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OWERVIEW 13th Inaugural Issue


Volume 13 | Issue 1

OWERVIEW {LETTER from the EDITORS} SMELL THIS MAGAZINE. Ink and glossed pages—32 of them—like all the Towerviews that came before. Although it might smell and sound like its predecessors, we hope you feel something is awry. You should; you see, this page begins Towerview’s 13th volume. But your editors have no cases of triskaidekaphobia. Thirteen might be a floor hotels choose to skip, but for us, it is a chance for this magazine to depart from its usual. The truth—what all stories strive for, what each reporter sets out to learn, what each writer seeks to observe—itself can be something strange. The truth is what jolts us, what leads us to action, what inspires compassion. From now until next May we will write stories that provoke and enlighten you. We will illuminate the workings of institutions and amplify voices that might otherwise go unheard. We will show you the color of this campus and of the city it sits in. You may judge us by our fresh cover. The making of this issue has been hectic. We didn’t work in the office until the very end. Your editors wrote from across the country and then across an ocean. And the contributors: To start off, you’ll hear from three students on summertime ventures. Dukies span the spectrum in the nation’s capitol. A tongue disappears in the Irish Isles and DukeEngage happens in Kenya. Closer to home Nate Glencer shows us a favorite place to cool off—and jump off—during Durham’s long, hot summer. The Bull City is also the scene for two of our features. Convicted murderer, author and Duke alum Michael Peterson has spent the last decade in prison, but his presence is strong in the lives of those who still support him. Michaela Dwyer takes a look at the Durham Performing Arts Center, gone from spark to flame to ignite the city’s downtown. For our third feature, we cross an ocean once more, as Allie Yee tells the story of a recovering Japan through the eyes of her family on a visit that used to happen each year. We leave you with a round of golf, how it is when life is the movies, and why you should think before you eat. Turn the page.


CONTENTS JAPAN Through friends and family a girl understands you cannot control everything

Stuck in the Mud

4 District of Crazies



Nate Glencer Madeline Lieberberg Taylor Doherty Andy Moore Lindsey Rupp Toni Wei Tong Xiang Sanette Tanaka

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Allie Yee, Michaela Dwyer, Samantha Lachman, Matthew Chase, Connor Southard, Charlie McSpadden, Norman Wirzba CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Libby Busdicker, Matthew Chase, Cassidy Fleck, Michael Naclerio, Allie Yee PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Lindsey Berlin GENERAL MANAGER ADVERTISING DIRECTOR PRODUCTION MANAGER OPERATIONS MANAGER RETAIL SALES MANAGER

6 @TowerviewMag

Photo by Allie Yee

8 10 The Eno Quarry


DPAC A local event demands more space and receives a stage that earns national attention


Jonathan Angier Chrissy Beck Barbara Starbuck Mary Weaver Rebecca Dickenson

Towerview is a subsidiary of The Chronicle and is published by the Duke Student Publishing Company, Inc., a non-profit corporation independent of Duke University. The opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of Duke University, its students, faculty, staff, administration or trustees. Columns, letters and cartoons represent the views of the authors. To reach The Chronicle’s editorial office at 301 Flowers Building, call (919) 684-2663 or fax (919) 684-4696. To reach The Chronicle’s business office at 103 West Union Building, call (919) 684-3811. To reach The Chronicle’s advertising office at 101 West Union Building, call (919) 684-3811 or fax (919) 684-8295. Contact the advertising office for information on subscriptions. Visit The Chronicle and Towerview online at 2010 The Chronicle, Box 90858, Durham, N.C. 27708. All rights reserved No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the prior, written permission of the business office. Each individual is entitled to one free copy.

A Close Call with Authentic Ireland Beyond the Grill


Special to the Chronicle

Keepers of the Course

26 Reel World Reflections

28 Name Game



A band of supporters stand by Micheal Peterson even after he was convicted for murdering his wife

Eating for the Health of the World



Christina Peña & Rachna Reddy Editors-in-Chief



Photo by Cassidy Fleck



Stuck in the mud As the sun begins to rise, we hop onto a motorbike, my host brother mumbles a destination—it starts with a “K,” but all the towns sound alike—and we slowly inch onto the highway, weaving past the buses, vans and women wielding baskets atop their heads. As we creep onto the bumpy dirt road and I realize I have nothing to grasp onto because there are two passengers piled into the backseat, I close my eyes and hope that my life won’t end on a Kenyan motorcycle. Ten minutes and a few kilometers of dirt road later, I am lying on the ground struggling in the relentless African mud, attempting to escape as a bull drugged on opium charges dangerously close toward me. If the barefoot men carrying eight-foot staffs weren’t already staring at the only white person, they were now—their eyes fixed on the mud-covered “mzungu” with a camera the size of a small chicken dangling around his neck. The bullfight begins. For them, the battle is an entertaining Saturday morning tradition, and the fact that they temporarily lost control of the bull— which they purposefully drugged for the occasion— is nothing new. We like to believe we are “cultured.” We have traveled to faraway countries where English is not the dominant language, we have taken courses meant to in-



crease our fluency in those foreign languages and we have studied globalization, poverty and the need for cultural competence. We go to a school that continuously touts its diversity, where we meet accomplished peers with intriguing backgrounds, where we are encouraged to spend our summers conducting service work abroad—without paying a dime. And it takes that trip for us to realize just how little we know, to learn that our preconceived notions of That Part of the World are completely misplaced. Stripped of our identities as students attending a certain school from a certain state studying a certain subject, we are placed into a culture that merely knows us as White. We think we know the culture and the customs of That Part of the World we are about to put ourselves into only to discover that our notions of

Story and photo by Matthew Chase

Them are just as vague as their perceived notions of Us. It takes that trip for us to realize just how stuck we are. Stuck to our ways as Americans. Stuck to our preconceived notions that developing countries offer subpar services in comparison to our developed land. Stuck in our belief that, as quasi-intelligent students from America, we can make a difference. Stuck in our notion that what we learn in lecture halls and seminar rooms will be directly applicable to the work that we will do in That Part of the World. And while here, where mud is the equivalent of asphalt, we find ourselves literally stuck in the mud, hoping that the drugged bull charging behind us makes a turn and decides to chase after someone a little more experienced in navigating traditional rural African bullfights. Of course, this metaphorical depiction of my immersion into the habits and customs of a foreign country falls short of my actual experience, as all metaphors do. Africans lead their lives in the open, and in that openness the striking contrasts of this dynamic society begin to show. In a conservative culture that looks down upon women who reveal their knees, privacy strangely does not seem to exist. Your plate is the communal serving dish, your utensils are your hands. At the hospital which has graciously allowed me to “work” (a.k.a. Get in the Way as Real Health Professionals Attempt to Do Their Jobs) alongside its staff members for the summer, women breast-feed in the open and almost anyone can walk into the delivery room as a woman gives birth. Patients meet with doctors with doors open, other sick people coming in and out. HIV positive patients wait to receive their antiretrovirals in a waiting area whose blue paint might as well read, “These Patients

Have AIDS.” And in a region where the stigma of HIV dissuades many from getting tested, a select group of volunteers— all of whom are HIV positive—walk for miles to reach patients who have defaulted on their treatment in an attempt to encourage them not to die. Along the main highway (which is surprisingly not constructed from mud), men craft wooden caskets next to women roasting corn next to cows urinating next to barefoot children dumping a pile of litter on the ground next to men selling shoes next to mothers taking pictures of their children on their cellphones. The radio broadcasts traditional Kenyan music back-to-back with the familiar lyrics of Chris Brown, Rihanna and Bruno Mars. It’s a place where conductors of overcrowded public vans openly bribe police officers to avoid a ticket, and where many do not trust the news; my assurance that yes, Obama really did get Osama came as relief to my host family, part of which was affected by the 1998 al Qaeda bombings in Nairobi. In town, Muslim women adorning burqas pass through modernized shops shoulder-to-shoulder with women in traditional African dresses, girls bold enough to dye their hair and wear pants, guards armed

with AK-47s and barefoot children, who track mud from the streets into the aisles. And here I stand, my shoes covered in caked mud from the daily walk down the hill to the main road, with my pants tucked into my socks so that I don’t show up to work with six inches of mud splattered on the bottom of my pants. Standing in the inpatient wards, I attempt to explain that I cannot heal patients of their ailments, nor can I even administer basic remedies; I have enough trouble attempting to not clumsily knock over the medicine onto the counter—a feat that I have unfortunately failed at accomplishing (on multiple occasions) thus far. Yet my lack of knowledge in medicine is in direct contrast to my skin color. “Docteh, docteh, save that child,” a man muttered to me, taking my arm and leading me into the ward within the first two minutes of my first day at work. My multiple attempts at explaining my lack of medical background have proved fruitless. This would be so much easier if I had any medical training, I think to myself when the work gets tough and the prospects of me implementing programs to improve access to health care in this rural

community feel feeble. But that wouldn’t change the fact that I am white. It wouldn’t change the fact that I argue with bus conductors to avoid paying the price reserved for wealthy white men. It wouldn’t change the fact that early morning treks to village bullfights serve as a constant reminder that I Don’t Belong Here and that This Place is So Different, I think to myself as we race into the unknown among tattered men chanting and chasing a bull as the early morning sun creeps through the corn crop. It wouldn’t change the fact that I don’t know how to avoid slippery spots of mud during inopportune times, that I tend to attract the most attention when I intend to attract the least, that it is easy to get stuck—literally—in times of monumental change, in times when you realize that you have made it, to That Part of the World. Fortunately, I have five more weeks to get a grip on this strange, inspiring place—pending the occasional near-death slip-up. Matthew Chase is a Trinity junior currently interning at a rural hospital in Kakamega, Kenya, as part of a DukeEngage project.


DISTRICT OFCRAZIES By Samantha Lachman Photo by Michael Naclerio


n my experience, I’ve found Duke’s political culture lacking. Although the Duke College Republicans provided something for DSG to debate about last year and the Duke Political Union hosted some valuable panels Fall semester (don’t ask about the Spring), interest in politics comes and goes with each election cycle. Sarah Philips, a junior, speculates that Duke students don’t tend to be politically active “because people are just really busy, and because of the Duke bubble where you really have to make an effort to keep up to date on everything that’s going on.” Groups often host interesting speakers, but there’s a very small community of students who actively engage with local Durham politics, let alone those at the state-level or nationally. It should come as a surprise to find, then, that there are more than 100 students in the Duke in DC Summer 2011 Facebook group (and probably more that don’t know it exists). Students are working for think tanks, nonprofits, lobbying and consulting firms, embassies and federal agencies. Indeed, more than 20,000 interns flood the Washington, D.C. area each summer. Students who work for senators and congressmen face a whole separate set of experiences (though we all experience the joys of “non-renumerative” (unpaid) work).” A typical so-called “Hilltern” can expect to write briefings on hearings and topic points for speeches. Bridget Meaney, a sophomore interning for Senator Diane Feinstein of California, answers calls on constituents’ most pressing issues, including the hotly debated question of how to spell “Barack.” Another caller phoned the office before Harold


Camping predicted the world would end to ask: “If the world ends, how are we supposed to get our social security benefits?” Duke’s Hillterns were drawn to the city to be at the center of the nation’s decision-making process. John Lakso, a junior working for Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, enthused: “I love attending committee hearings and being at the epicenter of the political process. It’s also cool to walk down the hall and see John McCain, John Kerry and all the big names!” Melissa Miller, sophomore interning in California Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez’ office, said she was attracted to the opportunity to see the inner workings of Capitol Hill. “I really don’t think I want a career in politics, but have always been interested in the mechanics of our government,” she added. What’s more, Duke students are working across a broad political spectrum in DC. From Lakso, a “staunch libertarian,” to Miller, a “leaning conservative,” to Diane Shen, a sophomore and a self-proclaimed liberal, we present a mixed bag of political views. However, Philips argues, “Your views don’t matter too much when you’re filing mail, answering calls from constituents and running errands.” Even though it’s an apolitical environment, I’ve found that working for the Canadian Embassy has enforced my own values and political views. However, for Harry Liberman, a junior working for the libertarian Institute for Humane Studies, his workplace has presented some ideological problems. “Although I love the people I work with, I’ve found myself

to be far too centrist to work with libertarians. The ideological dogma present in their beliefs oftentimes goes against what I think is common sense, or is even counter-factual,” Liberman said, adding that he has discovered that he’s less of a free-market libertarian than he thought he was. Other forms of enlightenment come with exposure: “I never thought I’d switch from watching ‘The Biggest Loser’ to CSPAN!” Meaney said. There are also surprising elements to working on the Hill. From the senator-only elevator (“If you end up in one, you’d better get out of there real quick,” said Philips) to the dealmaking that happens off of the Hill and with loopholes in the law, Duke Hillterns are getting to see how the sausage is actually made. This presents a problem for some. Shen says her experience has made her feel jaded. “This internship has cemented my unwillingness to go into politics. I think it’s important and I respect the people who work on the Hill, but it’s not for me. There is too much of a gray area in politics where I’m not sure if what I’m doing is necessarily morally right.” There are other quirks to the system. Miller says that when the congresswoman goes back to her home office, the difference is like “night and day.” Dress codes, staffer attitudes, type of work and hours change, so “it’s more low key and relaxed when they’re back home.” The summer flood of Hillterns produces a local backlash: to

the delight of full-time staffers, websites such as chronicle interns’ inappropriate wardrobe choices, ignorant comments and public gaffes. Meanwhile, a new business in self-mockery and deprecation has sprung up in the form of Twitter accounts such as InternProblemz and Skintern. No matter the perceived importance of Hillterns in D.C., our Duke representatives are having a transformative experience. As Shen said, “I love the knowledge that what I’m doing actually matters to someone, however small it may seem.” Hopefully, they will bring their newfound political enthusiasm back to campus. TOWERVIEW 7 TOWERVIEW 7

A Close Call with Authentic Ireland Special to the Chronicle

Ireland. By Connor Southard ever mind that Americans have long enlisted a callow iconography of Irishness as a means of flogging soap, beer, T-shirts, and Ben Affleck movies. There’s still a certain satisfaction in hearing a barmaid announce to the regulars in her pub that you have “come back to us from the States,” as though your return to the homeland, mongrel Irish pedigree in tow, were as inevitable as an early-summer sea gale. It’s equally charming to be told, by a botanist from Kildare who’s had several pints, that he’s glad you’ve chosen to come to Achill Island because it’s a slice of the real Ireland: “You don’t go in for that Paddywackery [stuff ].” I’ve come to Achill Island alone, and I’m supposed to be doing research. That means I’ve had to try to make friends, something I’m not good at under the best, least rainy conditions. Happily for me, it turns out that a village that has exactly one pub is a village where it’s difficult to remain a total stranger for long. In



the words of one of the staff at my bed and breakfast, in the village of Dooega, “there don’t be even a shop.” The owner of both the pub and the bed and breakfast has said that he can get me as many interviews with as many locals as I can handle; it’s safe to say that he knows just about everyone in town. That’s another bit of good luck, since I have only one other means of procuring interviews—that is, making a nuisance of myself at the aforementioned pub. So, at one level, going with the local flow—self-consciously undertaking what American universities have lately taken to calling “cultural immersion”—is the only thing to do. And if you’re hanging out in an out-of-the-way pub in an out-ofthe-way village with nary another American within cycling distance, you can tell yourself that you’re doing something much more profound, much more interesting than your studying-abroad classmates are doing. You’re experiencing the authentic, and we all know how important that con-

I had to prove that we can go drink for drink with the real Irish, in the real

cept is to the self-satisfaction of contemporary Americans. It helps, of course, that Ireland, being a well-developed part of the greater English-speaking world, can absorb an American with little fuss. If an American in Ireland is going to commit a faux pas or an outright offense, it’s probably going to be the kind of thing that Americans usually disapprove of, too. For instance, you could get to drinking with a retired cab driver from Dublin and a carpenter from Limerick. They could be hurling jovial insults back and forth at one another (mainly having to do with rugby), while you sit in between, unable to pay for your drinks because both of them are quicker on the draw than you are. They could buy you so many drinks, in fact, that you have to spend the next morning considering how you’re going to tell the bed and breakfast staff that you threw up on the carpet. Be sure to apologize to them as pathetically as you

can, and make a point of letting them know that “this isn’t the kind of thing I usually do.” But why did you (I) drink all of those Guinesses and Bulmer’s ciders, anyway? It wasn’t because I wanted them; I tried to leave the pub at 10:30, five drinks before I eventually made it home. No, it was because I had to keep pace with my new buddies, with their rich accents and decades of stored-up pub lore. I couldn’t leave the pub early because I had to make a good showing on behalf of young American men, especially young American men

of Irish extraction. I had to prove that we can go drink for drink with the real Irish, in the real Ireland. I was, in other words, being vain and stupid—not to mention wrong about being able to go drink for drink. The essence of my misstep would have been the same in the U.S., but there’s probably no such thing as an American who could have convinced me to accept that many offered ciders on an evening when I wasn’t really feeling it. I would do it only if I thought I was obligated to embark on a Cultural Experience. Turns out, that’s not as good

an excuse as I had hoped. That said, I do feel compelled to mention the warning issued by that same barmaid who welcomed me back from the States. “Things here do tend to revolve around drink,” she said. “Be careful about getting caught up in it.” Just thought I’d add that so you wouldn’t think I’d gotten my ideas about Irish culture from a Guinness commercial. That’s another strike against the overzealous pursuit of authenticity: The authentic often has an intimate and uneasy relationship with the stereotypical.

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Serving up 500 omelets a day, Wallace Burrows Jr. is a familiar sight to students at The Marketplace. Few students, however, know much about Wallace’s passion for artwork and the lasting impressions that the students he serves leave with him. Wallace sat down with The Chronicle’s Tong Xiang to discuss his varied interests.

orders from freshman year. I take eggs, and you tell me what you want, and I’ll try to add color to it in bright, vivid colors. Like painting with broccoli, tomatoes, banana peppers, ham, bacon, chicken, steak, green peppers, red peppers, jalapeño peppers, carrots and red onions. The light’s shining on it, and the grill is the canvas. I start out with the eggs. I always put a little garnish on top, to make the omelet stand out. How many omelets do you make in a day? If I had to guess, I would say more than 500 on a rough, hard day. The least would be 300.

Photos by Nate Glencer


hat’s your typical day? I get up in the morning at 3:30 a.m. to make sure that my kids have everything they need for school. I get in at about 5:45 a.m., I work at the grill 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. I clean the window at the grill, make sure everything’s there. I have two wells heated. Have all my vegetables and meats. I put out ice for all the eggs and stuff. I open at 7:30 a.m., and from there the line just comes in and there’s about 20-25 people at a time. I try to talk to them, make sure that they feel like a person while they’re standing there.

What’s your role at The Marketplace? I’m a lead foodservice worker. I can tell you what’s going on at my station, what’s going on at The Marketplace. And I try to engage people—like a lot of people last week for the Back to East event for graduation, I remembered a lot of people’s 10 TOWERVIEW

Tell me about yourself. A lot of people on campus also know me as Wallace, the omelet guy. I’ve been working at Duke for 25 years. I started out at the Central Campus Pub. I was born in Brooklyn, ended up moving to Darlington, South Carolina. My family’s from the South. I’m the youngest kid of 14 brothers and sisters; there are only four of us now. I

cry. And whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I’m a Christian, and my faith lays with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

They became friends, started dating, and him and Sue finally got married. He helped me start off my small art business, gave me some capital for computers.

How do you look at your work at The Marketplace? I try to treat people at The Marketplace like how I want people to treat my kids. I have one son that’s in college, he’s in his second year at Central, we’ve got another son that just turned one. I have altogether six kids, one daughter before I got married; I’ve got three step-kids.

Tell me about your artwork. My family’s got a few business ventures, we’ve got a home daycare, my wife’s a beauty consultant, I’ve got my artwork. Bukitbrand, or Bukithead Productions is the name of my art company. It comes from this little kid in Duke TIP. His friends bet him $5 that he wouldn’t wear a Ben and Jerry’s bucket on his head for the whole day. He kept wearing the bucket after that, and every year after that he kept wearing the bucket. And he kept growing. He took duct tape and taped it so that it’d fit his head. He probably wore it for four years. And on his last year, I saw him, and was like, “Bucket Boy, what’s up? You’re still pumping the bucket, huh? Can I ask you a question? Do you wear the bucket to school?” He came over to the grill and was like, “Are you serious? It’s just a camp thing.” He told me he wears it ‘cause it gives him attention. I said, “I like your attitude, you a character. I want to paint you a shirt.” And so I made him a shirt with a buckethead. And it was my first shirt. I sell my airbrushed shirts for $30. I’m self-taught; I’ve got a gift from God.

Tell me about some of the people that you remember. Meeting people at Duke has made a big difference, it’s the best part. Grant Hill was here when I first came, and a lot of athletes used to come over to the [Central Campus Pub] to play basketball. It was a little pub, just like Cheers—everyone knows your name. Sold foundational drinks, beer, wine coolers. We couldn’t sell liquor, but they drank liquor though [laughs]. Kids are kids.

I try to treat people at The Marketplace like how I want people to treat my kids. ”

had an older brother that got drowned—I had 10 of my siblings die young. I don’t want to make this one of them sad things, though. I moved to Durham when I was 17. I graduated from Durham High in ’82. I ramble sometimes when I talk to myself ‘cause I don’t like too much to talk about myself, so make sure you edit this [laughs]. My pastor calls this spiritual dodge ball. My mom died when I was 8, under childbirth with my youngest sister. What really made me move to Durham was when my aunt got burnt in a house fire, and she passed. But I don’t want to go into that ‘cause I don’t want to make you

And then I worked at the Kudzu Tavern, which is now the Devil’s Den. But then I decided to go to East. And a lot of kids say that I made a lasting impression on them, but I think they made a lasting impression on me. One who made that kind of impression was Charles Bowen— who’s now a lawyer—who used to come in the Pub every day. He was military, chewed a lot of tobacco. We became friends. And there was this cute young girl, really pretty who used to always sit in the back and study. And I always told him, “Hey Chip, go talk to her, man!” Long story short, I kept messing with him for like a year until he said something.

Do you work in any other kinds of mediums? I also do canvas paintings. I’ve got a painting of Nolan Smith, Jason Williams, Luol Deng, Sheldon Williams, Shavlik Randolph, Mike Dunleavy, Chris Duhon, Reggie Love, Gerald Henderson. I wanted to do Kyrie, but…[laughs]…I ain’t gonna say nothing about that. Right now I’m trying to put together a book, with all my Duke artwork in one place. “Our only limitation is your imagination” is our defining motto. Are you in the Dining Employee’s Union? How does it work? It’s called Local 77. It’s an individual choice to be in the union, but it gives me benefits like defending our interests, representing us. I can’t say too much. What do you like the most about what you do? One thing that I do like about the omelet station is if you do your job well, deal with people like they’re not a number, you can have fun, you can develop your own technique. If you make people remember you based on how you treated them, you can bring a little positivity in

Photo by Nate Glencer

A New


Member/ wners since 2O 005

We Have What You Need TOWERVIEW 11

the world. There’s so much negativity on the news, you can almost get depressed. If you’re nice to other people, I truly believe that it’ll come back to you. I see it as reciprocity. I used to drink a lot, dabbled with drugs and chased a lot of women. And to be totally honest, I caught a lot of them [laughs]. Years ago, in 1991, I made a commitment to live better and Christ after my grandmother passed and I saw two people get murdered. We have to value life. You have lift other people up, and people with a positive attitude lift me up.

The Eno


What do you remember most during your time at Duke? What really sticks out is when people at The Marketplace get in a jam, they come together. Just like a family. Someone left me a letter one time, and it was real encouraging and positive. They basically said that, “I want to let you know that you’ve made a positive difference in my life, and you are very influential and God bless you and your family.” And that stands out. Photo by Nate Glencer

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Text and Photos by Nate Glencer


The Park entrance for the Eno Quarry is located on Howe Street in northwest Durham, near the intersection of Hillsborough Road and Sparger Road. Admission to the quarry is free and the park is extremely popular, especially on summer weekends. Park rangers monitor the gravel lot at the quarry entrance and will turn away cars once the lot is full.


short drive from downtown Durham and Duke’s campus, Eno River State Park is the perfect place to spend a summer afternoon. In addition to an extensive systen of hiking trails, the park is home to the Eno Quarray, an abandoned stone pit that was mined by the North Carolina Department of Transportation to construct Interstate 85 between 1960 and 1964. In the 47 years since the end of the quarry’s operation the pit has filled with water to become a four-acre pond. In addition to offering a place to swim, the quarry supports a small population of fish and has several rope swings and jumping-off points around it’s perimeter. After a day spent swimming and sunbathing, a stop at Cook Out is a must. The fast-food restaurant began in North Carolina and boasts more than 40 milkshake flavors.



F Forces Beyond our



riday morning March 11, I woke up to the news that there had been a record 8.9 magnitude earthquake off of the northeast coast of Japan. With three days left of Spring break, my family had planned to leave for the North Carolina mountains but instead spent the morning fixated on CNN and shaky, amateur videos of the tsunami wave, triggered by the earthquake, flooding coastal towns. My mom, who is from Izumo, Japan, was shocked and had been awake since 4 a.m. when she heard the news on the radio. For the rest of the weekend, she woke early to watch the news and checked the Internet when we returned to the hotel. She had been in no mindset to vacation, she said. The disaster upset me less but hit closer to home than other international disasters like the tsunami in Indonesia or the earthquake in Haiti. Towns like Sendai looked much like Izumo, my mother’s hometown in western Japan where I had spent long, humid, lazy summers growing up. I felt like I had walked those same narrow streets that were now flooded, and the houses with shiny, shingled roofs that were lifted off of their foundations looked just like my grandparents’ home. I understood the panicked voices in the background of videos, including a woman who repeated in Japanese, “it’s getting swept away,” in a desperate voice as the waters rolled in. Just a week before the earthquake, my mom had bought our plane tickets to Japan for May, but as the nuclear reactors melted down and radiation blew toward Tokyo, we deliberated whether or not to go. The Duke International Travel Oversight Committee put Japan on its travel advisory list March 15. International students in Japan left, as required by ITOC. One Duke student I knew decided not to do her internship in Japan. But by midApril, our friends in Tokyo said the city was safe, and because I hadn’t seen my grandparents in two years, we decided to go. In Tokyo, I met with friends and family and heard about their experiences. The afternoon of the quake, they had been scattered around Tokyo—my aunt at work, my friend, Haruka, at the hair salon, my mom’s friend in a bathroom at the train station, her son in the street nearby and another friend, Yuki, at a rickety old hotel in nearby Nagano. They said that when the earthquake, which was later upped to a 9.0 on the Richter scale, hit at around 2:46 p.m., the ground rocked more than it shook. Yuki described it like the rocking of a boat, nearly nauseating, which had gone on for about three long minutes. “Usually

earthquakes are bad but quick,” the friend’s son explained. “But this one lasted longer and kept getting worse. That’s when I thought, this isn’t a normal earthquake. This is bad.” After the earthquake, my mom’s friend left the station and was shocked to find so many others had evacuated to the street, afraid another tremor might come. Across town, Haruka had finished getting her hair cut and went to her part-time job at American Apparel. When the trains stopped running, she, like many others in Tokyo, spent the night in a back room of the store with her co-workers and boxes of clothes. With electricity and running water, she was better off than some other parts of the city where the earthquake had knocked out the electricity. In Nagano, Yuki boarded a bus after the quake with the school group she was traveling with and headed back to Tokyo. She only learned about the tsunami at a rest stop along the way and worried about her family in Tokyo, which is not far from the ocean. But with cell phones out of service, she wasn’t able to get through and spent the next 12 hours on the bus, stuck in traffic, wondering if her family was safe. “That was the scariest part of the whole thing” she remembered. “Not knowing.” Luckily, her family was unharmed. The day after the earthquake, people were shaken but things were fairly normal. Haruka was called in to work, and people went to shop. “It was only when news of the nuclear meltdown came in that things started getting crazy,” Haruka said. Partial meltdowns, explosions and leaks of radioactive gas from three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station caused the worst nuclear emergency since Chernobyl. After that, American Apparel closed for a week. Supermarket shelves emptied, and bottled water became scarce. My aunt went to my grandparents’ house to escape the radiation. Rolling blackouts began. Yuki recalled walking home in total darkness one night, noticing for the first time where all the street lights were along the way. But a month and a half after the most powerful quake to ever hit the country, the city I saw had returned to normal. There were still some reminders of the recent disaster, like the small aftershock the morning after I arrived and the storefront notice of dimmed lighting to save energy in the café where I met Yuki and Haruka. In the city-wide effort to reduce electricity, escalators were stopped periodically, and some small neighborhood stores turned their neon signs off at night. Even so, the rolling blackouts had stopped. Radiation levels were

Photo Special to the Chronicle 16 TOWERVIEW


lower. For the most part, Tokyo seemed much like it had been two years ago. My mom’s hometown on the west coast was affected even less. My grandparents hadn’t felt the earthquake on the 11th, much less any aftershocks, and the radiation from Fukushima hardly ever reached the city. Water and batteries had sold out briefly when people sent supplies east, but now the only trace of the disaster in daily life was in conversation or in the news. This normalcy was not what I expected. I had thought there would a noticeable shift in the country—some indication that this country had seen tragedy—but the places I went were too far from the hardest hit areas to see such a difference. It was a strange experience, almost uncomfortable, to know that at one end of such a small country more than 24,000 were dead or missing, and tens of thousands of people had been forced out of their homes and are now living in temporary shelters. People’s lives have been completely overturned, while here on the other side, these towns lay undisturbed. But this discrepancy drives home the fact that this peaceful life is not a given. That forces out of our control can sweep it away. That we are fortunate to wake up and expect our lives to carry on as normal. p

D P AC Shines a Spotlight on Durham By Michaela Dwyer

Photo by Allie Yee


he scene opens Saturday night, May 21, 2011. Setting: a theater. Rows of plush red seats cascade from three levels to an expansive stage that seems to extend the line of vision into the infinite. The ceiling plays with scale in a similar way; its height is almost hyperbolic, indicating depth in a way that renders the whole space. The players: a sold-out audience of 2,800 happily settled into the seats, humbled by the theater yet owning it. Whether in the orchestra section or the balcony, each season ticket-holder, superficially disinterested preteen or trendy couple sit comfortably, ensured just the right amount of personal space within an intimacy conjured by the buzzing atmosphere of the entire theater.


Suddenly, the house lights dim. BlackBerrys and iPhones ensconce themselves in purses, pockets, cupped palms. The audience members begin to rage with applause, shouts and the (more than) occasional fist-pump. “It’s always been my goal to play bluegrass music in North Carolina. And now I’m one step closer to that goal!” says a man onstage. This is the Durham Performing Arts Center, and none other than the comedian, actor and musician Steve Martin accompanied by the Steep Canyon Rangers, a N.C.-based band, is addressing an exceedingly welcoming crowd. At this point it all seems to come together: a top-notch performing arts facility, a great featured artist and an eager audience composed of Durhamites, Triangle dwellers and fans from beyond the N.C. state borders.

It is this collaborative effort that keeps DPAC, now in just its third year, on its toes and poised for continued success.

This year DPAC ranked second in national theater attendance for the first quarter, according to trade publication Pollstar, with almost 50 sellout shows. DPAC ranked ninth in Pollstar’s 2010 end of the year rankings released in February. “We rely so much on what our guests tell us,” DPAC General Manager Bob Klaus said. Klaus stressed that word-of-mouth reviews of DPAC are often the most successful in introducing the theater to increasingly larger groups of people. “The statistic we’re most proud of is the fact that almost 98 percent of guests to TOWERVIEW 19

DPAC tell us they are ‘very likely’ or ‘extremely likely’ to recommend seeing a show here to family friends or coworkers,” Klaus said. DPAC thrives on its connection to consumers—a connection made clear both by the 300,000 or so patrons who Klaus said have visited DPAC each season since its opening, and the diverse, though always marketable, artists who have attracted them. These performances range from Broadway favorites such as Wicked, Billy Elliot and RENT to comedians and actors Bill Cosby and Al Pacino to musical acts such as Leonard Cohen and B.B. King. DPAC’s “something for everyone” approach reflects the commercial expertise of its national operating partners, Nederlander and Professional Facilities Management. Both operators are involved in booking the various acts that eventually come to DPAC. If you’ve been to DPAC before, maybe you’re (like I am) floored by the efficiency with which the entire operation is run. Staff members robotically—yet humanely—direct the heavy influx of intermission bathroom-goers with gesticulations and verbal directives. Pre- and post-show, staff members and local volunteers make sure everyone knows which staircases and elevators are available and where they are located, so as to ensure the audience’s brisk and comfortable entrances and exits. You get the almost eerie, though mostly pleasant, sense that nothing—from the regal red carpeting throughout the complex to the well-stocked and multiple concession booths serving wine to chatty theatergoers—is accidental. At the Steve Martin show, two massive JumboTron screens adorned either side of the stage to ensure the farthest audience members (seated only 135 feet from center stage) have a crystal-clear view of Martin’s banjo-playing. The speed with which DPAC has cultivated its status as a regional cultural landmark is remarkable. DPAC, though quick in its rise to become a destination for culture-savvy Duke students and local residents alike, represents a long, tense road as mired in politics as in the arts. A vision for a regional performing arts center, first pitched in the 1990s, has persevered through the area’s changing history but never quite materialized until now. Former University President Terry Sanford, a longtime proponent of the arts and the force responsible for the establishment of what is now the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, spearheaded the idea. Sanford asserted the need for a space to host not only touring musicians and theatrical events but also, and perhaps most importantly, the American Dance Festival. Founded in 1934, the Festival, formerly known as The Bennington School of Dance, moved to Durham and to Duke in 1977. Since being in Durham, ADF has outgrown the stage size and resources of Duke’s Page Auditorium. The ADF/Duke impetus, combined with additional plans to revitalize parts of Durham’s downtown area, ultimately sealed the deal for Durham, Mayor Bill Bell said. “This was a priority,” Bell said. “We [said], ‘We need to make this happen.’” And happen it did, though not without significant financial support from Duke. The University’s contribution amounted to $7.5 million, almost 17 percent of the $46.8 million project. Duke’s donation came through the guidance of administrators such as former University President Nannerl Keohane and current Executive Vice President Tallman Trask—and of course the posthumous vision of Sanford, who passed away in 1998. ADF, Trask said, was the main motivation for Duke to contribute. “The biggest problem for [Duke] was ADF—a lot of performances ADF wanted just didn’t fit in Page [Auditorium],” Trask said. “We began to think that maybe we could do something where ADF could use a theater downtown.” The remaining $39.3 million was financed through a donation from the Downtown Revitalization Fund, naming rights sold to corporate sponsors, and a 1 percent increase in the hotel occupancy tax.

In February of this year, the University’s own Duke Performances continued the area’s commitment to professional dance by presenting one of the last-ever performances by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company at DPAC. It was a watershed artistic and cultural event for the region as well as for the University, uniquely blending Duke Performances’ philosophy of inventive programming with DPAC’s theatrical resources. Director of Duke Performances Aaron Greenwald said he looks to explore using the venue more in the future, though DPAC and Duke Performances operate according to different organizational models, often with different artistic aims. Regardless, Greenwald said, DPAC’s growing notoriety has introduced more people to Durham’s cultural opportunities. “One thing that we can look forward to in the relationship to DPAC—[between] Duke, Durham and [the area] in general—is…convincing people from Raleigh and Cary and Wake County that Durham is an enjoyable place to come and see a show. It’s changed people’s perceptions of what you can expect when you come to Durham,” Greenwald said. Trask expressed a similar sentiment, highlighting the existing and growing Duke-DPAC connection as linked to increased reception and usage of the downtown area. “At the same time [that DPAC is connected to Duke], it’s doing a lot of things for the revitalization of downtown Durham,” Trask said.

The area that includes DPAC, sandwiched between Blackwell and South Mangum streets, has

“It’s changed people’s perceptions of what you can expect when you come to Durham” —Aaron Greenwald


PAC has continued to grow since it came to fruition. Within the last year, the theater has begun to collaborate more with local promoters such as Cat’s Cradle and Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre to bring in concerts by popular artists like award-winning alternative rock band Wilco. In the summer of 2009, DPAC began hosting ADF performances. This season, the Festival will present about half of its professional programming on DPAC’s stage, including Pilobolus and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. ADF Co-Director Jodee Nimerichter commented on how beneficial the ADF-DPAC relationship has been for the festival’s home in Durham, hinting that in the future she would like to see more collaboration between the two. “I can say without a doubt that I believe that being at DPAC has been great for ADF in terms of reaching a broader audience,” Nimerichter said. “People who may not have been interested or known what modern dance is about…may say, ‘Maybe I’ll try [ADF shows at DPAC] because it’s a theater I’m comfortable going to, I can get to it, it’s not isolated on a university campus.’ [Being at DPAC] has definitely played a huge part in bringing more recognition [to ADF].” 20 TOWERVIEW

DPAC Genereal Manager Bob Klaus

Photo by Nate Glencer

ballooned in the past five years from open spaces and out-of-use buildings to boast the renovated Durham Bulls Athletic Park and the American Tobacco Campus. Downtown Durham Inc., whose slogan, “Find Your Cool,” can be found advertised throughout downtown, has contributed to development. The organization was founded in 1993, long before plans for DPAC took shape. DDI’s website explains that the organization has “sought to build a foundation for the future of downtown.” The website lists just about every hip Durham restaurant likely to roll off of a Duke student’s tongue, and a separate page provides a comprehensive calendar of happenings downtown, many of which include performances at DPAC. “My view of downtown is [as] the living room of the community—physically and aesthetically what the community’s about,” Bell said. “Having the theater was to me another one of the focal points that would tend to bring people into downtown, to make [Durham] a 24/7 destination point.” On any given night, the consolidated area staked out by DPAC and American Tobacco is abuzz with energetic patrons chowing down on pizza at the Mellow Mushroom, salsa dancing at Cuban Revolution or taking in the family-friendly atmosphere of a Durham Bulls baseball game. Before a DPAC show, incoming audience members might amble up the winding sidewalks surrounding the theater, pausing to contemplate Jaume Plensa’s Macbeth-quoting light sculpture “Sleep No More,” which sits some yards away from the building. They may comment on just how striking the structure, designed by Chapel Hill architectural firm Szostak Design Inc., appears up close. Huge floorto-ceiling windows offer unobstructed views up the hill to Main Street. The night of May 21, while ticket-takers at DPAC were announcing the final countdown until Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers took the stage, three members of the local Golden family stood outside, calmly taking in the rush to the theater. “We just ate at [nearby restaurant] Tobacco Road and walked over here,” Greg and Martha Golden explained, filling in each other’s sentences. And, in words that were strikingly similar to Trask’s, the Goldens emphasized how beneficial DPAC—and by extension the surrounding area of downtown renovation and reinvigoration—has been for the city of Durham. “[DPAC] is just doing great things for Durham,” the Goldens said. It was easy to perceive a similar sentiment throughout the performance by Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers. Martin, sharply adorned in an all-white suit and thick-framed glasses, followed the comedic routine we’ve come to expect of him from years of pop cultural fixation. His jokes were perfectly sarcastic and witty, and Martin demonstrated, as Greg Golden put it, that he’s not just a comedian but also a “legitimate musician.” The aura of Martin’s star power, however, graciously showcased the musical talent of the Rangers. Martin occasionally left the stage, beer (extracted from bassist Charles Humphrey III’s instrument) in hand, to let the Rangers do their own thing for a while. In response, the audience shouted and whistled. As the crowds swarmed out of DPAC that night, happily satiated with an evening of comedic and musical spectacle, it was hard not to witness any given attendee smile to his or her companions and reflect something along the lines of, “Wasn’t that great?” p TOWERVIEW 21

THE ADVOCATES SANETTE TANAKA > Michael Peterson and His Followers

Convicted murderer Michael Peterson has been waiting for a retrial since 2003—a possibility that may occur at a hearing this September, according to David Rudolf. But Peterson does not wait alone. An entourage of supporters scattered throughout the world are highly invested in his well-being. Towerview’s Sanette Tanaka delves into the lives of Peterson’s closest friends and family members to see what drives them to believe in Peterson. Tanaka’s aunt and uncle also call themselves supporters of Peterson, though she did not consult them for any part of this article.


he sun barely inched above the horizon when 72-yearold Joan Miner began the hour-and-a-half drive from Durham to Nashville, North Carolina. Since she always left her house at 6 a.m. to account for incidentals, she arrived in Nashville with an hour to spare. She turned onto an unmarked street. The complex up ahead comprised several large gray and red buildings, rather plain-looking, except for a 10-foot barbed fence that circled the premise of Nash Correctional Institution. Miner took a moment to collect her license and adjust her hat and scarf in the mirror. Since she could not bring anything else into the prison, she liked to dress for the occasion. Prisoners can only host one visitation session per week, so Miner tried to make the affair special for her friend and convicted murderer. In the visitation building, the prisoners, all clad in gray, sat at individual wooden tables with three chairs at each. More than 980 inmates reside in the medium-security prison, incarcerated for crimes ranging from calculated murder to bodily mutilation of minors, says Miner. Yet only a handful had visitors that day, or any day. The man Miner had come to see is different. Scattered throughout the world, he has a core group of about 30 friends and family members who visit regularly, and approximately 80 people whom he said he corresponds with through letters and phone calls. Miner scanned the room for him, her close friend—67years-old and still a wonder in her eyes. “Hello, Mike,” she greeted him.


“My dear Joan,” Michael Peterson said. He embraced her with a hug. December 9, 2001 haunts Michael Peterson. Early that morning, he said he found his wife, Kathleen, in a pool of blood at the bottom of a staircase in their mansion. According to Peterson, he immediately dialed 911 and frantically reported that his wife had had an accident and was still breathing. Kathleen died before the paramedics arrived, and Peterson was convicted of her murder. Word of Kathleen’s death spread quickly. The news shocked the community, as the Petersons, who had married in 1997 after living together for nearly a decade, were already prominent figures in Durham. Peterson, Trinity ’65, is a Duke alum, a former editor of The Chronicle, a best-selling novelist and a frequent contributor to The Durham Herald-Sun. After dabbling in city politics, he ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 1999. Controversy over his Purple Heart medals may have impacted his bid for mayor. Although Peterson had previously made claims that he received the medals while in combat in Vietnam, he later said he received the medals from a car accident while stationed in Japan. Equally well known, Kathleen was the first female student accepted into Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering in 1971. Before she died, she worked as an executive for Nortel Networks and served on the Board of the Durham Arts Council. The Petersons hosted exquisite parties in their sprawling white Forest Hills mansion and were fixtures at social events.

Their friends and family described their relationship as one based on love, trust and warmth. “I liked to be around them just so I knew that someone got along well,” Miner said. “They made me feel optimistic and hopeful that some people could make it work.” During the week that followed Kathleen’s death, Peterson had not been charged with any crime or even named as a suspect. He maintained that the fall was accidental. He told media outlets and Durham Police that he and Kathleen had been drinking wine and sitting by the pool to celebrate a movie contract for one of his books. Kathleen left to go to sleep and that was the last time he saw her unscathed. Although the police initially deemed Kathleen’s death an accident, the amount of blood, unusual patterns of blood spillage and Kathleen’s autopsy results suggesting blunt force trauma to the head caused officials to consider foul play. The prosecution team, led by former District Attorneys Jim Hardin, Mike Nifong and Freda Black and Assistan District Attorney David Saacks, argued that someone had beaten Kathleen and caused her fall. In addition to police and medical examiner reports, the state drew heavily on evidence of Peterson’s bisexuality and a similar incident in which his first wife’s friend, Elizabeth Ratliff, was found dead at the bottom of a staircase in 1985 while the couple lived in Germany. Peterson was the last person to see Ratliff before her death but was not a suspect in the case. The validity of some pieces of evidence such as the rumored debt the Petersons were in was contested. Officials searched the Peterson home but never found a murder weapon at the time of the trial. Less than two weeks after the incident, a Durham County grand jury indicted Peterson for first-degree murder. On October 10, 2003, after an approximately five-month trial, one of the longest trials in state history, Peterson was found guilty of murdering Kathleen and sentenced to life in prison without parole. “I believe my brother was in the paper every single day, at least a couple times a week, for the entire duration of the pretrial,” said Peterson’s brother Bill Peter-

son, who left his position as a senior vice president of electrical facilities in Nevada for one year to work as Peterson’s attorney in 2002. “If nothing else, it was a very interesting story. It involved sex, money, violence and mystery. It also involves someone who is a person of influence.”

to create what would become Jean-Xavier de Lestrade’s eight-part documentary The Staircase. As she watched the footage, Brunet became more and more convinced that the man on the screen was innocent. She was moved by the way he talked about his wife, their wedding and relationship. One month after the verdict, in November 2003, Brunet decided to write to Peterson and offer to send him some books. The two began corresponding regularly about novels, paintings and Paris—Brunet’s hometown. One year later, Brunet visited him for the first time, and she now flies to the United States several times a year to see Peterson. She also talks on the phone with him almost every day and emails his friends and family regularly. “How wonderful it is to visit Michael and Kathleen Peterson in the mid-1990’s. him,” she said. “You get to spend Photo Special to the Chronicle two wonderful hours with a man Coverage of Peterson was both balwho will listen to you and is really interanced and warranted, said Nancy Wykle, ested in your life.” editor of The Durham Herald-Sun, calling Brunet is the one of the few people on it a “high profile case.” Peterson’s regular list of visitors who met “I think we were very upfront in him after the trial. But the video editor our coverage. The newspaper had had a feels intimately acquainted with him, statprofessional relationship with Mike,” said ing that her belief in his innocence stems Wykle, who was assistant managing editor from knowing him as a person, not from at the time of the trial. “I think our report- the evidence presented in court. ers are professional and won’t come into Although Brunet said the group of supsomething with an axe to grind.” porters provides some degree of solace, she After Peterson was convicted, his case maintains that she draws comfort primarfell from the spotlight, his name reduced ily from Peterson. The others are “wonderto that of Durham lore. For a distinct ful but just an addition,” she said. group of supporters, though, he cannot “[Peterson] helps us focus on how good fade away so easily. Some, like Miner, are it is to live our lives because he can’t,” she old friends, and some are family. About said. “Seeing the way he copes with it all half of the people he corresponds with makes us want to try and do so. He gives are from overseas—Switzerland, Belgium, us strength.” England, France and Germany—and felt Although Miner finds the drives to compelled to speak with him after seeing Nash Correctional Institution comforting, a documentary about the trial called The 34-year-old Todd Peterson—Michael’s Staircase. Peterson’s supporters meet up on son—finds them anything but. occasion and share news through phone A few times a year, Todd journeys from calls and email threads, spearheaded by his residence in Mexico to North Carolina. Miner, Michael’s daughter-in-law Becky During the final stretch of his trip, he Peterson and a French woman who edited maneuvers his car down the winding road The Staircase, Sophie Brunet. as if on autopilot, staring absentmindedly According to Brunet, age 50, she first ahead. He glances at his watch from time became acquainted with Peterson through to time—no use being late. a computer screen. She sifted through “There’s always a bit of stress—will you more than 600 hours of film detailing the even be able to see him? It always crosses events leading up to and involving the trial your mind,” Todd said, remembering TOWERVIEW 23

family members have been turned away at the prison. “I never think I will see him until I actually see him walk through those doors.” Todd described a visit to the prison: his father strides through the metal prison doors. He once shared his son’s fair skin and brown hair. The father’s hair has since turned gray, and his face, now lined with age, visibly lights up as soon as he sees his son. And for a few moments, Todd has his dad back. “The first hour is awesome, you don’t worry about time because you know you’ll see him after the lunch break,” Todd explained. “You’re talking, laughing, giving life updates, sharing funny stories about what’s going on in prison…. It’s an hour of beauty. You’re catching up with someone you love. “The second hour is really fucked up. It’s beautiful, fun, joking—but you’re always looking at that clock. You have one hour, 15 more minutes, five minutes. If you really add up how much time I have left with my dad, it will probably be only 20 to 40 hours until he’s dead.” That realization, Todd said, took him years to accept. “Literally, every night, I had tears in my eyes thinking of my dad in prison and in a jail cell,” he said. “It is forever. The next time he gets out of jail, he is going to be dead. They are going to cart his body out of there. Your dad is gone forever. When you deal with that, it is much easier on a day-to-day level.” Todd considers himself fairly successful in his career and personal life, but he couldn’t “break free of the chains” until he physically removed himself from the East Coast and the memories that haunt him there. He now focuses on other ventures, like his real estate business in Mexico. Todd and his brother Clayton are children from Peterson’s first marriage. Their siblings are Peterson and Kathleen’s wards, Margaret and Martha Ratliff, the daughters of the couple’s deceased friends, and Kathleen’s daughter, Caitlin Atwater. “I know my children were hurt, were very sad after the trial,” Michael said in an April 13 interview. “But I think—at least I hope—that the kids were also drawn closer together. I think people often become closer in sadness as much as in joy. That’s what I try to focus on.” But rather than draw his brothers and sisters closer together, Todd said the lack 24 TOWERVIEW

of a figurehead drives an unmistakable rift into the family and that the distance is what affects Todd the most. “Kathleen and my dad were such beautiful people and fostered a beautiful family environment,” Todd said. “That happy nest doesn’t exist anymore. We kind of lost the nucleus of love…. We would be a happier family unit if my dad wasn’t in prison and Kathleen wasn’t dead.” Todd and Caitlin have not spoken since his father was charged. Atwater has publicly denounced Peterson, claiming the evidence shows he indeed killed her mother. She could not be reached for comment.

“Seeing the way he copes with it all makes us want to try and do so. He gives us strength.” No matter how routine the visits to North Carolina have become, Todd cannot shake the stress that comes with each one. The minutes tick by, indicating less and less time he has left. Although Todd cherishes every moment of his visit with his dad, he has to count each one, too—and like son, like father. Peterson, too, recognizes the limitations of time. He tries to make each minute count, particularly during visits. “Basically, this is it—the moment we have,” Peterson wrote in a letter March 17. “Why would I choose—and it’s always a choice—to be miserable rather than happy?” Journalist David Perlmutt first got to know Peterson when the two co-authored a book published in 1998. The Charlotte Observer reporter quickly began to consider both Peterson and Kathleen his close friends. Perlmutt now visits Peterson two to three times a year, and little seems to have changed, Perlmutt said. “It’s like we’re sitting in the kitchen of his house,” he said. “We just sort of resume where we left off—mainly just catching up with each other. He asks me about my family, my daughter. We talk about the case, the status of it, where it is.” Sometimes Perlmutt wonders if Peterson is as content as he seems. Peterson said he refuses to get his spirits down, at least during visits. “Since I enjoy—treasure—the visits and visitors, I always try to have a good time,” Peterson said. “How do I stay posi-

tive? Part of it is Buddhism, part is just the way I am. I am almost never down or depressed.” If Peterson feels downtrodden, he never lets it show in front of Perlmutt. “He looks me straight in the eye and says, ‘I am fine,’” Perlmutt said. “[His positive attitude] seems pretty genuine to me, but I have no idea how he is when people aren’t around.” They discuss the past as well, which often revolves around Kathleen. Ten years later and Peterson is still madly in love with his wife, Perlmutt said. “I wouldn’t visit him if I didn’t think he was innocent,” Perlmutt said. “I do this for Kathleen as much as I do Mike. I mean, Kathleen is my friend, too.” Tom Steele, 68, and Trinity ‘64, knows Michael Peterson pretty well. The two roomed together at Duke in Sigma Nu’s section, and Peterson succeeded Steele as president of the fraternity. Steele was present during Peterson’s first wedding. Peterson was an usher in Steele’s wedding to his first wife, Steele said. Thus, several times per year, the former roommate makes the trek from Wintergreen, V.A., to Nashville. During each visit, the two gray-haired, fading men easily slip back into their usual banter. Peterson has made the most of prison, as much as one can do in the circumstances, Steele said. For the most part, Peterson’s time is his own. He writes and reads constantly. In large, loopy cursive, he scribbles longhand on sheets of loose-leaf paper and sends them to his editor, who types them up and sends them back. He subscribes to Bloomberg Businessweek and The Wall Street Journal and also reads The Raleigh News and Observer. When he isn’t poring over notes and books, Peterson can be found in the work yard, Steele said. He added that Peterson is in the best physical shape of his life. Although Steele joked that he should check himself in for a gym stint, Peterson’s life is “not a way you or I would ever want to live.” Peterson is allowed to have 18 people on his visitation list, which he can change twice per year in October and April. He can have one two-hour visit with up to three people. Peterson said he can remember only two or three weeks in the past eight years when he did not have visitors. “One time Mike told me that most

people in here never get a visitor,” Steele said. “Mike fills his visitation quota every week without fail.” Peterson’s situation is atypical, Steele said. According to the North Carolina Department of Correction’s 2010 report, 57 percent of prisoners are black, and just two in 10 have completed high school. Under those parameters, Steele is acutely aware that the college-educated person sitting in front of him defies the norm. Peterson, too, acknowledges the discrepancy. He wrote March 17 that he was “virtually the only Duke fan in here (certainly the only Duke grad).” This discrepancy hinders the chances of Michael getting a retrial, Steele said. “He is not a poor homeless person who is convicted without evidence. He is not a sympathetic figure to most people,” Steele said. “If you asked me what my opinion is whether this will be resolved, I would say that is probably not likely to happen because the fox is guarding the chicken house. To the world, [Peterson] is another rich kid who went Duke.” Peterson’s past attempts at securing a retrial have failed. In October 2005, one of his defense attorneys filed an appeal stating that irrelevant evidence presented by the prosecution prevented Peterson from getting a fair trial. In November 2008, another defense lawyer filed a motion alleging that prosecutors withheld evidence during the trial, Rudolf said. The most recent development that offers Peterson hope involves a North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation agent who was fired in January for hiding and manipulating key blood evidence. In 2003, the agent, Duane Deaver, served as a vital witness for the prosecution, stating that the blood patterning on the stairwell and on Peterson’s clothes proved that he attacked Kathleen with a fireplace poker. Based on those developments, Peterson’s lawyer David Rudolf met April 12 with the judge on the case, Orlando Hudson, who agreed to schedule a hearing for this September. During the hearing, if Hudson determines that Deaver’s testimony unfairly influenced the jury’s verdict, he may grant Peterson a new trial. Deaver’s lawyer, Philip Isley, declined to comment. Steele said he tries to be a supportive friend to Peterson because in the end, that’s all he can do. And from Michael, Steele learned firsthand that the justice system is flawed. “I used to wonder if a plain old person in the same circumstance could ever be found guilty,” Steele said. “Now I know.” For the first few years after Peterson’s conviction, Miner tried to convince everyone she encountered that he was innocent. Now she draws comfort from the small group of supporters. “These are articulate, honest, good people,” Miner said. “A couple have fallen away, but basically, this is just the best group of people I ever knew. I think I will remember them forever. Petersons’s supporters wait for the day that he is exonerated of all charges, though some are more optimistic than others. Until then, they serve as mutual supporters of one another and of Peterson. Miner said Peterson gives her purpose, a reason for living. “Would I be disappointed if he got out, and my job was done? Maybe a little, and that’s wicked,” she said. “When your children are grown up, you want them to get a cold so you can take care of them. But you don’t want them to get a cold. It’s that dichotomy.” Ultimately, though, Miner is satisfied knowing she has lived her life well and helped a friend in need. “This has changed my life, as I am proud of myself,” she said. “I spent so many years being there for someone. I am loyal. You never know if you are or not, unless you have reason to be.” p

Special to The Chronicle Tom and Millie Steele

Photo by Norvell Brown Joan Miner

Special to The Chronicle Sophie Brunet

Special to The Chronicle David Perlmutt TOWERVIEW 25

Course Superintendent Billy Weeks (left) and General Manager Ed Ibarguen (right)

Keepers of the Course

try to play “here,WhenI’mIthinking of things to fix. I can’t enjoy it.

-Billy Weeks, course superintendent

By Andy Moore


ourse Superintendent Billy Weeks has a problem. An asbestosfilled pipe circa 1957 has “blown out” around the Duke Golf Club’s No. 4 tee box, and the irrigation system for the hole won’t work now. The area around the pipe has also been flooded. There’s big heaping mounds of dirt where grass should be, and two veterans of the staff stand in muck and mud, trying to fix the problem. Billy and his boss, General Manager Ed Ibarguen, deal with this a lot now—the pipes underneath the course are temperamental, and in desperate need of an overhaul. Mini Mount Vesuviuses sit under fairways. But despite the water problems, the course has never looked better. I noticed the improvements during a picture-perfect weekday round with my dad in early June: The grass appeared greener. The fairways and greens were more manicured than I had ever 26 TOWERVIEW TOWERVIEW

shots. In his previous 14 years on the job, he’d never come close to being hit. Even with a tumultuous first few days, Billy made his mark. “In less than two months of work, he’s done an unbelievable job,” Ed said. In charge of a crew of 21, which includes several members of the “wrassling” team (he says with a unique self-conscious Southern accent), Billy is a perfectionist. While watching him, I’m struck by his constant evaluations of the course. He waves his hand over what looks like a perfectly manicured hole No. 9, and directs my attention to a dead spot of grass on the top of a fairway bunker. He points to the dead grass beside the cart path of No. 14: “We need to cut these limbs.” He even notices the cart has slowed down at one point. “Can we send messages on these things?” he asks me, pointing at the GPS. “This car isn’t right.” “When I try to play here, I’m thinking of things to fix. I can’t enjoy it,” he said at one point. Despite his meticulous nature, Billy can appreciate the overall beauty of the place. We stop and take in the view on a hilltop on No. 1 toward the end of our day. “This is a gorgeous place, man,” he says. “I think this renovation will take it to another level.”


seen. I wondered instantly how the place could have improved so much in such a short amount of time. I got my answer by spending a day with Ed and Billy, to whom Ed attributes many of the small improvements. And with a major renovation on the way, Robert Trent Jones’ design is about to become even better.


illy, at 32, is a child in his field—still mistaken by outsiders as a regular employee of the club. A Mississippi State grad, who grew up obsessed with baseball and didn’t take up golf until his freshman year of college, Billy had a strange start to his career at Duke. After beating out over 100 résumés, he was welcomed to North Carolina in early April by the state’s worst tornadoes in 50 years. Then, in his first week, he was almost nailed twice by errant Photo by Tracy Huang

d started working at the Duke Golf Club in 1988. Hired away from University of North Carolina’s Finley Golf Course by Duke Athletic Director Tom Butters, Ed was greeted by a poorly managed course with almost unplayable conditions, a major thorn in the side of the golf-crazy athletic director. In between making cosmetic improvements to the course, Ed set forth a five-year plan that would include a major course redesign and overhaul. He first asked Robert Trent Jones, Sr., the legendary course architect and original designer of the Duke Golf Club, if he would update the course. Senior quickly turned down the job. Ed then asked Jones’ son, Rees, at an event in Pinehurst Resort if he would do the job. Rees, who was sitting beside his wife, a UNC alum, said succinctly, “We have no interest in Duke.” “I was like a dog that had been beaten,” Ed said. A year later, though, Rees’ daughter

applied for admission to Duke University. Rees made it clear he would take the job if his daughter got in. “Luckily, [she] was a brilliant student,” Ed said with a laugh. Rees changed a lot of small things about the course during his redesign, bringing in fairway bunkers and lengthening the holes. He did not, however, alter his father’s timeless design. While touring the course, Rees looked over the fairway and said, “The tailor cut a good suit,” Ed recalled. Ed stuck with the course after the renovation and oversaw a successful NCAA Championship in 2001. But while the Club remained a top-tier course as the first decade of the 21st century drew to a close, its conditions did begin to falter. It’s back on track now, though—and Billy and Ed have big plans for the future. The Duke Golf Club is set to undergo another facelift in the next three to five years, at a pricetag of $3 to $3.5 million tocome from a fundraising campaign. The irrigation system will be replaced by a computerized model and it will be designed, according to Ed, by the same man who did the world-renowned system at Augusta National. The bent grass greens will also be swapped for Bermuda grass— a change executed by many golf courses in the area. A rise in overall temperature over the past decades has made North Carolina more balmy, and the greens at the Duke Golf Club can no longer handle the heat. Billy and Ed are both energized by the possibilities the renovation will bring. Ed wants to host another NCAA Championship. Last time, the NCAA, after a

Photos by Libby Busdicker

first day of high scores, had to tell Ed to tone down the conditions of the course to make it more fair, asking him to put pins in the middle of the greens and make the play easier overall. “We won’t do that next time,” he says.


or now, though, the next renovation is a distant apparition. Billy and I drive back to the No. 4 tee box—the irrigation system now appears to be working. Good news. Then Billy notices that Chester has his hands on his hips. “When he does that, that’s not good,” Billy says with a note of understatement. We drive up and Chester and Eddy inform their boss that the pipe is leaking. The problem has not been solved, and their work is far from over. A golf course is never complete. TOWERVIEW27 27 TOWERVIEW




Not so great in the name department? Planning to interact with some of the fresh new faces coming to campus in the fall? We’re here to help. These statistics will let you guess your way past “I’d like you to meet, uh...” Behold: the most common names of the class of 2015.

th want to be in the film industry, right?”

The question hung in the early summer air and I almost didn’t hear it. Fresh off graduation eight days earlier, I was already late in leaving for Princeton to watch the Duke men’s lacrosse team play UNC in the 2009 NCAA playoffs. But this question, delivered by a close friend of my parents’ amid my polite small-but-hey-I-really-needto-get-out-the-door-talk, stopped me in my tracks. And I’m damned glad it did. Like my fellow classmates and future national champions, I was not cognizant of my impending larger fate. The family friend—not in the film industry himself—offered to introduce me to his former college roommate who was making a new film. Having seen his friend’s previous work, I immediately jumped at the chance, emailed a resume and was told to maybe expect an answer in a few weeks. Three days later, I woke up to an email from writer-director Whit Stillman with a job offer and the script for his first film in 12 years, Damsels in Distress. Initial pre-production of a film mirrors the frightening abyss-like expanse of post-graduation life: You have nothing and it’s up to you to assemble the tools you need to construct your world. Day-to-day work on Damsels began on a sizzling morning in late July when four of us opened the production office in SoHo. There, our sweat glistening, we pooled together our efforts and the production began to flow. Like a river headed toward a waterfall, the project picked up speed fast, amassing more space, people and resources in its current as it thundered through the rest of the summer and into September, and before I knew it, we had begun shooting. The autumnal start of Damsels, a college comedy of manners centering on a group of four girls and their male suitors, helped to alleviate my collegiate post-partum depression. Driving to “Seven Oaks University” each morning, usually around 5 a.m. with a carful of the main actors, made me feel as if I were starting a new semester. Similarly softening the transition were the eerie resemblance of our set’s main location to East Campus and the fact that that I was a fictional Seven Oaks student—I have a brief cameo in the film as the DU fraternity bartender. In hindsight, each film project does function a bit like a class: the script being our shared text, the call sheet our daily lesson plan and the director our professor. And as it turns out, Whit even supplied Adam Brody with a reading list for his character that included Emma; post-30 minute back and forth with Seth 28 TOWERVIEW

Photo Illustration by Nate Glencer

Cohen later, I’ll never knock that English major-required Jane Austen class I begrudgingly took senior Spring. If Damsels kept me in a young, collegiate comfort zone, I grew up quite fast with Shame, the gritty, sexual drama and second feature that I worked on. Despite the winter’s bitter cold and the film’s intense tone, pervasive electricity pulsed through the cast and crew on artist-turned-director Steve McQueen’s follow up to 2008’s Hunger. Because of stars Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, who at the time verged on superstardom, there existed a gleeful giddiness that we were getting away with a Very Naughty Story Before It Was Too Late. To add to that excitement, our producers were travelling each weekend to various award shows for their previous film The King’s Speech. And just like that, we awoke one Monday morning working for Best Picture winners. My time on Shame solidified a theory that had been brewing since Damsels: Nothing is outside the realm of possibility in the life of a film production assistant. Between the two projects, I found myself making announcements on subway cars, getting a tutorial in the Bronx on how to operate a fake heart monitor, hitting morning traffic into Manhattan after a 14-hour day of work, sprinting through freezing hail down the Hudson Pier and renting fake guns in an underground weapons specialist boutique. Those duties are the standouts—dozens of menial, repetitious and often grueling tasks make up the world of filmmaking. But, nestled in the daily grind are moments tinged with glamour: breaking the news to Greta Gerwig about her Indie Spirit nomination, celebrating wrap to the wee hours of the morning with Fassbender and McQueen, walking in on Mulligan rehearsing by herself during break with the glittering midnight Manhattan skyline as her backdrop. I have spent the year underslept and over-caffeinated, oft-frustrated but more exhilarated, anxious of my future and ever-grateful for each opportunity. And I have remembered to seize those opportunities, to laugh at the absurdity of it all, to honor the people who brought me into the fold; to run faster, to stretch my arms farther, until one fine morning… Charlie McSpadden is a former Towerview contributor and film editor emeritus of Recess, the arts and entertainment section of The Chronicle. He is currently working on Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby.




ZHANG - 17 WANG - 16 KIM - 14 LIU - 14 CHEN - 13


LEE - 11 BROWN - 10 HUANG - 9 LI - 9

MICHAEL 28 MOST LIKELY MALE NAME *Numbers are subject to change as a result of waitlist admissions. TOWERVIEW 29

eating for the health of the world

The Chronicle’s award-winning monthly news and perspectives magazine.

By Norman Wirzba Photo by Nate Glencer

• Inserted in The Chronicle


t is easy to get overwhelmed by the scope of today’s environmental problems. The more we learn about global warming, deforestation, species extinctions, soil erosion and degradation, water pollution and depletion—and their diverse, accompanying effects—the more tempting it is to give up in despair. But despair is not an option if we love children, neighbors and neighborhoods. What can we do? We can decide to eat for the health of the world. Most of us know that poor eating decisions adversely affect personal health: We eat too much fat, preservatives and refined carbohydrates and not enough whole grains, fruit and vegetables. But we also need to know that what we eat has far-reaching effects for the health of our lands, waters, animals and agricultural communities. Every time we eat we are making a choice that is personal, but it is also social, ecological, agricultural and spiritual. The food items we purchase communicate what we value in each other and in our world. When we buy a dozen eggs, for instance, we are voting for whether or not we want chickens ranging freely or crammed into stacked, wire cages in dark barns. We are communicating whether or not we value the happiness and contentment of animals and the just compensation of agricultural workers. Today’s global industrial food system abuses the land and its eaters. To make the food we buy as cheap and convenient as possible, farmers grow massive quantities of commodities like corn, wheat and soy that can then be processed into multiple food products or fed to animals in crammed confinement. As crop rotation and plant diversity disappear, lands are kept productive and pest-free through the unrelenting application of fossil fuel dependent fertilizers and even more toxic chemicals. This system is not sustainable because: a) it draws down soil fertility by destroying the micro-organismic life in the ground; b)it depends on massive amounts of freshwater that are quickly running out; c) it depends on fossil fuels to grow, process and move these commodities around the globe; d) it erases plant and animal diversity, making our fields and farms more vulnerable to disease; and e) it does not respect food democracy, the idea that farmers, regions and eaters should have the say and the responsibility for what they eat. If we decide to eat for the health of the world, one way to start is by growing some of our own food. This is hard but honorable work. Perhaps it is even necessary work because it teaches us that food is never cheap or convenient. It cannot be because the ecosystems our eating depends on are vulnerable and precious. Today’s generation of eaters is the most food ignorant and, therefore, the most destructive the world has ever known. In addition, we can support the gardeners and farmers who grow healthy soil and plants, who honor and care for animals and who protect water and species diversity. These are the indispensable foundations of sustainable agriculture that will feed us well into the future. The way to support these farmers is by paying a just price for the food 30 TOWERVIEW

TOW ERVIEW • Mailed to faculty, deans and managers at the University and Medical Center • Delivered to over 30 off-campus locations • Available in permanent Towerview bins on West Campus, East Campus, Duke Clinics & Hospital

they produce, a price that factors in and rewards the labor-intensive work necessary to care for the land and its creatures properly. This is not a recommendation for expensive food. Rather it is an acknowledgment that cheap food is dishonestly priced because its price tag does not include the many ecological and agricultural costs I have mentioned. Nor does it include the costs to our own health that accompany a highly processed and high-convenience diet. American households only spend about 10 percent of their overall income on food, the smallest percentage that any generation ever has. Many of us can spend more on better food and in so doing contribute significantly to a healthier world. We can also join community efforts led by student groups, civic clubs and faith communities that grow food together, often making this food available for low-income households. Municipalities, schools, universities and faith groups currently have considerable land devoted to parking lots or manicured lawns and ornamental bushes and trees. Could not some of this land be put into food production and in doing so bring races, classes and generations of people together around the work of growing healthy food? The Duke Campus Farm, a project that began in the course “Food and Energy” taught by visiting assistant professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment Charlotte Cark, that now provides fresh, organically grown produce to Duke’s dining halls is one such effort. Now imagine a whole world of eaters devoted to the sharing and the celebration of healthy food. How wonderful! How delectable! Norman Wirzba is a research professor of theology, ecology and rural life at Duke Divinity School. His latest book is titled“Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating.”

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event Sunday, August 28,

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“What a good time I’ve had. You’ve never met someone who has enjoyed life as much as I have.”

by Sonia havele THE CHRONICLE

The Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy Po P olicy will undergo an extensive, two-phase asssessment, ses ssment, institute officials announced yesterday d da ay in a memo to IGSP faculty and students. The evaluation, initiated by IGSP Direct r Huntington Willard, will be conducted tor i preparation for the institute’s 10th-year in rreview rev view in 2012-2013 and to help guide the ffuture fut ture of the IGSP—what Willard calls “IGSP 22.0.” 2.0 0.” According to guidelines laid out by the Office O Of ffice of the Provost, each of Duke’s seven iinstitutes ins stitutes must be reviewed every five years. Along with the evaluation process, three of t e six IGSP centers will be phased out immethe diately, d dia ately, Willard said in an interview with The Chronicle, C Ch hronicle, including the center run by Joseph Nevins N Ne evins in which Dr. Anil Potti, former Duke ccancer can ncer researcher, was based. Willard noted i an e-mail that although the lessons learned in ffrom fro om the recent questions surrounding Potti aand an nd his research will help to inform the review process p pr rocess and planning for the future, the evaluattions tio ons are not directly related to the Potti affair. In order to plan for what the IGSP will llook loo ok like in the next 10 years, the evaluattion tio on will “assess whether [the institute’s] ccurrent cu urrent organizational structure and intelllectual lec ctual balance is optimal for the future of tthee genome science and policy,” Willard th

during our open-house

— Reynolds Price on the eve of his 75th birthday

in 301 Flowers on West Campus.

by Matthew Chase THE CHRONICLE

To readers worldwide, Reynolds Price was an esteemed Southern author. But for the Duke community, he was an “institution.” The James B. Duke Professor of English passed away Thursday afternoon at age 77, after suffering a major heart attack Jan. 16. Price, who graduated from Trinity College in 1955, taught at Duke for more than 50 years. 2011 marks the 60th year since Price began his undergraduate career at Duke. “He will be remembered as a great American novelist and he will be remembered by the lives of the students that he worked with,” said Ian Baucom, former chair of the English department. “I was struck by how... consistently he had remained a part of hundreds and thousands of students.” A novelist, a poet and an author of short stories, Price inspired now-famous writers such as Anne Tyler, Trinity ’61, 61, and Josephine Humphreys, Trinity ’67, at Duke. A native of Macon, N.C., Price’s work was often influenced by his Southern



M Merger with DSG will be D put to vote p


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by Nicole Kyle THE CHRONICLE

Student government at Duke could undergo d de ergo significant change and consolidation tthis th is Spring. The student body will likely consider a referendum to merge Campus Council with w wi th Duke Student Government during the YYoung Yo oung Trustee election Feb. 15. Campus Council C Co ouncil voted at its meeting yesterday to rrecommend re commend the proposal, which the DSG SSenate Se enate will vote on Feb. 8. The council supported p po orted the proposal in a 13-9 two-tiered vvote vo ote with one abstention. If passed, the referendum will go into

Fuqua uqua qua looks llo ooks oo o o oks ks k to to eexpand nd dM MMS MS MS Page Pag Pa agge age ge 3


effect Fall 2011, said Campus Council President Stephen Temple, a senior. “It’s becoming increasingly evident that we’ve reached a threshold of overlap,” DSG President Mike Lefevre said in his presentation, noting that this decision will parallel with the recent appointment of Rick Johnson as assistant vice president of housing and dining. “There are two things that are prompting us

to act now: the transition to the house model and reform within Duke’s administration.” Lefevre, a senior, also noted the importance of collaboration, calling the restructuring “the best of both worlds.” He said the council’s long-standing ad hoc policy, which allows students to work on specific projects of interest at their discretion, and its approachable image will


“The partnership will bring out the best of theory and practice.” —Professor Gavan Fitzsimons on Fuqua and Synovate. See story page 4

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benefit DSG. Likewise, Lefevre noted that DSG’s trustee access and student-body wide election will facilitate more transparency and effective residential policy. The proposed policy will create a Residence Life and Dining Committee led by a vice president for residence life and dining, Lefevre

( or Courtney (cgd6@duke. edu) for more info.

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July 1, 2011 Toweview  

July 1st, 2011 edition of Towerview

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