honor to be the steward for the next phase of the Robertson Scholars Program. “I was going to [Raleigh-Durham International] yesterday and the cab driver looked at me in the rear-view mirror,” Perwich said. “He asked me what line of work I’m in. I go, ‘That’s a great question.’ I reflected on it and said, ‘You know what? I’m in the business of building leaders—what a great business to be in.’”

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the chronicle

TUESDAY, APRIL 13, 2010 | 7

recreation from page 1

Foer from page 3

and working to create an identity for recreation around campus. The department also has long-term plans to improve services for students, employees and the Durham community. “Our goal is to become the best recreation department in the country and offer Duke students a very enhanced experience,” Tittle said. “We hope to offer programs targeted to women, day tournaments through intramurals and a lot more programming for students so they can have the option to do something in the evenings.” Other challenges the department hopes to tackle include managing equipment, organizing events such as the upcoming Bull City Showdown basketball tournament and creating an advisory board to allow students the opportunity to make recommendations. Overall, Tittle said she intends to engage students and provide options for student employment through the recreation department. The Department of Athletics hired Tittle last Fall because of her experience in recreation at Florida Gulf Coast University, where she had worked since 2005. “[Tittle] came from a university that put a good amount of resources into their recreation program,” Deputy Director of Athletics Stan Wilcox said. “She took an upstart program and grew it into one of the top programs in the south Florida area.” Whether the changes Tittle intends to make will require additional financing, however, is still unclear. Funding for the department is managed through a committee that reviews the fee structure every three to four years for students, faculty,

as much as it needs business people. It’s just a harder choice to make,” Foer said. He also noted that it is important to distinguish between critical and intuitive forms of writing, and that he is more visceral in his own work. He later spoke of the process of structuring his fiction. Foer does not start his novels with an end in mind, he said. To illustrate this point, he told the audience how a story that initially took place in a museum morphed into “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” after he became more preoccupied with a minor character. The novel tells of 9-year-old Oskar Schell’s struggle to come to terms with 9/11. In addition to speaking more generally about the fiction writing for which he has become praised, Foer went on a selfproclaimed diatribe about his first work of nonfiction, “Eating Animals,” which explores the animal rights and environmental issues associated with eating factory-farmed meat. He explained that factory farms like Tyson were so unwilling to let him behind the scenes, he had to arrange his own visit to a farm—at 3 a.m. “[In researching factory farming] I saw really gruesome stuff, but nothing freaked me out as much as this veil of secrecy, and how complete it was, how total it was,” Foer said. “I do think it’s worth thinking about this subject. The stakes are so high.” Several audience members said they appreciated Foer’s down-to-earth nature, noting that he was funny and personable. “I liked how he gave everyone back the opportunity to be a writer,” said junior Alexa Monroy, a neuroscience major. The Archive Literary Festival will continue with a talk by author Padgett Powell April 15.

chronicle file photo

The new Duke Department of Campus Recreation will be responsible for several areas of campus activity, including aquatics. Felicia Tittle, the new director, said she hopes the program will be “the best.” alumni and other members of the Duke community, Wilcox said. “I could not tell you at this point in time whether student fees will be increasing,” Wilcox said. “There is a plan to standardize fees for other user groups that have been lagging behind, such as employees and graduate students.” Student Affairs looks forward to working closely with the recreation depart-

ment to tie together many different areas of campus life, Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek said. “Our hope is to have a very cooperative and collaborative relationship with the folks in recreation,” Wasiolek said. “Our goals are the same. We want to make the Duke experience for our students as fun and meaningful as possible, and we are all in it together.”

8 | TUESDAY, APRIL 13, 2010 the chronicle

summit from page 5

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countries not here are not out of the agenda. People will discuss how to manage them,” Finnish President Tarja Halonen said in an interview. The summit comes at a key moment on the diplomatic calendar. In addition to the looming sanctions effort at the United Nations, nearly 200 countries are scheduled next month to consider strengthening the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the pact that long checked the spread of weapons but is now in danger of collapse. Fortifying the treaty is at the heart of Obama's nuclear agenda. Joshua Pollack, a nuclear expert, said that Obama's meetings Sunday and Monday with some of the less prominent world leaders, such as those from Kazakhstan, Malaysia and Ukraine, reflected preparations for next month's treaty conference in New York. At that meeting, “every member state has an equal vote, even the ones that don't often dominate the headlines ... so there's a courtship aspect,” he wrote on the blog ArmsControlWonk. The summit, which will continue all day Tuesday, will focus on the dangers posed by al-Qaida and other terrorist groups obtaining loosely guarded nuclear material. Obama pledged during his campaign to lock down all “loose” nuclear material in four years — a goal he says he is determined to pursue, despite a lack of progress in his first year. The objective is to secure nuclear material in military installations, civilian research reactors and universities worldwide and prevent smuggling. Experts say there is enough nuclear material in the world to make more than 120,000 nuclear weapons. According to the State Department, the summit is the largest gathering of heads of state and government called by a U.S. leader since the United Nations was founded in 1945. “I think it's an indication of how deeply concerned everybody should be with the possibilities of nuclear traffic,” Obama told reporters, referring to the turnout. “And I think at the end of this we're going to see some very specific, concrete actions that each nation is taking that will make the world a little bit safer.” Obama opened the event with new pledges from countries to secure their material and discourage smuggling. Ukraine announced Monday that it will dispose of its stock of highly enriched uranium, a critical material used in nuclear weapons. The statement came after Obama met with President Viktor Yanukovych, their first encounter since the Ukrainian leader's February inauguration. The former Soviet state has about 200 pounds of highly enriched uranium at its civilian research reactors, enough “to make several nuclear weapons,” said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. Ukraine's government has agreed to covert the reactors to lowenriched uranium, which is more difficult to weaponize. Canada also said it will return its spent nuclear fuel to the United States. Those announcements came after Chile said it had given up its last 40 pounds of highly enriched uranium. Obama also met Monday with Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia. As a condition for Razak attending the summit, the Obama administration demanded that the Malaysian government adopt stricter import and export controls to prevent the country from being used as a transshipment point for smuggled nuclear materials and technology, officials said. The White House said in a statement that Obama congratulated Najib on the legislation, and that the leaders will work together to strengthen the Non-Proliferation Treaty next month. The two “agreed on the need for the international community to send a clear signal to Iran that while it has the right to develop peaceful uses of nuclear energy, Iran should not use this right to develop nuclear weapons capability,” the statement said. Iran announced Sunday that it will hold its own summit on April 17 and 18, titled “Nuclear Energy for Everyone, Nuclear Arms for No One,” according to the Arablanguage broadcaster al-Jazeera. A majority of Americans are not confident that the summit will make it more difficult for terrorists to get a hold of nuclear materials, according to a new Washington PostABC News poll. The survey, conducted on the eve of the meeting, found that 40 percent of respondents thought the talks would result in tighter controls on nuclear materials, while 56 percent said they were not confident they would succeed in doing so.



The Chronicle

The Duke men’s tennis team welcomes UNC in a vital ACC contest The Blue Devils play Davidson tonight at 6:30 p.m. in Cary


TUESDAY April 13, 2010

An open letter to Kyle Singler Dear Kyle Singler, Last week, you had a perfect opportunity to announce that you were staying at Duke for your senior season. You returned from Indianapolis as the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player, greeted by 9,000 screaming fans in Cameron Indoor Stadium. When you got to the podium to speak, you were showered with chants of “One more year!” And you ignored them. Which, at the time, led me to one of two conclusions: Either you had already decided to declare for the NBA Draft, or you weren’t sure what you were going to do. You haven’t Joe announced your intentions since then, so I’m going to assume it was the latter. Unfortunately, you’re running out of time before the April 25 deadline to declare. You’re probably receiving more opinions than you know what to do with, but I’m here to offer mine as well. As you probably know, there are plenty of reasons for you to bolt for the NBA. Thanks to your


performance in the NCAA Tournament, your stock has risen, and now you’re being projected as a first-round pick. You’ve won a national championship, so there is no higher team honor for you to accomplish. There’s always the chance you could get injured as a senior, like West Virginia’s Da’Sean Butler, and see your draft position worsen. And perhaps most importantly, a lockout may mean that there won’t be a 2011-2012 NBA season. Sure, you would still be drafted next year, but the league may shut down just days later. If it doesn’t return until 2012-2013, that’s another year in which you are not making any money— and another year’s delay until your rookie deal expires and you are eligible for a more lucrative second contract. If you stay at Duke one more season, you would be 26 by the time the two guaranteed years of your rookie contract expire, and 28 when the two option years, which will probably be picked up, are over. But that doesn’t mean you should panic and declare just because of a possible lockout. Whether michael naclerio/Chronicle file photo

See singler on page 10


Currier makes switch from mound to masher by Chris Cusack THE CHRONICLE

Will Currier is used to expanding his comfort zone. He’s been a starting pitcher on the weekends and during the week, thrown in long and short relief and served as a closer throughout his rollercoaster career. So when head coach Sean McNally asked him to take batting practice late last season after three years of pitching, Currier took it in stride. “It was bizarre,” Currier said. “Coach McNally just pulled me out of the outfield one day. He was frustrated with how our hitters were hitting, and I took a pretty good BP [batting practice]. I found myself in the lineup a week later against a midweek team.” The 6-foot-4, 225-pound presence on the mound soon found himself terrorizing his former bullpen colleagues. But despite dominant batting practice performances, adjusting to live, in-game pitching proved to be a more daunting task. In 17 at-bats at the end of last season, Currier had just four hits with one home run. However, the big righthander knew from experience that it would take time to adjust. “I’ve done pretty much everything from a pitching aspect that you could do,” Currier said. “Now I’m starting to see the ball a lot better, having some atbats under my belt.” And adjust he has. After breaking into the everyday lineup a few weeks into the season, Currier has evolved from spot starter to slugger. With the second-most home

Kyle Singler would profit more from staying at Duke another year, Joe Drews writes.


Williams flourishing after move to defense

runs on the team in only 22 games—some of his teammates have played in as many as 32—he has become the Blue Devils’ most dangerous power threat from his spot as the designated hitter. Duke’s home at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park complements Currier’s game nicely. With the “Blue Monster” in right field less than 300 feet from the batter’s See currier on page 11

lawson kurtz/Chronicle file photo

Sophomore Johnny Williams is likely to be Duke’s No. 1 cornerback when the 2010 season begins in September. by Scott Rich THE CHRONICLE

tyler seuc/Chronicle file photo

Former pitcher Will Currier, a senior, has become one of Duke’s best hitters in a matter of weeks.

This wasn’t how it was supposed to happen. Johnny Williams’ sophomore season should have been his breakout campaign. The wide receiver was Duke’s leading passcatcher in 2008, and his 30 receptions that year represented the third-highest singleseason total by a freshman in Duke history. He entered the 2009 season as a starter and was expected to be senior quarterback Thaddeus Lewis’s No. 1 option. But instead of flourishing, Williams was overshadowed.

While his 31 catches for 385 yards were nothing to laugh at, they were good for only fourth-best on the team. Fellow sophomore Donovan Varner exploded for 65 receptions, 1,047 yards and eight touchdowns, while freshman Conner Vernon also surpassed Williams on the depth chart while racking up 55 catches of his own. Even junior Austin Kelly, who caught all of 13 passes in 2008, had 240 more receiving yards than Williams in 2009. Instead of complaining, pouting or transferring, though, Williams made a change. Once a starter on the offensive end, the See williams on page 11

10 | TUESDAY, APRIL 13, 2010 the chronicle

Men’s Tennis

Blue Devils host UNC, try to keep pace in ACC by Gabe Starosta THE CHRONICLE

libby busdicker/Chronicle file photo

Henrique Cunha will be the favorite in his match at No. 1 singles against North Carolina.

singler from page 9 you go pro this year or next, a 2011 lockout would wipe out one year of your NBA career. Yes, it would push back your eligibility for a second contract. But is there really that much of a difference between being a free agent at age 28 instead of 27? You may even be able to make up the disparity by coming back for your senior season. Your stock shot up because of your Tournament performance. Just think what could happen if you played an entire season like you did the final month of 2009-2010. You may play yourself into the lottery, which would mean a big pay raise. The difference in salary between the No. 27 pick and the No. 14 pick—the last of the lottery—is $630,500 for the first year, and that gap only grows over time. Over the course of the four-year rookie contract, the difference is $2.8 million. So if you move up that far, you’ve more than made up for the year you lost by staying at Duke, as well as the lockout season. If you leave this year, you may not even get a guaranteed contract. I said you’re projected to be a first-round pick, but it’s not a lock. has you going 19th to Portland, and has you at No. 27 to Oklahoma City. ESPN’s Chad Ford ranks you the No. 43 prospect in this year’s class, and he pegs you as a late-first to earlysecond round pick. There’s a big difference between the two. If you fall to the second round—and you will get plenty more information from Duke about how likely that is to happen—you won’t get a guaranteed NBA contract. That kind of drop is at least conceivable because you would be coming out in a pretty strong draft year, particularly at the small forward position. You have to contend with the likes of Al-Farouq Aminu, Wes Johnson, James Anderson, Quincy Pondexter and maybe Gordon Hayward. If that pushes you to the second round, your early NBA career will not be very comfortable. You will be guaranteed nothing, instead of essentially guaranteed

In what might be a preview of a soon-to-come ACC Tournament semifinal, the No. 20 Blue Devils host No. 19 North Carolina Tuesday at 3 p.m. at Ambler Tennis Stadium in Duke’s final home match of the season. The Blue Devils (14-6, 7-1 in the ACC) and the Tar Heels (164, 6-2) currently sit in second and third place in the conference, respectively, behind ACC No. 19 leader VirUNC ginia, the vs. No. 1 team No. 20 in the naDuke tion. With the CavaTUESDAY, 3 p.m. liers in pole Ambler Tennis Stadium position to earn the ACC tournament’s top seed in two weekends, Duke and North Carolina are both hoping for a rematch with Virginia. And if the current standings hold, Duke and North Carolina would meet in the ACC tournament semifinals for the right to face the Cavaliers with

four years in the league. Just ask Josh McRoberts—a guy who once looked like a lottery pick, but then spent time in the D-League wilderness before finding a place in the NBA—what that’s like. So there’s the money issue. There’s also playing time. You’re used to playing every game, and nearly every minute of each one. That probably won’t happen as an NBA rookie. Just ask Gerald Henderson, who went in the lottery but has played in just 41 games, averaging 7.7 minutes per contest, for the Charlotte Bobcats through Monday. More than anything else, you should come back because you obviously enjoy playing at Duke. Because Blue Devil fans appreciate your toughness more than NBA fans will. Because you can design T-shirts at Duke. Because you would get a Senior Night. Because you have a chance to have your number hang from Cameron’s rafters. Because, as Nolan Smith said, the 2010-2011 Blue Devils “could be something special.” Because as good as one national championship is, back-toback is better. You should return because at Duke, when a columnist suggests you come off the bench for one or two games to try to break a career-worst slump, your coach says it’s “unbelievable” and fans react as if that writer had proposed revoking your scholarship. Because people you’ve never met leap to your defense to tell that columnist—OK, it was me—that he’s a moron. And that was before you were a Final Four MOP. Kyle, you don’t owe Duke fans anything, and no one would fault you if you left. You came to Durham as a highly-rated recruit, stayed three years and won a national championship. For a lot of people, that would be enough. But you have a chance for more: more money, more accolades, more championships. Don’t let the promise—really, the possibility—of guaranteed NBA money blind you. Staying at Duke for your senior season will pay off in the long run.

a championship on the line. Right now, though, the focus isn’t on the postseason, but on finishing off the regular season on a hot streak, as both teams enter Tuesday’s meeting on threematch winning streaks. Since losing to the Cavaliers by a single point April 4, Duke has been on a roll. The Blue Devils gutted out a road win at Wake Forest and held serve at home against Georgia Tech, the ACC’s fourth-place team, and beat Clemson as well. The match against the Yellow Jackets represented something of a breakthrough for the Blue Devils. Duke has had trouble closing out opponents all year—the Blue Devils have taken leads into singles play several times only to lose late, and have also suffered two 4-3 reverses—but Duke was able to close out Georgia Tech, 4-3, after a late surge from senior Dylan Arnould. “We came out after the break, we got the boys fired up and the team came out really hot in the first set and kind of changed the momentum of the match,” assistant coach Josh Goffi said. “The

momentum swung completely to our side.... It showed the resilience of our team, and that’s kind of a model win.” Duke can expect a similar challenge Tuesday in a match head coach Ramsey Smith said “was going to be a battle.” The Tar Heels had an easier time against the Yellow Jackets in their last match, winning 5-2, and boast a deep, talented roster. Their top doubles team, the 17th-ranked Clay Donato and Stefan Hardy, should prove to be a quality opponent for Duke’s dominant duo of Henrique Cunha and Reid Carleton. A deep North Carolina singles order adds even more significance to that doubles point. Duke, though, can go into the doubles matches confident. For one, Cunha and Carleton have won 15 consecutive matches together. In addition, in their only previous meeting with Donato and Hardy—in the ITA Carolina Regionals, a tournament held in October as part of the leadup to the team season—Cunha and Carleton took down the Tar Heel pairing, 8-5.

melissa yeo/Chronicle file photo

Junior Kyle Singler’s play in Duke’s run to an NCAA Tournament title boosted his potential NBA Draft stock.

the chronicle

TUESDAY, APRIL 13, 2010 | 11

currier from page 9 box, righthanded hitters are at a distinct advantage. “Its unbelievable. There’s no better feeling than looking out there and seeing that big blue wall, like, 270 or 280 feet away,” Currier said. “My mom’s always talking about trying to get me to hit it off the bull. I still haven’t done it yet, but I’m looking forward to it.”

“There’s no better feeling than looking out there and seeing that big blue wall, like, 270 or 280 feet away.” — Will Currier Currier has hit six home runs in the last nine games, and he slammed four in the past week alone to lead the Blue Devils to a series win over Clemson and a midweek

melissa yeo/Chronicle file photo

Johnny Williams will be making tackles of his own, not getting hit by cornerbacks, when he starts on the defensive side of the ball next year.

williams from page 9 rising junior will head into the 2010 season as a starting conerback on the defensive side of the ball. Instead of using his explosiveness and athletic ability to score touchdowns, he’s going to try to stop them. And he couldn’t be happier about it. “First I was joking about it in the training room because I played it in high school and that’s what I was recruited as,” Williams said after Duke’s spring game March 27. “Two weeks later, I went up to meet with Coach Cut and he said he was thinking of moving me to corner, and I was like, ‘For real?’.... I said, ‘I think that would be a good transition.’ “I came back and thought about it and that was what I wanted to do.” And the Blue Devils are certainly happy Williams has taken the transition in stride. After losing safety Catron Gainey and starting cornerback Leon Wright from last season’s squad to graduation, Duke appeared extremely thin in the secondary heading into spring practice. But with Vernon, Varner and Kelly all returning on offense, plus promising redshirt freshman Tyree Watkins coming back from injury, the Blue Devil receiving corps seemed stacked. And while Williams will certainly be rooting for his teammates to put the ball in the endzone come September, for now, he’s concerned with shutting them down in practice. “I love going against Conner and Tyree and Austin,” Williams said. “They compete. I love competing and they make me better every day.” Despite his athletic gifts— reports him as running a 4.38 40-yard dash in high school—Williams still has a lot of work to do to adjust to the defensive side of the ball. On offense, a receiver knows what the play is before the ball is hiked—he runs his route from memory, and simply has to keep the ball in his hands if it is thrown his way. But on the opposite side of the ball, it is all about reacting. A cornerback never knows what his matchup’s next move is going to be. Add in the natural instincts needed to play a zone scheme, and the transition could be overwhelming. But maybe not for Williams. “It’s probably an easier transition than I thought it would be because I came from wide receiver and I know the wide receiver tendencies and the stuff like that,” Williams said. But might that give Williams an unfair advantage? Would he, say, take advantage of his knowledge and cheat on his teammates’ routes in practice? “No, no, no,” Williams said, laughing. “Our coaches won’t let us cheat. Even if I could, I wouldn’t, because I want to be the best I can be.” It is that attitude that has coaches optimistic about Williams’s transition, and about the impact he could have on a defense lacking depth this season. Despite the challenges that lie ahead, Williams remains committed to his new position, at least if his one-word answer about his trepidations can be taken at face value. When asked if he had any hesitation about moving to corner, Williams responded with a simple, “No.” Look out, ACC receivers.

victory over William and Mary. “The adjustments he’s making at the plate are pretty special,” McNally said. “He’s been a key guy for us. It’s just exciting to see him swing it the way he has.” And with Currier in the lineup, Davidson (13-19) could be in for a surprise Tuesday. The senior wasn’t even a starter March 23, the last time Duke met the Wildcats on the field. Then, the Blue Devils left Davidson’s home park with a 6-2 victory, sending the Wildcats into a tailspin they have not been able to shake. Davidson has lost its last 12 games, starting with that home loss to the Blue Devils (19-13), and sports a 3-9 road record. With Currier’s hot bat now in the heart of the lineup, Davidson will have its work cut out for it. “I’m seeing the ball really well. Coach [McNally] has got us spread out a little bit, which allows us to see the breaking balls a little better,” Currier said. “When you’re hot, you see the ball a lot better, I guess, than when you’re not.” And if Currier can continue to improve on his recent performances, the final weeks of his Duke baseball career may simply mark a new beginning for the reinvented hitter.

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Diversions Shoe Chris Cassatt and Gary Brookins

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The Chronicle other reasons singler should stay:

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he hasn’t met hon yet:������������������������������������������ clee, toni, yuhan ^^^ can we videotape that?:��������������������������� wemmeline, lindsey bc no news is good news:���������������������������������������������������christina who needs Senior Night when you get a senior column?:�� shuchi for the chance to live at Erwin:��������������������������gabe, scott, felicia he’s very photogenic (read: hot):���������naclerio, X’Dre, libby, tyler i was all atwitter last night:�������������������������� klein, christina again me:������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������tiffany Barb Starbuck can’t let go:�������������������������������������������������������� Barb Student Advertising Manager:...............................Margaret Potter Account Executives:.................... Chelsea Canepa, Phil DeGrouchy Liza Doran, Lianna Gao, Rhea Kaw, Ben Masselink Amber Su, Mike Sullivan, Jack Taylor Quinn Wang, Cap Young Creative Services Student Manager............................Christine Hall Creative Services:................................Lauren Bledsoe, Danjie Fang Caitlin Johnson, Megan Meza , Hannah Smith Business Assistant:.........................................................Joslyn Dunn

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14 | TUESDAY, APRIL 13, 2010 the chronicle commentaries

Rethinking LDOC Like many other parts nizers, they also pose an of the University, the an- opportunity to re-envision nual Last Day of Classes cel- and re-imagine what the ebration is not immune to LDOC celebration can and shrinking budget totals. should be. The LDOC Committee’s When it comes to adbudget is down dressing the editorial due to $10,000 immediate less in funding problem of a from Campus Council and smaller LDOC budget, the the need to repay a loan committee has pursued a taken out last year from number of creative soluthe Duke University Union. tions. Instead of a chaotic This new financial reality giveaway on the quad, the has forced the committee official LDOC T-shirt will to carefully consider every be sold for between $3 and aspect of programming $5. The shirts will still be and planning LDOC festivi- affordable for students, ties, from the distribution but they won’t unnecessarof T-shirts to the lineup of ily drain the committee’s performing artists. budget. Although financial conThe committee has also straints do present a chal- secured the corporate sponlenge for the LDOC orga- sorship of Coca-Cola and


This is akin to someone giving me $100 for being nice, then I went and spent it, but then the person said they actually needed the money back. —“MathWhiz” commenting on the story “13 DSG candidates disqualified.” See more at

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Vitamin Water, which will both provide free beverages throughout the day and help to defray costs. More significantly, the LDOC Committee is spending far less on performing artists than it has in years past. According to the LDOC co-chairs, the event will feature more events throughout the day rather than pouring all of its resources into the evening concert. If this is the case, it is a marked change to the LDOC model. Traditionally, the focus of the day’s activities has been on a concert with two or three big-name performing artists. Now, the emphasis will be on creating an all-day festival atmosphere, of which the main

stage concert would be just one component. This move makes sense. It is unlikely that the LDOC Committee will be able to please everyone with its selection of artists (although members should make a concerted effort to consult the students and solicit their opinions). Freeing up funding that has traditionally been spent on main artists will allow the committee to hire cheaper cover bands and small musical acts that will appeal to all students. Encouraging an all-day LDOC festival is also an attractive alternative. Planning a wider array of activities—like stand-up comedy acts, karaoke or a hypnotist

show—could cater to the interests of many different types of students and transform LDOC into a more inclusive event. Making LDOC a daylong event, however, does not come without consequences. LDOC is, after all, the last day of classes. Planning events while students should be attending their final class lecture or turning in a paper goes against the fundamental values of the University. If the festival model becomes part of the mainstream LDOC lineup, it might necessitate moving the celebration from the actual last day of classes to the first day of reading period, or to the Saturday before the semester ends.

The bus stop: Part II

his weekend I was the victim of a pre-mediMany times over my four years here I put a tated assault on my social skills. I had to sing lot on the line and lost. I studied hard and still in front of people I didn’t know. Luckily no bombed a test; I risked my health in Guatemala one died. and still got E. coli; I danced on The weird part is this haptables in the Marketplace and still pened during dinner at an acalost an election. It was still all worth demic conference. There I was, it. Experiencing those lows made innocently eating my ravioli when me understand a fuller definition out of nowhere I felt a strong of risk beyond just the chance to hand clasp my shoulder, and get high returns. And the process heard a grizzly Australian voice of picking myself back up strengthsay, “You’re gonna sing.” kousha navidar ened my ability to do it again. I turned around and met the But this University has also rethe bus stops here warded me with relationships and face of my professor. I replied, “Ummm garrrlu gggwap?” memories from the risks I’ve made. I swallowed the ravioli in my mouth and Being an RA made life-changing relationships; I tried again. said “I love you” and heard it back. Vermonsters, “I’m going to what?” musicals, bear lairs and singing with professors “I thought we’d have a little talent show,” he have all taken a special significance. They supsaid. “First I will sing a song for everyone, and then ported me, and made me excited to come back you will. It’ll be fun!” every summer. One of them has also made me I had no idea that this is what happened at lactose intolerant. academic conferences. Suddenly graduate school This is what I find so appealing about the bus sounded a lot more appealing. stop. Not the lactose intolerance; the consistency. Normally I’d find this opportunity exciting. The ebb and flow of the buses creates a dependSo what if my singing voice sounds like that dial- able environment where you have some security up Internet noise our modems made back when because you know that buses will come, they will AOL was still popular? I will make a fool of myself leave and—sooner or later—they will return. In for comedy’s sake. I’m an artist, dammit! that process people may arrive separately, but But my demeanor that Friday night was they will leave together. a little different. I was tired, hungry and At the bus stop and everywhere else, Duke around many students I didn’t know. My en- gave me the chance to meet amazing people ergy was not in a good place to perform. (I’m and hear awesome stories that have made my an artist, dammit!) time here memorable. I’ve said it once, but Unfortunately, my professor had already de- let me say it again: Thank you. Thank you to cided that he was going to sing, and there was those who made me laugh, made me think nothing to stop him. I could either embarrass and to that one girl who offered to buy me hot myself and spend the rest of the conference as chocolate last December. You made this whole the kid with two left vocal chords, or alienate my experiment worth it. professor after he performed. But now it’s time to pack up and return my I stood up, took my deepest breath and belted “talkin’-table” to the Plaza. At least this whole the best rendition of “Sweet Georgia Brown” I process—like my four years at Duke—has shown could muster. me the value of taking a risk, even when the outObviously I’m willing to take risks, even when come isn’t what I expected. the result doesn’t come out in my favor. I think it’s So when someone gives you the chance to a habit I’ve picked up at Duke. sing in front of people you don’t know, take adWe do things at this school that may not seem vantage of it. rational to people outside this university, or even Even if you’re tired and hungry. (Just rememto students from other colleges. But to us, these ber to swallow the ravioli first.) things make perfect sense. And don’t sweat it if it sounds awful. At least Duke encourages us to embrace risk in times you’ll have a story to tell to the people who of uncertainty. Coming here meant risking a low- care. I know of at least one place where you er GPA for a greater academic challenge. It also can tell it. meant sleeping in a tent and risking my health, I’ll see you at the bus stop. safety, privacy and sanity for the chance to... watch a basketball game. But! It also gives us memories Kousha Navidar is a Trinity senior. This is his final worth keeping after leaving. column.

the chronicle


TUESDAY, APRIL 13, 2010 | 15


Why I am not a neuroscience major

ello, my name is Shining Li, and I’m a recov- the way I used to for lackluster boyfriends. Like any ering neuro-aholic. addict, I waited until it was too late. I’m glad to report that I’ve regained sanInstead of running the other way, I started workity now, but my infatuation with neuroscience ran ing in another lab, told everyone I was a major and a deep and conflicted course, and I’ve thought ahead to a brighter fuonly just recently emerged from the dark ture in which neuroscience would tangle of neurons and neural tracts that once gaze at me lovingly over dincharacterized my love affair. ner and amaze me with its intellecThis is my story. tual complexity. Over steamed vegetables and apple That day never came. Like all crisp, we discussed lofty concepts that proper tragedies, this one comes left us with the illusion of collegiate to a catastrophic, grinding halt. shining li intellectualism: free will, altruism, the Things fall apart; the center canhuman soul (or lack thereof), memory, not hold, especially a center adall too human identity, consciousness. The brain was opted as faddishly as I’d clung onto the key to all these overwhelming inneuroscience. sights, and it seemed that I was privy to a new wave One morning, I woke up and realized that I didn’t of special information—I was in on something Big want to talk about the brain anymore—at least not as that was about to shake our very understanding of the be-all and end-all of comprehending human nature. the human being. Underneath its veneer of presumptuous assertions, neuI fell head over heels (that is, central nervous sys- roscience had proven to be an incurable bore, a stuffy tem over peripheral nervous system) for neurosci- pedant with a knack for reductive thinking. ence during that first critical semester. So earnest Brain research had for too long stolen too much was my fervor that I started working in a cognitive of my academic regard without deserving it, without neuroscience lab in the spring. I read about brain re- proving itself robust enough to answer the questions search in the news and felt a jolt of pride whenever a it audaciously set out to conquer. neuro-term I recognized was mentioned. I used neuIn the end, knowing neurons was not the same as roscience to justify my beliefs in every subject imag- knowing humans. inable, from theology to politics to sexual morality. My story has a happy ending: Jolted out of my This infatuation was a strange feeling somewhat addiction, I quit my lab, backed out of my major akin to the stomach flu. I felt queasy at times, inexpli- and made my apologies to friends still obligated by cably apprehensive about the way neuroscience was their neuroscience requirements. Then I sprinted such an easy way to justify my beliefs. Could humans toward freedom. be selfless? Of course not—the same reward centers A disclaimer to those who maintain a happy relathat light up for monetary reward also activate after tionship with neuroscience: In no way is my experithe performance of an act of charity. Was casual sex ence meant to be universal. After all, not all people okay? Of course not—the flood of oxytocin emitted are compatible with all fields of study. after orgasm creates a biologically unavoidable feelFor my humanities-oriented purposes, neurosciing of love between two people, despite their best ence could not serve as an adequate replacement for intentions at no-strings-attached physicality. philosophy, English, political theory. Its empirical Find a question, and I could dismiss it with any validity offered an appealing contrast to the scorn small tidbit of neuroscience research. That was the with which the humanities are often greeted by the power my new enthusiasm gave me. science community, but there are some questions sciDid I doubt my neuroscience ego at times? Of ence can never answer. course—sometimes I would catch myself reducing So I caution anyone naive enough to believe in all emotion to neurotransmitters, simplifying hu- the magic powers of neuroscience to answer ageman action to robotic mechanism. I realized that old questions about human nature—be careful how my lab research seemed more and more pointless brashly you decide to adopt the trend. Don’t fall in by the day. love too quickly. But like any victim of the flu, I didn’t piece together the symptoms in time. Like anyone stuck in Shining Li is a Trinity sophomore. Her column runs a bad relationship, I made excuses for neuroscience every Tuesday.

Interested in writing a column next semester? E-mail Ben at for an application. Think the backpages could use some work? Contact Ben Brostoff at!


Say ‘no’ to the future

he future starts today! The future starts with you! Oh, the places you will go! Spread your wings and prepare to fly, for you have become a butterfly! I believe that we are the future, that we have been taught well and are ready to lead the way! One of the above inspirational lines was the graduation day platitude on the congratulatory card your Great Aunt Mildred sent you. You aren’t sure which one it is, as jordan rice you have not read it, but how crereal talk ative can a graduation card get? Great Aunt Mildred never read it either when she picked it out at CVS. You aren’t offended by the lack of personalized well-wishes, though. After all, you never have met your Great Aunt Mildred, and the $14 check was a lovely gesture. Anyway, you think to yourself as you toss the unread card into the trash, you have little interest in hearing about the “beginning of the rest of your life,” when all you feel is a sense of finality. You think back to your very first day of school—and not college or grad school but bring-a-mat-for-nap-time-school. You think back to your first homework assignment. Your teacher said, “Bring in a red square for class tomorrow.” Diligent student that you were, you took out your ruler and drew the edges perfectly straight. Individualistic and creative person that you were, you opted for a “Radical Red” Crayola instead of a standard red crayon. Over-achiever that you were, you threw some glitter on it for style points. Luxuriating in your self-satisfaction, you nonchalantly handed in your square to your teacher, acting as if you didn’t know that this was the very best red square in the class. “Very good! Gold star for you!” your teacher said as she placed what would be the first of many academic accolades on your assignment. Ah yes, the thrill of victory you felt. But much to your surprise, your teacher continued. “Tomorrow, class, bring in two blue circles.” “Wait! There’s more?” you asked. “This whole thing keeps going?” Oh yes, very much so. Those of you who went on to get a Ph.D. in math progressed from drawing that red square to finding its perimeter and area, to rotating it around the y-axis and finding the volume of the resulting 3-D shape, to whatever it is that happens in math classes after calculus. Art History majors went on to explain the artistic value of a painting called “Study of a Red Square on White Canvass II.” Fuqua students went on to explain why said painting is worth $30 million in the art market. Philosophy students went on to ask, “How does one know the square is red? Indeed, who can say what ‘red’ really is?” Medical school students went on to get rid of that horrible red square on your skin. Whatever path you happened to take, you climbed from a red square with sparkles to great intellectual heights. It was an arduous journey, and there was never a moment to pause and look back. Always another step—from advanced reading group, to a summer program for gifted students, to AP this, IB that, SATs, ACTs, college, internships, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, med school, law school, Ph.D. program... At this point you surely have realized and even embraced the idea that there is always going to be that next step. After all, you came to Duke to nurture the evolution of your red square, and you leave Duke prepared to evolve it further. Your graduation though is not the day to take that red square to the next level. After the ceremony when your Great Uncle Merle asks you what your one-, five- and 20-year plans are, respectfully walk away—that is, of course, if you have already cashed his $14 dollar check. Allow yourself instead to indulge in memories of a late night in Perkins, an afternoon in the gardens or an early morning caring for patients at the hospital. Go back to all the places you stopped along the way to putting your black polyester robe in 90-degree heat. Then allow yourself, if only for a few hours, to luxuriate in self-satisfaction once again for the first time since you handed in that red square on Day One of your education. Jordan Rice is a Trinity senior. This is his final column. He would like to offer his most sincere thanks first to the staff who somehow puts this paper together every single day, and second to the 11 people who read all the way to the bottom of one of his columns over the past three years.

16 | TUESDAY, APRIL 13, 2010 the chronicle


Screen Society

April 14 - April 30


All events are free and open to the general public. Unless otherwise noted, screenings are at 8pm in the Griffith Film Theater, Bryan Center. (“Nasher” = Nasher Museum Auditorium; “White” = Richard White Auditorium.)

ChoreoLab 2010 Join the Duke Dance Department in celebrating the 100th

4/14 Shanghai Triad

anniversary of Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes, featuring So Percussion; new works choreographed by

4/15 Rainclouds Over Wushan (Nasher, 7pm) 4/17 Experimental Films: North On Evers & Gloria! (Nasher, 2:30pm) Q&A w/ distinguished visiting filmmaker David Gatten!

Barbara Dickinson, Ava LaVonne Vinesett, Julie Janus Walters, Tyler Walters, Andrea E. Woods

4/18 Mendelssohn, The Nazis, and Me (White) Q&A w/ Mendelssohn expert Prof. R. Larry Todd (Dept. of Music)!

& Audrey Fenske; and compositions by David Garner and Timothy Hambourger.

4/20 Pacchigi! (We Shall Overcome Someday)

Saturday, April 24 at 8pm Sunday, April 25 at 3pm Reynolds Theater $15 General $10 Senior Citizens $5 Students

4/26 Memento Mori 4/29 Still Life (Nasher, 7pm) 4/30 Duke Student Film Showcase (5:30pmmidnight)


THEATER. The Miser. (See 4/15.) 8 pm. Sheafer Theater. $10 general; $5 students & seniors.

Wednesday, April 14 MUSIC. Violin/Fiddle Workshop with Mark O’Connor. 5 pm. Nelson Music Room. Free.

Saturday, April 17 THEATER. The Miser. (See 4/15.) 8 pm. Sheafer Theater. $10 general; $5 students & seniors.

Thursday, April 15 THEATER. The Miser. By Molière. Directed by Joseph Megel from a translation/adaption by Elisabeth Lewis Corley. Mayhem prevails as lessons are learned. 8 pm. Sheafer Theater. $10 general; $5 students & seniors. MUSIC. Duke Wind Symphony: Red Carpet Concert. With Joseph Robinson. 8 pm. Baldwin Auditorium. Free. Friday, April 16 MUSIC. Duke Jazz Ensemble. With Monty Alexander. 8 pm. Baldwin Auditorium. $10 general; $5 students & seniors.

Sunday, April 18 THEATER. The Miser. (See 4/15.) 2 pm. Sheafer Theater. $10 general; $5 students & seniors. Monday, April 19 THEATER. 2010 New Plays Festival. Featuring staged readings of plays written by students. 7 pm. Brody Theater. Free. Tuesday, April 20 MUSIC. Chamber Music Recital. Featuring student chamber music groups. 7:30 pm. Nelson Music Room. Free.

Duke Performances in durham, at duke, the modern comes home.

rosanne cash + mark o’connor

Thursday, April 15 • 8 pm | Page

academy of st. martin in the fields with

julian rachlin, violin Friday, April 16 • 8 pm | Page student $5 duke tickets

10% discount

duke employee

rosanne cash + mark o’connor • 4/15

for tickets & info


Wednesday, April 21 MUSIC. Duke Symphony Orchestra: Happy (200th) Birthday, Robert Schumann! Harry Davidson, music director. 8 pm. Baldwin Auditorium. Free. Friday, April 23 MUSIC. Rare Music: New Music for Old Instruments. With the winners of the Rare Music Composition Competition. 4 pm. Rare Book Room, Perkins Library. Free. Saturday, April 24 MUSIC. Duke Opera Workshop: Death by Opera. 8 pm. Baldwin Auditorium. Free. Sunday, April 25 MUSIC. Duke Opera Workshop. (See 4/24.) 3 pm. Baldwin Auditorium. Free. Monday, April 26 THEATER. Musical Theater Workshop. Three entertaining acts in three towns in three time periods. 7 pm. Sheafer Theater. Free.

Profile for Duke Chronicle

April 13, 2010  

April 13, 2010 issue of the Duke Chronicle

April 13, 2010  

April 13, 2010 issue of the Duke Chronicle