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
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2012
Rush numbers hold steady from last year
ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTH YEAR, ISSUE 78
NC to play greater role post primaries
SC a likely indicator of GOP nominee
by Raisa Chowdhury THE CHRONICLE
Despite changes to fraternity rush and the introduction of the house model, fraternity and sorority recruitment numbers are consistent with last year. The Panhellenic Association noted that 20 to 25 fewer women registered for recruitment this year compared to last year, when a record 511 women registered for recruitment. Of those who registered, 45 are sophomores this year. “We’re halfway through the rush process, but in terms of how we did last year, last year was an incredible, incredible surge—a couple hundred more than usual,” said senior Laura Williams, vice president of recruitment and membership for Panhel. “We’re at about the same amount.” Interfraternity Council President Zach Prager, a senior, said about 500 men have signed up for fraternity rush, which is a typical amount. Last year, Panhel saw an 18 percent increase from 2009 in women who signed up for recruitment. Changes to the IFC recruitment process that were instated this Spring included shortening the process by one week and requiring students to register by
by Chinmayi Sharma THE CHRONICLE
TRACY HUANG/THE CHRONICLE
John Negroponte, former U.S. ambassador to Honduras and deputy secretary of state, spoke in the Sanford School of Public Policy Tuesday.
SEE GREEK ON PAGE 4
North Carolina will have to wait its turn to become a major factor in the 2012 presidential election. As the South Carolina primaries approach, Republicans in North Carolina said they are considering the race in the neighboring state a clear indicator of the eventual Republican candidate. Both state GOP and Democratic news Party members said North analysis Carolina will play a more prominent role once the general election begins. “North Carolina is a crucial state in both parties’ electoral strategy, so you can count on seeing a lot of President [Barack] Obama and our nominee once the general election starts,” said Rob Lockwood, communications director for the North Carolina Republican Party. For the past eight presidential election cycles, the winner of the South Carolina Republican primary has gone on to win the party’s nomination. Mitt Romney, who has already won the New Hampshire and Iowa primaries, is more likely to secure the win, Lockwood said, noting that he faces significant opposiSEE REPUBLICANS ON PAGE 6
HDRL places juniors after Duke grad named White lapse in communication House budgetary director by Arden Kreeger THE CHRONICLE
For juniors returning from studying abroad in the Fall, housing worries have finally been eased. After a prolonged process, Housing, Dining and Residence Life successfully placed the 59 juniors returning from study abroad programs who had yet to receive on-campus housing as of Nov. 29. Contrary to student sentiment, the delay in housing assignments was not the result of a housing shortage. “Supply of on-campus housing is dynamic, so [in November] when we had to communicate assignments, it may have appeared that there was a housing shortage,” said Linda Moiseenko, manager of Duke Community Housing. “However, vacancies SEE JUNIORS ON PAGE 5
KARI VAUGHN/THE CHRONICLE
Keohane 4E Quadrangle opened for students in the Spring semester, adding 150 beds to West Campus.
A Duke graduate will now serve as acting head of national budgetary policy. President Barack Obama appointed Jeffrey Zients, Trinity ’88 and deputy director for management of the Office of Management and Budget, as acting director of the OMB Tuesday, according to a White House news release. In his new position, Zients will assess and seek to improve the White House’s budgetary performance. Zients follows current director Jacob Lew, who will become the White House chief of staff this month. “I’m pleased to designate to lead the Office of Management and Budget,” Obama said in the release. “Since day one, Jeff has demonstrated superb judgment and has provided sound advice on a whole host of issues. With decades of experience, Jeff has been a tremendous asset to our team, and I’m confident in his ability to help us rebuild an economy where hard work and responsibility pay
Duke students vote below national average, Page 3
“We realized that we do not have ordinarily 100,000 people trying to march at the same time...” —Charlotte City Attorney Bob Hagemann on crowd control. See story page 3
off and the middle class has a chance to get ahead.” Zients was confirmed by the Senate as deputy director and the first federal chief performance officer in June 2009, and has previously served as acting director of the OMB from July to November 2010. He was also the CEO and chairman of the Advisory Board Company and chairman of the Corporate Executive Board. Both firms offer consulting services related to performance benchmarking and management best practices, the release noted. Zients is also a co-founder and board member emeritus at Urban Alliance Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that provides job assistance for underprivileged youth. The foundation works with corporations to offer high school seniors paid internships, adult mentors and training. —from Staff Reports
Women’s basketball enters tough stretch, Page 7
2 | WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2012
New Jersey residents seek 10% income-tax rate cut
TRENTON, N.J. — Gov. Chris Christie proposed reducing income-tax rates for every New Jersey resident Tuesday by 10 percent to provide relief from the “burden that has strangled our families and forced many to move away.” “Today, because we have put our fiscal house in order, we can budget for our priorities and give tax relief to all of our people,” Christie, a first-term Republican, said in his State of the State speech. “Tax relief that will lead to better lives for our citizens and more jobs for our state.” Christie, 49, didn’t say how he would pay for the tax cut. The governor said the budget he submits next month “will be truly balanced,” and that the state needs to continue to “hold the line on spending.” The tax cut would be phased in over three years, beginning in January 2013, according to a statement from Christie’s office. The new rates would make New Jersey more competitive.
schedule Graduate Student Drop-In Advising
Teer 104, 11:30a.m.-1:30p.m. Each student could spend 15 minutes with an adviser for time-sensitive needs.
Sanford Distinguished Lecture: Decision Time Page Auditorium, 5:30-7p.m. Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles will discuss the work of the debt commission and current federal fiscal affairs.
Several protesters arrested China’s urban population during ‘Occupy Congress’ surpasses countryside areas WASHINGTON, D.C. — At least four people were arrested as protesters gathered Tuesday on the west lawn of the Capitol, chanting, marching and disrupting congressional offices. The demonstrators came from across the country for the first nationwide gathering for the movement.
BEIJING, China — China’s urban population surpassed that of rural areas for the first time after three decades of economic development encouraged farmers to seek better living standards in cities.The world’s most-populous nation had 690.79 million people living in urban areas now.
Interviewing Skills and Strategies Workshop Social Sciences 124, 6-7p.m. A Career Center counselor will give tips about interviewing, which is crucial to landing any internship or job.
The Grace of Silence Reynolds Theater, 8p.m. The co-host of NPR’s longest-running national program, All Things Considered, awardwinning journalist Michele Norris will talk.
TODAY IN HISTORY 2005: Hurricane Katrina slams into Gulf Coast.
“We should strive to make differences that more align our world with our values. And even as Duke students, we must remember our university’s commitment to applying knowledge in the service of society, both at home and abroad. The time for justice is always now. ” — From The Chronicle’s News Blog bigblog.dukechronicle.com
Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by heart and his friends can only read the title. — Virginia Woolf
Confession of Peter Eastern Orthodox
Revolution Day Tunisia
Royal Thai Armed Force Day MICHELLE ANDREWS/THE WASHINGTON POST
Equipped with an application called Gazelle, smartphones could provide users with a variety of health-related information. Experts say that the innovative technology opens new channel for consumers to get quick access to health care data, including lab reports and doctors’ notes.
Maintenance Day The United States of America
Howard Hughes Summer Research Programs Applications Now Open The Howard Hughes Research Fellows Program
The Vertically Integrated Partners (VIP) Program
For rising sophomore applicants In Trinity College and Pratt
For rising sophomores, juniors and seniors In Trinity College and Pratt
Research in all areas of the Biological and Biomedical Sciences
including: • • • • • • •
Molecular Biology and Genetics Evolution and Ecology Cell Biology Biochemistry Neurobiology Animal Behavior Biomedical Engineering
• • • • •
Psychoneuroimmunology Genetic & Physiological Regulation of Body Size Neural Mechanisms of Decision-Making Primate Genomics and the Evolution of Diet Molecular Biology and Evolution of Olfactory Circuits
HOUSING ON CAMPUS PROVIDED
May 21 – July 27, 2012
JUNE 4 – JULY 27, 2012 Application Deadline: February 8, 2012
Application Deadline: March 2, 2012
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2012 | 3
Charlotte to consider Duke student voter crowd control for DNC turnout below average ACLU, Occupy Charlotte believe proposed measures infringe on constitutional rights by Kelly Scurry THE CHRONICLE
The city of Charlotte, N.C., is reviewing its crowd control policies to accommodate the expected influx of people at the Democratic National Convention in September. The Charlotte City Council agreed to consider proposed amendments to the ordinances written by City Attorney Bob Hagemann. The purpose of the new laws, which would require protesting groups to register for designated time slots, is to aid law enforcement officers during the DNC while maintaining the freedom of demonstration, Hagemann said. Many locals, however, believe the amendments will infringe upon protesters’ constitutional rights. One of the primary changes to the city crowd control code would be the creation of special protesting regulations for “extraordinary events,” which the proposal defines as large-scale special events of national or international significance, Hagemann said. The city council is scheduled to vote on the new policies Jan. 23. “We realized that we do not have ordinarily 100,000 people trying to march at the same time, but it’s going to happen at the DNC,” he said. “But we can’t have parades in all parts of the city.”
If the council approves the new ordinances, the city will have the ability to declare an extraordinary event and create a system to allow for various protesting groups to have an opportunity to demonstrate. The system proposed by the city attorney’s office would be to set a deadline for groups to have designated time slots during which they can protest. A lottery would be used if the number of groups exceeded the number of time slots, Hagemann said. This system was used in Denver, Colo. during the 2008 Democratic National Committee. Hagemann said there were additional time slots in Denver after all the groups registered to protest. There is fear, however, that the ordinances are to vague and therefore have the potential to be too restrictive. The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina believes the proposals may be in conflict with the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, said Katy Parker, the group’s legal director. “As it is written right now, the ordinance gives too much discretion to police—we have concerns related to free speech and search and seizure issues,” Parker said, noting the sections of the proposed ordinances that prohibit certain items, even if SEE CROWDS ON PAGE 6
by Jack Mercola THE CHRONICLE
As Duke’s voter turnout for presidential elections falls below the national average, some question whether or not the campus is politically active relative to its peer institutions. According to a Chronicle analysis of data provided by the Durham County Government, 36 percent of students living on campus voted in the 2008 presidential election—compared to 51 percent of Americans
CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO
ages 18 to 29 who voted in the same election. Within North Carolina, 55 percent of young people in the same demographic cast their votes, according to a 2009 report from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. “As a campus, I would not characterize Duke as a highly politically engaged campus,” Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek said. “I would say that has been my experience since I have arrived in the early ’70s.” Wasiolek noted that individual students’ political interests trump overarching campus political engagement. She attributed this to the fact that a college environment may create a disincentive for student voting because it creates an illusion that politics do not affect the individual. “There are students, individually, who have a significant interest in the politics in this country,” Wasiolek said. Several of Duke’s most politically active students noted that students may not vote in overwhelming numbers but demonstrate their interest in politically contentious issues in other ways. Sophomore Daniel Strunk, a volunteer in Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign in North Carolina, works to establish Romney-oriented student groups on university campuses, including Duke. Strunk said the reason that the University’s voting figures are not robust is an issue of time and convenience. “Students are incredibly busy,” Strunk said. “Competing for students’ attention
Students engage in the political process in ways other than voting, such as through student groups.
SEE POLITICS ON PAGE 5
Trinity College is pleased to recognize our
ACLS New Faculty Fellows teaching new courses for spring 2012! Alexander Bonus (Music) MUSIC 55A—Music Theory
Cavan Concannon (Religion & Classics) REL 108—Life and Letters of Paul REL 20S—The Bible and Human Sexuality
Tomas Matza (Cultural Anthropology & Slavics) RUSS 155—Special Topics in Russian and American Culture CULANTH 180S—Social Life of Climate Change
Michael P. Ryan (German & Literature) LIT 297— Weimar Cinema
Alex Schulman (Political Science) POLSCI 104—Politics and Literature
Shannon Withycombe (History & Women Studies) HIST 105S—Sciences of the Western Body HIST 195S—Women & Health in American History For more information about the 2011-2012 ACLS Fellows at Duke, please visit https://today.duke.edu/2011/05/aclsfellows
4 | WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2012
Wikipedia plans 24-hour blackout By Chiara Remondini BLOOMBERG NEWS
Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia where users contribute and edit entries, will shut the English version of its website for 24 hours Wednesday to oppose proposed U.S. anti-piracy legislation. The move is a protest against pending legislation including the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, bill, according to a statement by Wikimedia Foundation Inc., the non-profit organization that operates the encyclopedia. The proposed legislation is designed to combat issues including illegally copied films and TV content. “If passed, this legislation will harm the free and open Internet and bring about new tools for censorship of international websites inside the United States,” Wikimedia said in the statement. The SOPA bill in the House of Representatives and a similar Senate bill are backed by the movie and music industries as a way to crack down on online content theft. Internet companies including Google and Facebook are waging a campaign against the legislation, which they say will encourage censorship of Web content and harm technology innovation. News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch called Google a “piracy leader” in SEE WIKIPEDIA ON PAGE 6
GREEK from page 1 mid-December. Some speculated that the changes and the new housing model affected the number of people who are willing to consider greek life. Joining other groups on campus, sororities will receive housing for the first time in the Fall semester. “I think people are curious to see what the housing model has done, but I don’t think it’s been a deterrent,” Williams said. “It’s actually been nice because now we’ll be living together, and we’ll be that much closer.” Fraternities, many of which have lived together in the past, will continue to have housing, though some will have new locations. Prager said he believes that the new living arrangements did not affect the number of men who are rushing for fraternities. “I was a strong proponent of the idea that housing wasn’t going to change anything for our recruitment,” Prager said. “We choose our members based on who is a good fit. You’re choosing a group that you want to be a part of, and that’s what’s most important. Housing isn’t a factor.” In addition to the shortened rush period, the IFC changes included an earlier start date and increased regulation of rush events. “Things are more hectic now, so we’re having more weeknight events, which gets tiring—but it’s still fun,” said Tony Cao, a freshman rushing fraternities. “I did Project Build and one of my crew leaders was in a fraternity, and that really got me into it.” Prager noted the benefits of the changes to the rush schedule, especially regard-
ing the extra time able to be spent on participants’ schoolwork. “This is sort of our test run, and we’ve set our groups up to succeed, and so far it’s going great,” Prager said. “We are going to take in this experience and see how it goes and see if we need to make any other changes. Due to the success of recruitment last year, no changes have been made to the Panhellenic procedures this year. “I was so impressed,” said Emily Brown, a freshman rushing sororities. “Everything was so structured and well planned out, down to the second. It was a great chance to talk to upperclassmen and get a great feel for personal growth at this school.” For others, though, rush has been less ideal.
Freshman Leena el-Sadek went through part of the recruitment process because she wanted the closeness she saw her older sister had with her fellow sorority members all over the country, but elSadek withdrew last weekend. “There were really a lot of reasons,” el-Sadek said. “I didn’t get one that I really wanted. Honestly, I felt like the greek community at Duke is a lot more about how you appear to others than about what you really want…. It felt like a show, and I wasn’t being myself.” She said, however she had a great experience meeting people who she might not have met otherwise and recommends rushing to anyone considering joining a sorority. “I hope to find my group of people outside of greek life,” el-Sadek added.
SOPHIA PALENBERG/THE CHRONICLE
Students meet at the Interfraternity Council Open House at the Nasher Museum of Art Jan. 9.
POLITICS from page 3 and time is an extremely competitive marketplace, and this is none less so for political organizations and news networks.” Nationally, voter turnout is on the rise. Young people have voted in increasing numbers since 1996, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement report. The University is consistently unranked in The Princeton Review’s list of schools with the most politically active students. In contrast, institutions such as George Washington University, Georgetown University and University of Chicago are currently ranked in the top 10. Still, Strunk said there is no shortage of students who are invested in specific political issues. He said contentious topics such as gay marriage spark political conversation and en-
JUNIORS from page 1 continued to become available, and we were able to house our returning students.” Brandon Locke, a junior who did not initially receive his desired housing assignment for the Spring, said he was able to relocate from a double in Edens Quadrangle 2A to one in Crowell Quandrangle after communicating with HDRL. “I called [HDRL], and I basically said I can’t live in Edens—I’m overloading, and I have a job, and this isn’t going to work,” Locke said. “[HDRL] was really nice about it…. Now I’m living in a much better location.” Junior Andrei Santalo, who returned from studying abroad in Barcelona last semester, had difficulty applying for the gender-neutral housing option, as there was no
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2012 | 5
gagement, but when it comes to holistic participation in politics, there is a lot of room for students to engage in a wider spectrum of issues. A 2011 Chronicle survey asked students about their thoughts on several political issues. According to the survey, 85 percent of respondents said they believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, and 60 percent said they believe that, by law, a woman should be able to obtain an abortion as a matter of personal choice. Co-President of Duke Democrats Elena Botella, a junior and a Chronicle columnist, also commented on the discrepancy between student interest in political issues and voter participation. Noting gender equality, income equality and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights as heated issues on campus, Botella said there is a long list of students groups whose core mission is functionally related to politics.
“Students are shifting their focus from simply looking into the issue to wondering if they have the opportunity to vote for a leader [who] will help them get their preferred policies enacted,” she said. “I think that gap and that myopia is starting to shift.” Botella, who spearheaded the Duke the Vote project in tandem with the Duke Political Union last Fall, said that the goal of the project was to implement a system to make voting more convenient, adding that Duke’s political engagement ought to be reflected in its voter turnout. She added that she was impressed by the student turnout in the North Carolina municipal elections in November 2011, nothing that Duke Democrats registered 313 new voters this Fall. “Elections are something that any reasonable Duke student can learn about and then engage in,” Botella said. Freshman Adarsh Dave said he attributes the campus’ political quietness to the
relative homogeneity of the student body. “I find that most students I encounter here have similar backgrounds—a highpowered private or public high school education and an upper middle class socioeconomic situation,” Dave noted. “When a group of people is homogenous in nature, individuals are less radical in their beliefs, prompting less activism.” Wasiolek said the current political theater is conducive to legislation concerning higher education. “We tend to be less engaged in politics when we aren’t living where we think those politics are going to affect us,” she said. “The political landscape, particularly under the current economic conditions, suggests that there might be some large legislation on the horizon that could very much impact students in higher education. My hope is that students will get highly engaged in such elections.”
option on the housing contract to indicate a gender-neutral preference. Communication with HDRL also proved to be difficult, Santalo added. “[HDRL] responded to emails every three weekends,” Santalo said. “They said they would update us on our situation and try to get us our preference, and they didn’t respond to email.” HDRL ultimately placed Santalo in gender-neutral housing on Central Campus with one out of his three preferred roommates. HDRL placed the other two students in gender-neutral housing in a nearby apartment on Oregon Street on Central. Moiseenko said the housing process may improve in the future, though such changes cannot be considered until the new house model is implemented. Junior Theo Larose, who studied in Scotland in the Fall, said he encountered
no difficulties in the housing process and is now living in the newly opened Keohane 4E Quandrangle. “They made a lot of interesting decisions about the architecture,” Larose said. “[Keohane 4E] is not too far away from campus…. I like the communal living spaces and how the common rooms are pretty much open to all.” Many juniors were ultimately satisfied with their placements. Senior Fola Omofoye, a resident assistant in Keohane 4E, said his residents seem to be pleased with their housing assignments. “[Keohane] 4E brings a newness and freshness to the semester that hasn’t been seen in a while, and it has people excited,” Omofoye said. “I’ve had a lot of friends and seen a lot of residents’ friends come just to see what it looks like…. It certainly kicks off the semester with a bang.”
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6 | WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2012
WIKIPEDIA from page 3
CROWDS from page 3
REPUBLICANS from page 1
a Jan. 14 post on Twitter, saying that it streams movies for free and sells advertisements around them. A day later he wrote in his Twitter account that Google is a “great company doing many exciting things. Only one complaint, and it’s important.” Miranda Higham, a News Corp. spokeswoman, declined to comment. The Obama administration won’t back legislation to combat online piracy if it encourages censorship, undermines cybersecurity or disrupts the structure of the Internet, three White House technology officials said Saturday. The statement marks the administration’s most significant foray into a fight between content creators and Web companies that has been playing out in Congress. The Senate is scheduled to hold a procedural vote Jan. 24 on starting debate on an anti-piracy bill. Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, called the decision to shut the website an “extraordinary” action in response to the proposed laws, which “endanger free speech both in the United States and abroad, and set a frightening precedent of Internet censorship for the world.” Wikipedia, available in 282 languages, contains more than 20 million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of more than 100,000 people. Spokespeople at Wikipedia and Wikimedia weren’t immediately available to comment. Ollie Rickman, a Google spokesman, and Sophy Tobias, a Facebook spokeswoman, didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment.
concealed in bags or purses. “Our concern is that it would give the police carte blanche to search any [bag],” Parker said. “Too much discretion to the police has often resulted in arbitrary use of it.” The city and ACLU are working together to ensure that the new ordinances are in full accordance with the Constitution, both entities stated. A public hearing was held in Charlotte Jan. 9 to give the public the opportunity to speak in favor of or against these measures. Two people were removed from the hearing and one was later arrested, according to WCNC-36—Charlotte’s local news channel. Many of those at the hearing were members of the Occupy Charlotte movement, who would not be allowed to set up camps, sleep, store personal belongings or build any sort of temporary structure. Sunshine Hillygus, associate professor of political science, said the proposed crowd control ordinance will likely have little implication for the national Democratic Party. “This happens at every convention,” Hillygus said. “There is a little more preoccupation with this because it involves the Occupy protesters.” She added that neither major political party wants protesters in the same image as convention participants, a fear that goes back to 1968, when major protests occurred during the DNC in Chicago. Members of Occupy Duke have not been in contact with members of Occupy Charlotte, said senior Shreyan Sen, a member of Occupy Duke, in an email Jan. 12. Sen added that Occupy Duke protesters are “in solidarity” with Occupy Charlotte and noted that there have been informal, internal talks of traveling to Charlotte to protest during the DNC.
tion from Newt Gingrich, the Republican candidate most likely to upset Romney’s winning streak. Rick Santorum, who had a strong finish in Iowa, is less active in South Carolina and does not have the same national presence as Gingrich or Romney. A Monmouth University poll had Romney leading likely voters in South Carolina’s open primary with 33 percent as opposed to Gingrich at 22 percent, Ron Paul at 12 percent and Santorum at 14 percent as of Jan. 17. North Carolina’s primary is currently scheduled for May 8. “The primaries are late for North Carolina and will most likely be pushed back even further,” said Conen Morgan, director of new media and digital strategy for the North Carolina Democratic Party. “By the time it comes, the GOP will have one clear candidate based on the other states. The primary moving back is a gift and a curse because it gives the Republicans more time for the primaries but less time for the general election.” According to a Jan. 11 poll of registered voters by Public Policy Polling, Gingrich leads North Carolina with 25 percent, followed by Rick Santorum with 24 percent and Romney with 22 percent. The North Carolina Republican primaries are semi-closed, which means that only registered party members can vote in their party’s primary, and independents have the ability to choose in which party primary to vote. And once the general election begins, Morgan said the state’s role in the presidential race will be at the forefront. “North Carolina is undoubtedly a swing state,” he said. “It is politically balanced.
The first time we went blue completely, topdown, was 2008 so it is not a common occurrence.” Morgan noted that the Republicancontrolled General Assembly and its highly conservative agenda, with the promotion of legislation such as the contentious Defense of Marriage Act, might work against the Republican presidential candidate in North Carolina. “Unemployment is decreasing, but the economy is still slow,” he addedd. “This will matter with independents, which there are a lot of in this state, because they vote with their sentiments not party loyalty.” Both parties agree that college students will be important this upcoming election. Lockwood said the youth vote was crucial to Obama’s initial success but said his failure to create jobs will cost him significantly among younger voters this time. “It is a large, untapped population that could very will swing the race one way or the other with their exhibited enthusiasm,” Morgan said. Freshman Lia Cromwell is the Durham County chair for the Romney campaign. She said the team believes North Carolina is an important swing state and is currently focusing their effort in the area on the general election in November. Michael Munger, professor of political science and former gubernatorial candidate in North Carolina, said there have been a growing number of registered independents in the state, which will make it a battleground state going forward. “There are millions of independents in the state and these party numbers are subject to a lot of change,” said Munger, who ran as a Libertarian candidate in 2008. “We can expect to see a lot of candidates come the general election and each district will matter. It will be a state-wide effort.”
>>> BLUE ZONE
WEDNESDAY January 18, 2012
Danny Nolan takes a deeper look at the Blue Devils’ performance during early season conference play, especially last week’s games.
Free throw shooting DUKE vs GT Wednesday 7 p.m. ESPN3 may cost Blue Devils Duke opens toughest portion of its schedule •
by Staff Reports THE CHRONICLE
Riding an eight-game win streak, Duke will look to keep its unbeaten ACC record intact when it travels to the Arena at Gwinnett Center to face the Yellow Jackets tonight at 7 p.m. For the No. 5 Blue Devils (14-2, 5-0 in the ACC), their first contest in Atlanta since 2010 could be a trap game given their looming home showdown with No. 8 Maryland this weekend. Duke, however, cannot afford to overlook a quality Georgia Tech squad that returns 12 players from last year’s team, which reached the second round of the NCAA tournament. This season, the Yellow Jackets (13-5, 3-2) have proven they can compete with the upper echelon ACC teams. Earlier this month, Georgia Tech took the Terrapins to the wire in College Park, Md. before falling 77-74, and they are currently riding a twogame conference win streak. Georgia Tech relies heavily on its potent scoring duo of Tyaunna Marshall, a crafty 5-foot-9 sophomore guard, and one of the
ACC’s best interior players in senior center Sasha Goodlett. The two average 16.2 and 14.9 points per game, respectively. Goodlet has been especially difficult to defend lately, averaging 21.3 points and 10.7 rebounds in her last three games. Coming off another 20-point performance in Sunday’s win over Virginia Tech and her fifth ACC rookie of the week award this season, Duke freshman forward Elizabeth Williams will likely face one of her most difficult matchups of the season. Georgia Tech’s frontcourt has the size, skill and depth to potentially neutralize Williams. Yellow Jacket forwards Goodlett, Danielle Hamilton-Carter and LaQuananisha Adams all stand 6-foot-4 or better and can run the floor exceptionally well for their stature. For the Blue Devils to maintain their place atop the ACC standings and pick up their biggest road victory to date, it will be crucial for Williams—who has committed a team-high 39 personal fouls SEE W. BASKETBALL ON PAGE 8
FENCING DAN SCHEIRER II/CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO
Mason Plumlee has made just 42.3 percent of his free throws despite leading the team in attempts. Oh, the foul shot. That elusive, undefended moment of bliss when a player is awarded between one and three attempts to make an open shot from a line drawn 15 feet from the basket. Evidently, though, making a free throw is harder than it looks. Duke has been historically poor from the foul line this season, making only 68.5 percent of its attempts. While this ranks in a tie for 174th nationally and could be conRyan sidered average on a national scale, the Blue Devils have shot above 70 percent from the line 12 of the past 16 seasons and have been above 75 percent in each of the past two. Duke has already seen two of the league’s top-five defensive teams in Georgia Tech and Virginia, and escaped defeat in each case despite very different performances at the line. Against the likes of defensive stalwarts with more polished offensive weapons, such as Florida State and North Carolina, Duke will need to be able to rely on its free throw shooting late in games—as it did against Georgia Tech—to pull out victories over the top contenders in the conference. The 68.5-percent output is Duke’s lowest since 1995, which, interestingly
enough, was the first time that Jeff Capel, Chris Collins and Steve Wojciechowski sat together on the Blue Devils’ bench as players. Before that, the last time Duke was this poor from the line was 1965— well before the Mike Krzyzewski Era. Yet for Duke this season, the shooting woes at the foul line have not been a team-wide phenomenon. Ryan Kelly hit 14-of-14 down the stretch at Georgia Tech, and Seth Curry shoots a gleaming 89.1 percent from the charity stripe. Unfortunately, while Kelly ranks second on the team in free throw attempts with 88, Curry is a distant fourth with only 55. First and third? Mason Plumlee and Austin Rivers, who manage to squeeze in 42.3 and 67.5 percent of their attempts, respectively, on at least 80 shots apiece. Plumlee’s woes have been well noticed by the crowds at Cameron Indoor Stadium, eliciting jubilant cheers of relief when two of his 10 attempts fell Thursday night against the Cavaliers. Alas, the contest at Clemson was only the fourth time this season that Plumlee has been above 50 percent for a single game, and he has hit exactly half on another three occasions. By comparison, the last NBA-caliber big man to play regularly in Cameron, Sheldon Williams, was only below 50 percent from the line in a single game twice as a senior. SEE CLAXTON ON PAGE 8
Blue Devils place at North American Cup Ward will not compete in the 2012 Olympics by Paul Pisani THE CHRONICLE
Despite insisting that she has no intention of fencing in the 2012 London Olympic Games, senior Becca Ward continues to prove that she is one of the best sabre fencers in the nation. Returning to her hometown of Portland, Ore. to compete in the USFA North American Cup last week, the 2008 Olympic Games individual and team sabre bronze medalist had little trouble winning her early bouts and advancing to the finals. At the Oregon Convention Center last Sunday, the former world champion registered a 15-12 victory over two-time Venezuelan Olympian Alejandra Benitez to win gold. “It was good to compete again, especially in my hometown,” Ward said. “ I had a lot of old friends and teammates who came to see me, which was a great experience.” This competition marks Ward’s first appearance at a USA Fencing event since the 2011 USFA North American Cup in Cincinnati, Ohio. The senior lost in the semifinals of that tournament to Ibtihaj Muhammad,
a Duke fencing alum who she had little trouble defeating this time around. Ward adds the title to an already impressive list of accolades. Entering her senior year, the Portland native has won two NCAA national championships over the course of three years. In addition to her performance at the 2008 Olympic Games, she won the gold medal in saber at the 2006 World Championships. Joined by the rest of her team at the fourday North American Cup, Ward was not the only Duke fencer to put on an impressive display. On the women’s side, Sean Cadley took 27th in the Division I women’s sabre pool and freshman Sarah Collins took 12th in the junior women’s sabre pool. Meanwhile, junior Anthony Lin placed 31st in the Division I men’s sabre event and freshman Rod Shayesteh took 29th in the junior men’s foil division. “The first competition coming off winter break is always hard because there’s a lot of discrepancy as to how much different team members get to train,” Ward said. “I think that showed a little bit. Overall, though, it was a good way to kick off our schedule.”
8 | WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2012
CLAXTON from page 7
W. BASKETBALL from page 7
Plumlee is especially frustrating to watch because of the discrepancy between his performance at the line at home and his production from the stripe away from Cameron. In the past five games, the Blue Devils have played in Cameron twice and on the road three times. In the two games on campus, Plumlee has shot a dismal 4-for15 from the line. Away? A perfect 9-for-9. For Rivers, the poor shooting has been less of a glaring deficiency, but his conversion rate at the line has been consistently below the average of Duke’s guards. For the Blue Devils’ top perimeter scoring threat production at the free throw line could— and should—be an integral complement to the rest of Rivers’ game. Although his scoring output has dropped over recent weeks mainly as a result of a plummeting field goal percentage, Rivers could buoy that scoring drought with more free throw conversions. The Dick Vitales and Jimmy Dykes of the world always talk about how scorers need to see the ball go through the hoop to gain confidence and catch a hot streak. What better way to gain that confidence than at the line, undefended, with the clock stopped? Poor foul shooting has yet to truly cost Duke a game this season, but an 8-for-19 performance in a three-point victory over Virginia was awfully close. The Blue Devils are second in the ACC in free throw attempts, which helps to offset the subpar percentage at the line. Perhaps the more worrisome figure for Duke is its opponents’ field goal percentage, which puts the Blue Devils’ defense dead last in the conference. As Duke begins to play against stronger teams that can limit its opportunities on the perimeter while also executing offensively—call it the Temple model—the Blue Devils will find themselves in close games where free throws will make all the difference.
this season—to avoid foul trouble and stay on the court. In the aftermath of the losses of Chloe Wells and Amber Henson, Duke has struggled to spread the scoring load. The de-
pleted bench has combined for just 22 points in the last two games, and sophomore Haley Peters has just 11 points in that span. Tricia Liston has picked up some of the slack to ensure that Duke’s conference record stay unblemished. The 6-foot-1 sophomore is averaging 13.5 points per game in her last two contests, including a
20-point outburst to lift Duke over Florida State last week. Gaining momentum in Atlanta is vital for a Blue Devil squad about to start one of its more difficult stretches of the season. In two of its next three games, Duke will host national championship contenders Maryland and No. 3 Connecticut.
CAROLINE RODRIGUEZ/THE CHRONICLE
Kathleen Scheer and the Blue Devils will look to avoid overlooking Georgia Tech with major matchups with Maryland and Connecticut looming.
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Financial aid and scholarships are available. The application deadline is February 1. See the Global Education Office for Undergraduates website at studybroad. duke.edu for more details.
MEETINGS DUKE IN GHANA 2012 summer info meeting. Join us for an overview of this exciting 6 week program where you will learn about Ghana’s rich culture, history, and artistic expression, while enjoying an extended homestay and amazing field trips! Date of meeting: Weds. Jan. 18 at 6:30pm in Allen 306. Meet the 2012 faculty director, Andrea Woods Valdes.
Financial aid and scholarships are available. The application deadline is February 1.
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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2012 | 9
Diversions Shoe Chris Cassatt and Gary Brookins
Dilbert Scott Adams
Doonesbury Garry Trudeau
The Chronicle Our housing of choice: k5:....................................................................................katie, kevin 301: ........................................................................... sanette, nickyle vdh: ......................................................................................... lauren not an ordinary house:............................................................. drew victorias secret: .................................................................... ctcusack darkroom: .............................. sophia, tyler, yeoyeo, dall, tori, jisoo cyberspace: ................................................................ jaems, melissa awaiting the house model: ................................................... yueran Barb Starbuck brings down the house: .................................... Barb
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Student Advertising Manager: .........................................Amber Su Student Account Executive: ...................................Michael Sullivan Account Representatives: ............................Cort Ahl, Jen Bahadur, Courtney Clower, Peter Chapin, James Sinclair, Daniel Perlin, Emily Shiau, Andy Moore, Allison Rhyne Creative Services Student Manager: .......................... Megan Meza Creative Services: ................Lauren Bledsoe, Danjie Fang, Mao Hu Caitlin Johnson, Erica Kim, Brianna Nofil Business Assistant: ........................................................Joslyn Dunn
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The Independent Daily at Duke University
10 | WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2012
Sound and fury As with so much at Duke, of the students—but the gap a small spark is all it takes to in understanding between ignite cross-campus outrage. each party was large. That this The culprit this time: a Duke study caused such an uproar research team’s unpublished should turn our attention study, which traced, among away the from study itself other things, and toward the editorial the academic question that performance of really matters: black students over their Duke Why does Duke burst into careers. It was only a matter of cross-campus vitriol whenever time before the study—dragged a match is struck? to light after it was cited in an We find two missteps in the amicus brief filed in a Supreme study that could have been Court case centered around af- avoided, but should not be firmative action—had spawned condemned. The first is the a score of upset protestors. researchers’ choice to use No group’s hands are racial categories as an indicaclean in this flare up, but tor of college preparedness. none are especially dirty. The The study cites “affirmative errors committed by each action,” a race-based policy, as party were small—an unnec- responsible for talented but essary label employed on the underprepared students windpart of the researchers, a cur- ing up at elite universities. But sory read through on the part the students actually studied—
A study that analyzes subjects according to race is troubling at the outset. Conceptually, to segregrate populations according to race in order to assess academic performance in itself smacks of racism.
—“DW Duke” commenting on the story “Unpublished study draws ire from minorities.” See more at www.dukechronicle.com.
LETTERS POLICY The Chronicle welcomes submissions in the form of letters to the editor or guest columns. Submissions must include the author’s name, signature, department or class, and for purposes of identification, phone number and local address. Letters should not exceed 325 words; contact the editorial department for information regarding guest columns. The Chronicle will not publish anonymous or form letters or letters that are promotional in nature. The Chronicle reserves the right to edit letters and guest columns for length, clarity and style and the right to withhold letters based on the discretion of the editorial page editor.
Duke students—attend a university that does not count race, or anything else, as an independent reason to admit an applicant. Duke does evaluate applicants contextually, which means that applicants from less privileged backgrounds do not get punished for it. This is not a problem: In fact, studying the performance of underprepared students could be useful. But researchers chose to use race as evidence of underpreparedness—allowing black students to stand in for underprepared ones—and erred in doing so. This is especially odd given the study’s recognition of intra-race variation in student preparedness: Some black students have parents with advanced degrees, for instance,
and some do not. The researchers commit the same sin in using as a standin for less “difficult” courses the humanities and social sciences (minus economics). The criteria the study employs for difficulty, like the average grade given in a course or the SAT scores of the students enrolled in it, fail to capture the full range of what might make a course difficult. Neither of these errors are fatal. The researchers offer a justification for their racebased heuristics and, while their criteria for difficulty is not comprehensive, it is certainly reasonable. Avoiding these labels could have headed off controversy, but they are small errors. So are the errors of student protestors. The letter of
protest offered by the Black Student Alliance raised several interesting questions. Did the administration think to intervene in the study? How are faculty held responsible for the academic progress of their students? But these questions either trample on the idea of academic freedom or fail to relate to the study at hand. In fact, the study could easily be offered as an empirical justification for University policies to address the same “societal, complex and institutionalized factors” that BSA claims the study ignored. Our reactions to the study highlight latent tensions in campus culture. It is toward addressing these tensions— not the study that unleashed them—that we should turn.
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SANETTE TANAKA, Editor NICHOLAS SCHWARTZ, Managing Editor NICOLE KYLE, News Editor CHRIS CUSACK, Sports Editor MELISSA YEO, Photography Editor MEREDITH JEWITT, Editorial Page Editor CORY ADKINS, Editorial Board Chair MELISSA DALIS, Co-Managing Editor for Online JAMES LEE, Co-Managing Editor for Online DEAN CHEN, Director of Online Operations JONATHAN ANGIER, General Manager TOM GIERYN, Sports Managing Editor KATIE NI, Design Editor LAUREN CARROLL, University Editor ANNA KOELSCH, University Editor CAROLINE FAIRCHILD, Local & National Editor YESHWANTH KANDIMALLA, Local & National Editor ASHLEY MOONEY, Health & Science Editor JULIAN SPECTOR, Health & Science Editor TYLER SEUC, News Photography Editor CHRIS DALL, Sports Photography Editor ROSS GREEN, Recess Editor MAGGIE LOVE, Recess Managing Editor CHELSEA PIERONI, Recess Photography Editor SOPHIA PALENBERG, Online Photo Editor DREW STERNESKY, Editorial Page Managing Editor CHRISTINE CHEN, Wire Editor SAMANTHA BROOKS, Multimedia Editor MOLLY HIMMELSTEIN, Special Projects Editor for Video CHRISTINA PEÑA, Towerview Editor RACHNA REDDY, Towerview Editor NATHAN GLENCER, Towerview Photography Editor MADDIE LIEBERBERG, Towerview Creative Director TAYLOR DOHERTY, Special Projects Editor CHRISTINA PEÑA, Special Projects Editor for Online LINDSEY RUPP, Senior Editor TONI WEI, Senior Editor COURTNEY DOUGLAS, Recruitment Chair CHINMAYI SHARMA, Blog Editor MARY WEAVER, Operations Manager CHRISSY BECK, Advertising/Marketing Director BARBARA STARBUCK, Creative Director REBECCA DICKENSON, Chapel Hill Ad Sales Manager The Chronicle is published by the Duke Student Publishing Company, Inc., a non-profit corporation independent of Duke University. The opinions expressed in this newspaper are not necessarily those of Duke University, its students, faculty, staff, administration or trustees. Unsigned editorials represent the majority view of the editorial board. Columns, letters and cartoons represent the views of the authors. To reach the Editorial Office at 301 Flowers Building, call 684-2663 or fax 684-4696. To reach the Business Office at 103 West Union Building, call 684-3811. To reach the Advertising Office at 101 West Union Building call 684-3811 or fax 684-8295. Visit The Chronicle Online at http://www.dukechronicle.com. © 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.
wise man once told me that “you don’t get take a look at the study published in the Journal to Duke by deferring to existing realities or of Higher Education in 1999 which finds success received ideas.” He continued “this place is in systems where “students sense that they are part always envisioning the most valuable or interest- of a special community that demands compliance ing thing that a university could become.” with certain standards in exchange for the many That guy was Dick Brodhead, in his address at privileges associated with honor codes, such as the Class of 2013 convocation. And unproctored exams and self-schedconsidering that my view of his aduled exams.” jeremy ruch dress was entirely blocked by a giant Where those privileges don’t run and tell that concrete pillar, I feel it’s appropriexist—on an institutional level ate to get my money’s worth from rather than a class-by-class basis— his invitation. So I’ve got a challenge for him. the honor code immediately loses much of its While I was abroad, a friend from Davidson effect. This is of course not to say no one would College explained to me how finals week works cheat if we had self-scheduled exams; surely some at his school. There are no scheduled exams; in- people would take advantage of the system. But, stead, finals are put in envelopes by a professor in the words of Davidson Honor Council Chair and then picked up and taken by students at a Daniel Keller “we would be naive to think that time of their choosing during the exam period. cheating cannot occur. The very fact that it can The university, in other words, trusts students with is the definition of the trust.” He added that he not sharing the content of the exam with friends doesn’t see many cases of cheating arising from who haven’t taken it. the exam system. The practicality of this kind of system is hardly President Brodhead, it’s not too late. Profesup for debate. For students with multiple exams, sors Donald McCabe and Linda Klebe Trevino— it allows them to space the exams out evenly so who surveyed more than 14,000 students across they can give each test proper attention. More the country on this subject—found that univerimportantly, it allows students the ability to take sities have and can “develop cultures that instill exams when they are ready, which allows exams academic integrity” within just a few years, proto measure subject competency rather than the vided they display an organizational commitment more nebulous ability to study for five exams at to doing so. once. This is hardly rocket science—my final exam But that cannot happen so long as we forgo scores at Duke are probably as or more correlated practical initiatives like this one, solely out of fear. to the number of other exams I’ve had than my The self-scheduled exam is arguably the peractual understanding of the subject matter. fect way to turn over a new leaf, since it is both For faculty, too, the system would have benefits: scalable and relatively low-risk. Duke should inthey’d get to grade exams in chunks rather than, stall a pilot program in which we maintain procfor the poor souls who have to give exams the day tors in designated exam-taking rooms, so that before grades are due, having to grade 150 tests the only way students would be even be able in 24 hours. to cheat is by revealing answers to friends who Unsurprisingly, I’m not the first person to have haven’t taken the exams yet (something they this idea. In fact, in 2003, Honor Council Chair would have little incentive to do), rather than Robert McDonald told DSG that his Council’s ulti- by using a textbook or searching the internet mate goal would be to establish this kind of system for their own exam. at Duke. Nothing was ever done. Once this system was in place for a few years, When I emailed current Chair Nick Valilis to hopefully fostering a “culture of integrity,” it could ask whether the goal remains in place, he told be made more flexible, with students allowed to pick me that “the cheating scandal of Chem 31 and not just the time but also the place they took their exthe purported cheating that occurred [in] Dan ams. It would be a type of university-wide challenge. Ariely’s Behavioral Econ take home final last year President Brodhead, if you’re still wondering point to a student body not ready for the responsi- about the most valuable thing a university can bility of being under an honor only policy.” become, I think you need look no further than This confuses cause and effect. Are we really a healthy academic community in which we can meant to believe that students at Davidson are trust each other. inherently more honorable and trustworthy than Only when our administration takes the honor their counterparts here at Duke? Common sense code seriously will students begin to do the same. suggests that it is precisely the faith their administration places in them that prevents cheating from Jeremy Ruch is a Trinity junior. His column runs evoccurring. And if you don’t have common sense, ery other Wednesday.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2012 | 11
You’re all psychopaths
ou! Yes, you, with the face. You’re a psychopath. You have no conscience, lack control of your behavior and feel nothing for other people. Your suave demeanor might pull the wool over others’ eyes, but not me. I am woolfree over here. I think I might even be allergic. That stuff’s itchy. How do I know your secret? Well it just so happens I’m a psychology major (a psychologist, if I want to use the self-labeling technique employed by engineers and refer to myself by my future career choice as opposed to my field of study). With a full five, lillie reed count ’em, FIVE psych classes under wumbology my belt, I’d say I’ve gained enough experience to give you a formal assessment. And the results are not looking good. I came to the realization that all of you are psychopaths because of a class I took last semester. This particularly grueling psychology class consisted of two take-home tests and a three-page paper. It was this paper that made me realize that I’m living in a world of sociopathic, serialkilling, Dexter types with no emotions who are all out to get me. I wrote my paper on psychopathy, which, in retrospect, was probably a poor choice given my tendency to diagnose my friends with psychological disorders for fun. As it turns out, psychopathy is incredibly common in the cutthroat, status-oriented business world. It didn’t take a genius to connect the dots (reminder: I am a psych major). Duke is a highly competitive university with the well-known status as one of the top 10 schools in America. Therefore, I’m certain that this place is teeming with sociopaths. Just to make sure, I ran through the 20-item diagnostic checklist and my recent memory for demonstrations of Duke psychopathy. Here are a few examples. # four: Pathological lying. In my first mental search for psychopathy, I was frightened by how much you sociopaths lie to me. “It’s rocks for jocks, you don’t have to do anything.” “I love seven rounds of recruitment in a row!” “Your social status at Duke is like, SO important.” “Can’t donate, no flex!” Even sneaky things like “Great Hall is closed on Sundays” and “The new house model will not incorporate a point system like in Harry Potter” and “Just because you jump on my backpack doesn’t make it a working saddle.” # seven: Poor behavioral controls. Whether it be at the bar in Devine’s, at McDonald’s on a Saturday at 3:30 a.m. or during the long-lost days of Tailgate, you people seem to have absolutely no control over what you’re doing. If you’re on top of a bar in a miniskirt, you should probably not take that time to show everybody how you used to be able to do a split in middle school. A text professing your love is probably the last thing your ex wants, and the concert at personal checks is a poor location for a “pants party.” Although some if not all of these anecdotes are from my own life, still.... Get a hold of yourselves people. What is wrong with you?! Am I missing something?!! #13: Lack of realistic long-term goals. Sorry, pre-meds. If I see you out every single day of the week and you get Cs in every science class, I will give you a high five in the face with an axe if you come at me with a needle. # nine: Parasitic lifestyle. College students are, by their very nature, living a parasitic life. If the answer to any of the following questions—“Who cleans your bathroom? Who pays for your food?” or in the case of 95 percent of Bio 101 students, “Who fills out the answers to your biology homework?”—is anything except for “me,” you should consider dousing yourself in antibiotics and lighting yourself on fire, sociopath. You are a parasite. # 11: Sexual promiscuity. I’m looking at you “I am SOoOooOOoO duh-RuUuUNnNnnNNK” boys and girls. Just because she looks like Ke$ha doesn’t mean you don’t get judged for meeting her in the back with your jack in her jukebox. I’m no psychologist (I kind of am), but I’m going to hazard the guess that you all have met enough diagnostic criteria for the label. You are all cold-hearted, conniving, mass-murdering psychopaths. Now I know that by calling you out I have inadvertently put a giant target on my back—but luckily I’m skinny, so good luck with hitting that. In the chance that you catch me off-guard, just know that I’m writing a column for The Chronicle now with my fellow socialite Lindsay Tomson, so if I go missing people are going to notice my biweekly absence. So I’m here to say that I’m here to stay, kiddos... And please don’t kill me. Lillie Reed is a Trinity sophomore. Her installation of the weekly Socialites column runs on alternate Wednesdays.
ellie bullard as we know it
Online only today: “What’s in your wallet?” Read @ www.dukechronicle.com
Administrators respond to contentious Economics study
ear members of the Duke community, We are writing as the senior academic officials for the University, Arts & Sciences and the Pratt School of Engineering to address issues that were raised in an unpublished paper, authored by several Duke faculty members, which provided an analysis and interpretation of data from the Campus Life and Learning (CLL) project. While this is a new study, and independent from the CLL, it uses data that were gathered from Duke students between 2001 and 2007. We’re also writing as teachers and educators who share a concern about students and majors in our university. We understand how the conclusions of the research paper can be interpreted in ways that reinforce negative stereotypes. At the same time, our goal of academic success for all should not inhibit research and discussion to clarify important issues of academic choice and achievement. As a university committed to the liberal arts, we expect students to explore different areas of knowledge and we provide them with an array of opportunities to do so. Duke admits students with a broad and diverse mix of skills, interests, aspirations and backgrounds—individuals who can contribute to and enhance our learning community, and create the most exciting possible culture in the classroom and beyond. Once at Duke, we encourage students to follow their passions, pursue their interests and select majors they find challenging and fulfilling. Hence, each student at Duke is here because of what we believe he or she can take from, and contribute to, being at Duke and what each person can achieve after leaving Duke. We also want to be clear that there is no “easy” major at Duke. The rigor of our curriculum and the diversity of requirements in each major ensure that every student will face academic challenges whether they concentrate on the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences or engineering. While methods of grading may differ depending on the nature of the material and the norms in the disciplines, all majors at Duke will stretch the minds and test the capabilities of all our students. The CLL project was conceived in 1999 as Duke’s response to the publication of “The Shape of the River,” a landmark study of race in higher education that identified areas of concern for all colleges and universities. The CLL had two very specific goals: First, to enable Duke to better assure that all students succeed to their full potential. And second, to identify, and thereby help Duke and other institutions reduce barriers to achievement that might exist. A number of Duke faculty, administrators and students were involved in the CLL, which was funded by the Mellon Foundation and encompassed the entering classes of 2001 and 2002. Gaining such a detailed portrait of the educational and social experiences of Duke students helped us make critical and necessary changes in a number of areas, from student life and housing to financial aid. Of particular note is the significant enhancement of our grant and loan programs in 2007, which made Duke’s financial aid packages competitive with our peer universities after years of lagging behind and which made it possible for all Duke students could take full advantage of our academic programs like study abroad and DukeEngage. But some of the most important changes
have been in the areas of science education and advising. As a result of what we learned through the CLL, Duke has undertaken a series of initiatives that benefit every student on campus. Some of these initiatives started many years ago, when the first results of the CLL were known, and thus are now a part of the fabric of the University. Others are new, or about to be launched, and continue to be assessed and adjusted as we learn more each year. They include: • Reorganizing academic advising to provide all students with a more intense connection to mentors before and after major declaration, and instituting a detailed system to monitor academic progress and performance so problems could be identified and addressed as soon as they arise. • Revamping the introductory chemistry courses to ensure that students can have a challenging and successful introduction to that subject, and thus continue to a higher level of study, regardless of their high school preparation. • Restructuring the course sequence of chemistry and math so students could make a more seamless progression through the basic requirements of a pre-health program. • Launching Science Advancement through Group Engagement (SAGE), a small-group learning program that utilizes lab-like study groups that are attached to regularly scheduled chemistry classes. • Creating the Cardea Fellows Program for students who are committed to the health care professions. The program emphasizes hightouch advising, team work and mentoring. Already 47 Duke students have participated in the program. • Strengthening the Academic Resource Center with numerous outreach programs to ensure that students utilize these resources in an empowering, safe and stigma-free environment. • Sponsoring in the Pratt School of Engineering what has become the largest minority National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program in the country. • Continuing an ongoing initiative in which science, math and engineering faculty members have joined with academic advisors to examine how Duke students navigate the gateway science and math curricula and how to improve student learning outcomes. We believe that these programs have already had, and will continue to have, a positive effect on the ability of all students to be successful at Duke. Duke is a place of great passion and ambition—for ideas, for causes, for diversity and for a sense of community. We believe that everyone here is invested in the success of our students, and we invite you to bring your concerns and your solutions to us. These issues are important, and we share a collective commitment to finding new paths to action. Sincerely, Peter Lange, Provost Steve Nowicki, Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education Laurie Patton, Dean of Arts and Sciences Tom Katsouleas, Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering Lee Baker, Dean of Academic Affairs, Arts and Sciences and Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Linda Franzoni, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, Pratt School of Engineering
12 | WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2012
Published on Feb 2, 2012