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, MARCH 28, 2012
Duke to launch home subsidies for employees
ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTH YEAR, ISSUE 123
University streamlines admissions
Call to action
by Maggie Spini
Process adapts to rising number of applicants
Duke administrators are trying to make Durham a little more like home for some employees. The University has proposed a partnership with the city of Durham to reduce the cost of housing in Durham’s Southside neighborhood for University and University Health System employees, said Phail Wynn, vice president for Durham and regional affairs. Duke’s new initiative would allow employees to purchase new homes at subsidized costs with no down payment. “Duke is… the largest employer in the community, and establishing an initial critical mass of home-buyers in this challenged neighborhood will contribute to success and hopefully attract additional home buyers,” City Manager Tom Bonfield wrote in an email Tuesday. “By identifying qualified employees and providing assistance for credit counseling and credit repair, Duke would be an invaluable resource.” Some details of the project have yet to be determined, and the University has not formally announced the initiative, Wynn said, though he has discussed it with city leaders. “The project that we’re looking at is where the city has placed a priority in some of its inner-city neighborhoods and also some of the neighborhoods that have been impoverished for a long time,” Durham
by Kristie Kim THE CHRONICLE
TRACY HUANG/THE CHRONICLE
Due to a massive increase in applications to Duke, the admissions office has expedited the decision-making process for candidates whose applications may not meet the University’s standards. In this year’s early and regular admissions cycles, regional admissions officers, who are in charge of subsets of the applicant pool, are now the first University officials to read a given application and have the ability to recommend a prospective student be rejected without further in-depth review. This replaces a system in which no applications were rejected before they were read by two readers and considered by either a senior officer or an admissions committee. Admissions made these changes to relieve stress on a process that was designed to handle 12,000 applications annually, said Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Christoph Guttentag. This year, Duke received 31,565 applications, which itself is a 6 percent increase from last year.
Members of the Duke and Durham community gathered on the steps of the Duke Chapel Tuesday to hold a vigil in memory of Trayvon Martin. SEE SOUNDOFF PAGE 4
SEE ADMISSIONS ON PAGE 6
SEE SUBSIDIES ON PAGE 12
Court decision may impact Duke employee health benefits by Tiffany Lieu THE CHRONICLE
NATE GLENCER/THE CHRONICLE
Duke and the city of Durham are discussing a project that would result in subsidized housing costs for Duke employees in Durham’s Southside neighborhood.
Duke increases Internet bandwidth, connection still slow, Page 3
Duke’s health care policies may see changes after the Supreme Court passes jurisdiction on ObamaCare this week. In hearings taking place between March 26 and 28, the Supreme Court will examine evidence regarding the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law March 2010. The act, which some call ObamaCare, would require all Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a fine beginning in 2014. But the law can be stopped if the court deems it unconstitutional. The court’s ruling, projected to be released in June, is expected to greatly influence both voters in the presidential elections
this coming November, as well as Duke employees’ health care benefits. “If deemed unconstitutional, it will be a real blow to the act because the whole notion of [the act] was to increase insurance coverage,” said Frank Sloan, J. Alexander McMahon professor of health policy and management and professor of economics at Duke. Sloan added that an unconstitutional ruling by the court would be a setback for the country’s goal to provide health insurance to a wider population of Americans. Duke and the community Regarding Duke’s health care policies, the University is functioning under the assumption that ObamaCare will be
“Why do we accept Katniss so fully, and yet reject Bella so vindictively?” —Ellie Bullard in “As we know it.” See column page 10
approved by the justices, said Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president for administration. If the act is deemed unconstitutional, the University will assess and adjust its policies accordingly, he added. Duke currently spends $200 million on health care coverage for University employees and their dependents, Cavanaugh said. If the act is approved by the Supreme Court, state-based health exchanges will be enacted in 2014, which would provide employers the option to offer either private or state insurance for employees. Whether Duke maintains its current private policies or opts into public state insurance hinges on North Carolina’s health policies. SEE HEALTH CARE ON PAGE 5
Duke Lax edges past Brown, Page 7
2 | WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 2012
Two drinks daily may lower risk for heart attack victims
Men who have two drinks a day after surviving a first heart attack have a lower risk of death from heart disease than non-drinkers, Harvard researchers said, adding to evidence that moderate alcohol use may be healthy. Men who survived a heart attack and who drank two alcoholic drinks a day had a 42 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and 14 percent lower risk of death from any cause during the study compared with non-drinkers, according to a study led by Jennifer Pai, an assistant professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. The study followed 1,818 men for as many as 20 years from the time of their first heart attack. The results, published in the European Heart Journal, add to other studies that have observed the positive effects of moderate drinking. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.
The difference between journalism and literature is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read. — Oscar Wilde
Duke MBA 2012 Women’s Leadership Conference Fuqua School of Business, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. All Duke graduate students are invited to join the yearly conference.
The Tribunal Law School 3041, 12:15-1:15 p.m. Judge Patrick Robinson will discuss her experiences as the president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
Racecraft in America
EPA to limit greenhouse gas Syria accepts Annan’s UNemissions from power plants backed cease-fire plan WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Environmental Protection Agency will issue the first limits on greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants as early as Tuesday. The move could end the construction of new conventional coal-fired facilities in the United States.
Friedl 225, 4:15-6 p.m. Karen Fields, a highly respected and influential sociologist, will give a talk on issues related to African American research.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Syria has accepted the six-point peace plan proposed by joint United Nations-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, who has been urging President Bashar Assad to immediately implement provisions including a cease-fire.
Tension & Controversy Women’s Center, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Robyn Wiegman, professor in literature and women’s studies, leads a discussion about womenand power in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” —from calendar.duke.edu
TODAY IN HISTORY 1939: Spanish Civil War ends.
“Austin Rivers, who became the first freshman since Johnny Dawkins to lead the Blue Devils in scoring this season, will hire an agent and enter the NBA Draft, Duke confirmed Monday...Rivers recorded 3.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game to go along with his team-high 15.5 points per contest.” — From The Chronicle’s Sports Blog bluezone.dukechronicle.com
Constitution Day Serbia
Christian Feast Day Guntram
Serfs Emancipation Day Tibet
HARUYOSHI YAMAGUCHI/THE WASHINGTON POST
Kazuhiko Asakawa, president of AIJ Investment Advisors, spoke at parliament in Tokyo Tuesday. Asakawa admitted for the first time that he ordered the falsification of fund performance reports in hopes AIJ could recoup losses that may be more than $1 billion.
Teacher’s Day Czech
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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 2012 | 3
Duke increases bandwidth, Rice to deliver students see slower connection speech at Duke by Madeleine Clark THE CHRONICLE
Nobody likes traffic jams, especially with Internet connections. Duke recently increased the bandwidth of its wireless network from three gigabytes to 20 gigabytes, but the process of upgrading the system resulted in slower Internet connections for individuals across campus. Cara Bonnett, Office of Information Technology managing editor, wrote in an email Monday that OIT is work-
ing to address the problems, but some students are still expressing concerns about slow-loading Web pages and time-consuming downloads. â€œItâ€™s been so slow that my entire connection keeps cutting in and outâ€”so frustrating,â€? said Gavin Forrest, a junior. Some students noted that certain sites, such as Netflix, are unable to stream videos, online assignment submissions lag and the occasional image comes in pixilated.
When the University expanded its bandwidth several months ago with the goal of increasing speed, difficulties in routing Internet traffic congestion on the server led to slowdowns in Internet connection speed, Bonnett said. Rather than converting to the recently upgraded Internet connections, some network traffic is being routed back through a smaller circuit. â€œThe resulting congestion caused SEE INTERNET ON PAGE 12
JISOO YOON/THE CHRONICLE
Students have recently been experiencing slower than usual wireless Internet speeds across campus as a result of the University transitioning to increase its wireless network bandwidth.
Condoleezza Rice, former U.S Secretary of State, will deliver the Ambassador Dave and Kay Phillips Family International Lecture in Page Auditorium April 10. Rice served as the 66th secretary of state from 2005 to 2009 under the Bush administration. She was the second woman and the first black woman to serve as secretary of state. The lecture is sponsored by the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy and co-sponsored by the Sanford School of Public Policy, Triangle Institute for Security Studies, the Duke Office of Global Strategy and Programs and the Alexander Hamilton Society, the University anCondoleezza Rice nounced Tuesday. Peter Feaver, professor of political science and public policy and director of the American Grand Strategy program, said Riceâ€™s many important governmental positions makes her perspective very relevant. Feaver, who served as a special adviser on the National Security Council staff under former President George W. Bush, will host the discussion. â€œCondoleezza Rice has served at the highest levels of government during some of the most important periods in American foreign policy: the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the 9/11 attacks, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,â€? Feaver said in a news release Tuesday. Rice, who has authored and co-authored many books, currently serves as the Denning professor in Global Business and the Economy at Stanford Universityâ€™s Graduate School of Business. She is also a political science professor and the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson senior fellow on public policy at the Hoover Institution, a conservative policy analysis group at Stanford. â€”from Staff Reports
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VigilSoundoff Students, faculty, staff and members of the Durham community gathered on the steps in front of Duke Chapel to hold a vigil in memory of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old black male who was shot and killed Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla. The shooter, George Zimmermann, claimed to have seen Martin engaging in suspicious activity and said he shot Martin in self-defense. The event brought up allegations of racism, sparking outrage, protest and dialogue across the country about the role race plays in the American legal system. The vigil was planned by freshmen Adesuwa Giwa-Osagie and Ba’Carri Johnson and featured Mark Neal, professor of African and African American studies, as the keynote speaker. The Chronicle’s Kelly Scurry spoke with attendees at the vigil to hear their thoughts and remembrances of Martin. “I hope that this makes a strong statement. His mom and family just want justice so that [Martin] may rest in peace.” —freshman Ba’Carri Johnson, who knew Martin in high school “We are grateful that so many people are fighting to ensure that [Martin didn’t] die in vain.” —freshman Adesuwa Giwa-Osagie “I hate that it had to take a death to mobilize us.... This wasn’t an isolated incident, and this is an issue that affects all marginalized peoples. Hate is hate.” —junior Jasmine Johnson “We hope that this vigil shows that people care about this issue and that this still happens around the community and the world.” —sophomore Ashley Long
“Our hearts go out to the family of Travyon Martin and we hope this vigil doesn’t end awareness of this issue and that justice is done.” —sophomore Ciera Price
Cyberattacks ought to require presidential approval By Ellen Nakashima THE WASHINGTON POST
“I hope that this vigil is a testament to all who knew and loved Travyon Martin. It is to all who have felt threatened because of their identity.” —freshman Stephanie Ogwo “It was great to see a group of people from various ethnicities and backgrounds speak [about this issue]. We had another speaker about discrimination against Muslims and Mark Anthony Neal mentioned injustice against the [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] community.” —junior Mea Warren “It is always really good when people get together for a common cause, but this hasn’t been the first event, and it probably won’t be the last. It is up to us to ensure that justice is served for Trayvon Martin.” —junior Erica Pinson “It was great that so many people gathered in memory of [Martin] and I just hope we would have gathered [if it had happened to someone] else.” —freshman Broderick Turner “I hope that this just won’t be another senseless killing of someone. [The vigil] brought to light that injustice still happens and affects everyone.” —freshman Crystal Chukwurah
Looking for a summer job or extra spending money during summer school?
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions at Duke University has positions for work study or non work study students for part-time tour guides from May 7 - August 18, 2012. Also, two full-time internships are available. The Primary responsibility will be providing walking tours of West Campus to prospective students and their families. Part time guides work a flexible schedule which could include as many as 4 tours per week. This is a perfect opportunity to earn some extra income while attending summer school. Being an active participant in the Duke community is a plus, as is enthusiasm. Interested individuals should contact Will Niver, Admissions Officer, at 919 684-0665 or Will.Niver@duke.edu
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Cyberattacks on enemy computer systems should require presidential authority—and not be launched at the discretion of individual military commanders—the nation’s top cyberwarrior told Congress Tuesday. The comment by Gen. Keith Alexander, the head of U.S. Cyber Command, offered a rare glimpse into a largely classified debate over standing rules of engagement for the military in cyberspace. Those rules govern what commanders can and cannot do on their own authority outside of war zones. “It really comes down to, so what are those reactions that make sense that we can do defensively, analogous to the missile shoot-down?” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “But if you are to go after a computer in foreign space or some other thing, that might be a response option that would now take, I think, the president and the [defense] secretary to step in and start making decisions, versus us taking that on,” Alexander said. “And I think that’s probably where we’ll end up, and that makes a lot of sense from my perspective.” Alexander’s remarks came during a hearing that highlighted senators’ concerns about the growing threats to U.S. military, civilian and commercial networks dependent on the Internet. The threats are coming from foreign governments, criminals and hackers and may one day also come from terrorists, officials warn. The rules of engagement were last updated in 2005 and are being revised to reflect advances in technology and capabilities. “We are pushing for what we think we need,” Alexander said, noting that his staff is working with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Joint Staff and the Pentagon’s civilian leadership. The draft rules also will be vetted by other agencies and the National Security Council.
“Issues being ironed out are what specific set of authorities we will receive, conditions in which we can conduct response actions,” he said, adding that the work is likely to be done “in the next few months.” The military is not allowed to take actions outside of its computer networks without special permission. Alexander alluded to a contentious debate that has been going on for years inside the Defense Department and the administration about how and when cyberwarriors might take aim at adversaries beyond their network boundaries. He said the National Security Agency, which Alexander also heads, once detected in foreign computer networks an adversary trying to steal three gigabytes of data from an American defense contractor. The challenge was in alerting the company so that a response could be taken in time to stop the theft, he said. Alexander likened it to seeing a cyberintrusion happen at “network speed” and then “trying to send a regular mail letter to them [saying] that you’re being attacked.... There has got to be a better way to do that.” Cyber Command was created in 2010 at Fort Meade, next to the operations center for the NSA, the nation’s largest spy agency. Alexander also said that companies providing essential services such as electricity and water should meet “some set of standards” for network security as well as share data on network attacks with the government. Pending legislation aims at achieving those goals. Some Obama administration officials in recent months objected when Alexander said publicly that he wanted greater legal authority to protect the nation’s critical private-sector computer networks against cyberattacks. On Tuesday, when committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., asked whether he was seeking additional legal authority, Alexander said, “No, chairman.”
HEALTH CARE from page 1 If the act is found constitutional, adults will be penalized $95 if uninsured, and they will incur an additional fine for uninsured children. It will also expand Medicaid to an additional 16 million Americans. These measures are projected to help an additional 32 million Americans become insured by 2020, though 3 to 4 percent of Americans will remain uninsured, Sloan said. The act will benefit those who do not have insurance by providing subsidies to help pay for health care, Sloan said. But many Americans already insured are unhappy with the act. “The advantage is that we improve the health of the population that doesn’t have insurance,” he said. “The disadvantage is that someone has to pay.” Under the health care reform, individuals are insured under their parents’ plans until age 26. Sloan said if the act is repealed, many college students and other young Americans may not have access to health coverage. Not having access to health insurance may not affect most young Americans because they are healthy, he noted. Repealing health care reform will have a greater impact on those who suffer from chronic diseases but cannot afford health care and do not qualify for Medicaid. “Most Americans will just go along their merry way,” he said. “[But] the people who are disadvantaged will become more disadvantaged.” Duke collaborated with members of Congress and the White House in the developmental and legislative stages of the act, said Paul Vick, associate vice president for government relations at Duke Medicine. He added that members of the University involved in the
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 2012 | 5
discussions agreed with lawmakers to cut $155 billion in hospital-based reimbursements over a 10-year period to fund the reforms. Vick said Duke will continue to participate in the health care policy debate regardless of the court’s ruling come June. Lasting implications In considering the act, the Supreme Court will deliberate several important legal questions regarding the constitutionality of the legislation. The justices will review all of the mandates of the health care reform, but will pay particular attention to the “individual mandate” provision, which requires all Americans to purchase health insurance before 2015 or pay a fine. Deliberations Monday determined whether the individual mandate falls under the Anti-Injunction Act—a statute established in 1867 stating that tax laws must be enacted before federal courts can determine constitutionality. If the act was deemed applicable, then the court would not be able to issue a ruling on the individual mandate until it took effect in 2014. Separability—allowing certain provisions of a law to still take effect even if other components are deemed unconstitutional—was also in question. Neil Siegel, professor of law and political science, emphasized the importance of the questions facing the court, adding that the judges’ decision could set legal precedent for many diverse issues. “These questions are not just for the present, but for the future,” Siegel said. “Justices will try to discipline themselves to focus on very important legal questions with potential implications way beyond health care reform.” The Supreme Court’s ruling will influence voter opinion and turnout in the up-
coming presidential elections, but the exact outcomes remain uncertain, said David Rohde, Ernestine Friedl professor of political science. Some voters feel the need to vote Republican in opposition of the act, Rohde noted. But if the court deems the law unconstitutional, those voters’ sense of urgency will be reduced, decreasing Republican support at the polls come November. But an unconstitutional ruling could also increase motivation to vote Republican in order to prevent an alternative policy from
being enacted. For Democrats who support the health care law, an unconstitutional ruling could motivate voters to reinforce their efforts to win the elections, Rohde said. He added that five of the nine Supreme Court justices were nominated by Republican presidents. “At the very least, Obama and his campaign will say, ‘Look at what the Supreme Court did—it shows why it is so important that the Republicans don’t get to select any more Supreme Court justices,’” Rohde said.
TORI POWERS/THE CHRONICLE
The Duke University Department of Music hosted a performance featuring mezzo-soprano Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek in the Nelson Music Room in East Duke Tuesday.
Look for it on 9th Street and in Chick-Fil-A on campus! Menu Sampling Old School Veggie Burrito Regular Chicken Burrito Cheese Quesadilla Chicken Quesadilla Veggie Nachos Chips & Salsa
Answer: $2.86 $5.65 $1.41 $3.59 $4.12 $2.06
6 | WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 2012
ADMISSIONS from page 1 “Ideally, we want to give all applicants three chances, but given the sheer volume of applications, we have to be practical,” Guttentag said. “It was time we adopted [a system] which made straightforward decisions more efficient and focused our attention on those that were complex and nuanced.” He added that each year there are a portion of applications that clearly indicate that the applicant is unfit for the institution. Under the streamlined process adopted this year, regional admissions officers denied admission to about one-third of the applicants after the first read, Guttentag said.
Regular decision applicants will receive their admissions decision Thursday evening. In December, 648 of a record high 2,641 applicants were accepted under early decision. Many of Duke’s peer institutions have experienced similar growth in the volume of applications. The University of Pennsylvania received 31,127 applications this year—the second consecutive year when the count exceeded 30,000. Cornell University received 37,673 applications this year, up about 3.5 percent from last year. Although no two institutions are the same, Guttentag said, a number of schools similar to Duke have already adopted new models to adapt to the high volume of applications. The changes
12,000 Number of applications the previous admissions process was designed for
31,565 Number of applications for the Class of 2016
Fraction of this year’s applications denied after the first read
Hours per week regional admissions officers spend working during admissions season
AUDREY ADU-APPIAH/THE CHRONICLE
Due to higher volumes of applications each year, the admissions office seeks to relieve stress on this year’s admissions process by allowing applicants to be rejected before being reviewed further.
Duke made to the admissions process should not compromise its ability to select the best applicants. “In a way, the method in which colleges rate students is not as significant or critical as the quality of the decision of the university,” he said. “As long as you have thoughtful, insightful and hardworking admissions officers and a sense of qualities you are looking for, any admissions process will do.” The new model The tweaks will allow admissions officers to focus on applicants hovering on the borderline of acceptance and rejection, Guttentag said. The new process benefits applicants because regional admissions officers— experts on specific areas—consider their applications first, he added. Adjunct admissions staff—trained individuals who are hired as part-time readers— still review applications to give another perspective, but their input comes later in the process. Outside readers often include former admissions officers from Duke and other institutions and longtime community members. Before, the first person to read an application was the outside reader among the two other guaranteed reads—one by the regional officer and one by either a senior associate director or by the committee. “We want to make sure that the first person to look at the application has a strong impact on how applications are viewed,” Guttentag said. “This year, the first overall review is conducted by someone who knows the applicant and his or her context well.” He noted that the role of the first read, which generally lasts about 30 minutes has remained the same. Regional admissions officers, who are often in charge of about 1,800 candidates, spend 60 to 70 hours per week working from the end of December through the first couple of weeks of March. The elimination of a mandatory second read has made the process more efficient. “Instead of using the time to review applications that we know from the start won’t make it, we instead use the professional time of the admissions staff to pinpoint and analyze those of more
competitive students,” said Steve Nowicki, dean and vice provost for undergraduate education. The growth in applications also prompted admissions to hire two more associate officers in time for this cycle, though this expansion does not match the exponential growth of applications of recent years, Guttentag said. There are about 20 associates and senior associate admissions officers. Still, both Guttentag and Nowicki said the lack of admissions staff was not the guiding decision behind the change in the review process. A high standard The applicant pool has become increasingly competitive, as the Duke’s regular decision acceptance rate fell from just under 22 percent in 2005 to 10.8 percent in 2011. In addition to the qualitative review of applications, readers still rates applicants on a five-point scale in six categories: achievement, academic curriculum, essays, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities and personal qualities. Although top scores from the rating system—a feature preserved in the updated admissions process—do not solely determine the fate of the application, Guttentag noted that such measures help officers magnify what would ordinarily be minute differences among applicants. “[The rating system] is only one of my guides that help us make our decision,” Guttentag said. “If an applicant has a high rating in the categories, their chances of being admitted are increased.” Guttentag said the bar for acquiring a top score in each of the categories is continually increasing. Seven or eight years ago, five Advancement Placement exams with a score of five would warrant the top score in Duke’s achievement category. Today, about half of the applicants meet this standard. This raises the need for continued questioning of the role of the rating system in the application process, he added. “To what degree are the criteria serving our purpose?” Guttentag said. “It’s up to much discussion, but it may be time to evaluate the rating system itself.”
ACIR Open Forum: Investment Responsibility and Conϐlict Minerals Wednesday, April 4, 2012 6:00-7:30 PM Von Canon Room A, Bryan Center We invite you to share your views at an Open Forum on Investment Responsibility and ‘Con lict Minerals.’ The President’s Advisory Committee on Investment Responsibility (ACIR) will hold an open forum to hear views of the Duke community (including students, faculty and staff) regarding the university’s investments with companies who may use con lict minerals. ‘Con lict minerals’ refer to metals that are mined in con lict-torn areas such as parts of Central Africa; these minerals may be incorporated into electronics and other products. Please visit the ACIR website for more informaƟon and materials: hƩp://spotlight.duke.edu/acirforum/
Or contact Michele WiƩman at: mwiƩman@duke.edu
>> BLUE ZONE
WEDNESDAY March 28, 2012
Duke was one of eight ACC athletic departments to turn a profit in 2010-11. A look at how Austin Rivers fits with some of the NBA teams that may draft him.
Oriakhi a good fit for Blue Devils
Duke holds on to beat Brown Fourth period woes persist as Bears nearly complete upset by Lopa Rahman THE CHRONICLE
With the 2011-12 basketball season in the rearview mirror for all but four of the nation’s Division I programs, it’s never too soon to start talking about next year! For those of us who like to speculate on how Duke’s roster will look when Countdown to Craziness kicks off in October, the events of the past week have provided significant fuel for the fire. The formal announcement Monday afternoon confirming that Austin Rivers will be second Blue Devil freshman in two years to hire an agent Ryan and enter the NBA Draft means that Duke is already down one major contributor heading into the summer. If Mason Plumlee is indeed “testing the NBA waters” as former Blue Devil Jay Williams first reported Thursday—or more importantly, if Plumlee decides that the NBA has nice “waters” that he finds more pleasing than the “waters” that Duke and the NCAA have to offer—the Blue Devils could have not one but two major holes to fill before the fall. It would seem to be no secret that Duke is working hard to fill a void in the post through recruiting, and the Blue Devils do still seem to have a shot at landing 270-pound center Tony Parker from Lithonia, Ga. But if Duke misses out on Parker, there may not be another low-post high school senior to go after at this stage in the game.
BRITTANY ZULKIEWICZ/THE CHRONICLE
Junior midfielder Jake Tripucka scored a goal and assisted on two others to lead Duke in points Tuesday afternoon.
The Blue Devils have struggled to close out games. And this matchup against Brown was no exception. Although the Bears staged a furious fourth-quarter comeback, Duke held on to win 9-8, improving to a perfect 7-0 at Koskinen Stadium. Brown staged a 3-0 run in the fourth period to bring the game within one, in similar Brown 8 fashion to Georgetown and HarDuke 9 vard, who scored five and four unanswered fourth-quarter goals against the Blue Devils, respectively, in recent games. “We knew the game was going to come down to the fourth quarter,” head coach John Danowski said. “The fourth quarter has not been a strength of ours in the last several games.... We didn’t help ourselves by turning the ball over offensively. So while we got that lead, we certainly almost gave it away.” The No. 8 Blue Devils’ (8-3) nine goals were scored by nine different players, including two freshmen. Jake Tripucka led Duke in points with a goal and two assists, followed by Jordan Wolf, who added a goal and an assist. Brown’s (3-4) John DePeters struck first, but was answered by an unassisted goal less than three minutes later from the Blue Devils’ David Lawson. With 2:22 left in the first period, Duke’s Robert Rotanz followed that up with a goal, set up by Tripucka. The Bears did not let the Blue Devils head into the second period with the lead, however, as Nick Piroli tied the game at two with a goal off a Duke turnover. SEE M. LACROSSE ON PAGE 8
SEE CLAXTON ON PAGE 8
Williams named All-American
NATE GLENCER/THE CHRONICLE
If Mason Plumlee leaves for the NBA Draft, Claxton writes, Duke would be left with a major hole in its frontcourt.
Add All-American to the list of Elizabeth Williams’ accolades. The 6-foot-3 center was selected to the Associated Press All-America third team, becoming the first freshman in Blue Devil history to earn All-America honors. She was the only first year to make any of the three AllAmerica squads. Williams has racked up awards in her first year in Durham, already having won ACC defensive player of the year, ACC freshman of the year and All-ACC first team recognition. Williams led the team in points, rebounds and blocked shots with 14.0, 7.8 and 3.5 per game, respectively. Her 3.5 blocks per game ranked fifth nationally and her 116 total set an ACC single-season record. Highlighted by an 18-point, 16-rebound and 12-block performance against Wake Forest, Williams improved during conference play. In her 16 ACC games, she averaged 15.4 points, 8.4 boards and 4.0 blocks. Point guard Chelsea Gray, who led Duke in assists, steals and minutes played while notching the secondmost points per game at 12.5, did not make any of the All-America teams. Stanford’s Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Baylor’s Brittney Griner were unanimous selections for the first team. They were joined by Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins, Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne and Maryland’s Alyssa Thomas. —from staff reports
CAROLINE RODRIGUEZ/THE CHRONICLE
Center Elizabeth Williams is the first Duke freshman ever to be named an Associated Press All-American.
8 | WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 2012
CLAXTON from page 7
M. LACROSSE from page 7
Luckily, in what may turn out to be the most fortuitous news of the weekend for the Blue Devils, junior forward Alex Oriakhi is leaving Connecticut. Oriakhi announced his departure Thursday morning, citing the Huskies’ pending ban from postseason play due to the program’s poor academic standing. NCAA rules allow players to transfer without sitting out a year—as Seth Curry was forced to do during Duke’s 2010 championship run—if the program is ineligible for the postseason for a period equal to or greater than the player’s remaining eligibility. Oriakhi just completed his third season at Connecticut, and thus, the Huskies’ one-year ban would be equal to his remaining year of eligibility. Landing Oriakhi would be a major coup for the Blue Devil program in a year when shooting guard Rasheed Sulaimon is Duke’s only signed recruit. Sulaimon won the McDonald’s All-American 3-Point Contest Monday evening, and will be another quality guard to bolster the Blue Devils’ rotation in Rivers’ absence next season. But Oriakhi would take this team to another level. With Mason Plumlee, Oriakhi could provide some needed muscle as the second half of a terrifyingly athletic duo in the paint for Duke. His presence would allow Ryan Kelly to spend more time on the perimeter, and the Blue Devils would immediately be the favorite to win the ACC with a starting lineup of Plumlee, Oriakhi and three veteran guards. Without Plumlee, Duke could rely on Oriakhi on the interior night in and night out. He could start at center and allow Ryan Kelly to start at the valuable “stretch-four” position that the Blue Devils missed during the postseason this year. At the same time, he would dramatically relieve the pressure that would be thrust on Marshall Plumlee and Josh Hairston in a “worstcase scenario” for Duke’s big men, should the Blue Devils be forced to use a three-man rotation of Marshall, Hairston, and Kelly inside. Oriakhi brings championship experience from Connecticut’s 2011 title team, a campaign in which he averaged 9.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per game as a sophomore. That season is already better statistically than any of the four seasons Miles Plumlee produced in Durham, and only narrowly trails Mason’s production of 11.1 points and 9.2 rebounds from this year. Granted, Oriakhi would only be in the program for one year. He would fol-
The Blue Devils’ Michael Manley kicked off second-period scoring with a fast break goal less than three minutes in, followed by an unassisted one from Jordan Wolf 46 seconds later. With 8:20 remaining, Brown’s Sam Hurster scored on an extra-man opportunity but both teams went scoreless for the rest of the period with Duke heading into the locker room with a 4-3 advantage. The Blue Devils started the second half strong offensively, with tallies from Tripucka and Josh Offit in the first 2:46. The Bears’ Dan O’Brien responded with a goal less than three minutes later. With 14 seconds left in the third period, Eddie Loftus scored off a pass from Tripucka, but once again Brown did not let Duke have the last goal of the period, notching a goal with just one second remaining on the clock. The final period of the game looked promising for the Blue Devils, who had a 9-5 lead after goals from freshmen Will Haus and Kyle Keenan in the first seven minutes of play. The lead did not last long, though, as the Bears started their rally less than a minute later, as O’Brien, Parker Brown and Piroli found the back of the net to bring the game within one. Although Duke slid by with a win, a three-quarter effort will not be enough in its next game against No. 14 Syracuse. “We have to play smarter, we have to execute, and we just have to play overall better,” Tripucka said. “We’re not going to be able to squeak out of these games every week. Syracuse is an unbelievable opponent, tons of athletes. We have our hands full Sunday.” low Irving and Rivers as players who came into the program for the first time in August and departed less than eight months later. Yes, it is rare for Krzyzewski to bring transfer players into the fold, preferring to groom players into the program and develop them over several years. Yet Oriakhi is a special case. He can help immediately, and he fills a glaring void in Duke’s big man rotation that will grow even larger if Mason Plumlee immerses himself in the NBA waters. With Mason returning, Oriakhi is a great addition. Without Mason, Oriakhi becomes an essential addition. The Blue Devils will find out soon if they’ve hit or missed on Tony Parker. But Duke can’t afford to miss out on Alex Oriakhi.
THANH HA NGUYEN/THE CHRONICLE
Dan Wigrizer had 10 saves, including four in the final period, to help Duke stave off the Bears.
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10 | WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 2012
Course registration needs reform Bookbagging season ACES often forces students evokes a variety of emotions to make uninformed or only from students, ranging from partially informed decisions excitement to anxiety. Preva- about classes. In the absence lent among these is frustra- of in-depth information about tion with the antiquated a course, students rely on trivACES system ial aspects like editorial due to probcourse titles or lems with its meeting times. interface and content. To help students make more These issues are not debili- informed decisions, each tating, but they nonetheless course on ACES should indegrade the course registra- clude a substantial synopsis so tion process for students. Due students know the intellectual to the scope of their implica- questions the course attempts tions, rather than the severity, to tackle. Similarly, tentative the means of course registra- course syllabuses should action still needs reform. An im- company every class. proved user experience would In 2005, Duke Student encourage excitement about Government launched the courses and the registration DSG online syllabus archive, process, thus fostering a more which allowed students to conducive environment for upload and share course academic enthusiasm. syllabuses with each other. At present, the content of However, the site has been
How healthy can “sense of tolerance” be if it allows ethical violations to go unchecked? —“John U” commenting on the story “Study identifies students’ moral compass, integrity.” 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.
neglected, either due to lack of student interest or a failure to update the site. Either way, the primary responsibility should lie with individual professors to upload their syllabuses to ACES. Such an initiative would benefit both parties—students could have more and better information about their course options, and professors would be more likely to initially attract genuinely interested students. Aside from the content, the ACES interface is similarly problematic. Navigating the site is clumsy, as students lack standard conveniences like an intuitive “back” button from the browser. Links within the system are not intuitive, causing confusion in performing simple tasks. Furthermore, cross-listed courses pose addi-
tional challenges to bookbagging because they are labeled independently in each department, leading to confusion about multiple course numbering and wait lists. These interface problems are just several of many. But all dampen a student’s course registration experience, burdening it with technological difficulties rather than illuminating it with academic excitement. Kaveh Danesh, DSG vice president for academic affairs, has proposed an event called Bookbag Sunday to increase the excitement surrounding bookbagging. Bookbag Sunday would be a pre-registration social in the library where deans and professors could chat with students about courses. Such an event would
take place the Sunday preceding bookbagging, It would allow students to better choose their next semester’s courses and get excited about them. ACES certainly has its problems, but they are not so insurmountable to merit a new and likely expensive software suite. But when Duke does inevitably purchase new course registration software in the future, it should invest in new, top-ofthe-line software rather than something already outdated at the time of purchase. Issues surrounding course registration are not detrimental to the process, but they nonetheless stifle academic excitement around course selection. Software should not serve as a barrier to a successful course registration— rather it should facilitate it.
Cage fight: Katniss vs. Bella
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t’s easy to admire strong women and sym- other stalwart breadwinner in dire straits. pathize with weak women—but we rarely In the book realm, you’ve got the heroines demand complex women. Why? of basically all of Robyn McKinley’s works, I’m not sure how “The Hunnot to mention Lirael in Garth ger Games” or “Twilight” series Nix’s “Old Kingdom” series. became such phenomena, but I The devastatingly clever Lyra in still found myself immersed for “His Dark Materials” is an easy hours in their respective first comparison, as is our beloved books. I always get sucked into Hermione. These are just a few these things. Once I start a stowomen characters who have ry, I can’t stop. I can’t help but captured our imaginations. love the feeling of devouring a Besides the fact that Katniss’ ellie bullard book that’s smooth from start character has been done before, as we know it to finish. Indeed, I sympathize it is also problematic to me that with “The Hunger Games” trilshe’s now being juxtaposed with ogy’s vast fan base. It’s fun to read these kinds the infamous Bella of the “Twilight” series. of books. They’re easy and exciting. Sorry, It’s easy to chime in and say that Bella is weak though: they’re not worthy of obsession. compared to Katniss. Essentially, if the two All of this wouldn’t irk me that much if not women were in a cage fight, Bella would defifor the buzz about the main character, Katniss nitely lose, and probably die in the process. (protagonist name fail). Katniss is the family In the words of Rolling Stone: “Katniss makes breadwinner after her dad’s death. This role Twilight’s Bella Swan look like the wimp she requires her to hunt for her family, so she is a is.” I’ll admit, when I read whatever the seskilled archer. She’s cunning in survival situ- quel to “Twilight” is called, I too cringed at ations, but dense socially. She’s modest, and the book’s catatonic phase, in which when cares more than anything for the main peo- Bella loses Edward. For a long time afterple in her life—her mother, sister and friend wards, I probably would have agreed that BelGale. She seems … kind of normal to me. I la deserved to suffer for being so dependent. know plenty of women at Duke who are physi- But recently, I’ve been thinking—no matter cally strong and mentally sharp, yet sometimes how annoying it is, why do we accept Katniss caring and awkward. so fully, and yet reject Bella so vindictively? From the way people talk about her, you’d Debates about “strong female characters” think Katniss was some supernatural babe. (double puke) need to stop. Praising characEntertainment Weekly calls her “remarkable, ters for being militantly physical or condemning kick-a**.” One unfortunate New York Times them for their lack of power tends to mask what piece calls Katniss’ character “A brilliant, pos- their essence is as human beings. Women and sibly historic creation—stripped of sentimen- men have endless personalities and minds that tality and psychosexual ornamentation, armed can be unbearably complex. Physical and mental with Diana’s bow and a ferocious will—Katniss “strength” has little to do with the deeper comis a new female warrior.” Rolling Stone goes plications of being human. Characters in popuon to say that the film is a “victory” because lar fiction and film—especially the ones that kids it presents “a heroine propelled by principle and young adults internalize—should reflect instead of hooking up with the cutest boy.” these inevitable and fascinating diversities. Haha. No. Katniss is not a revolutionWhat should be respected in this teen-ficary or historic character. We’ll confine this tion genre is the ability to evoke a truly realisconversation to popular fiction and film, tic, touchable, vulnerable and relatable charbut even within those spheres Katniss is not acter. This should be the goal. Like adults, terribly different from previously conceived teen girls should be able to read popular ficcharacters. The recent films “Hanna” and tion without having to learn something about “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” spring being “strong” or “weak.” Rather, they should to mind; both feature androgynous female be able to relish the joys of character develcharacters who exhibit tough attitudes and opment. We should be able to devour these physical prowess. (Also: Mulan? Remember books in peace. her?). “Winter’s Bone,” which incidentally stars the same Jennifer Lawrence (the acEllie Bullard is a Trinity junior. Her column tress who portrays Katniss) follows Ree, an- runs every other Wednesday.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 2012 | 11
The insidious grading cycle
In our minds we’re gone to California
hen I first wrote about grading look at GPAs aren’t given the crucial inpolicy last semester, I thought I was formation that a 3.7 in public policy might delving into a basic grading ineq- means something completely different than uity between majors at Duke. a 3.7 in philosophy. Turns out grading poliWhen I was told during cy—by which I mean the flexjob interviews this year that ibility Duke and other unsome firms use a GPA cut-off dergraduate institutions give of 3.5 for interviews, I realvarious departments and proized how big the difference fessors to set their own gradbetween a 3.4 in math and a ing standards—is weakening 3.6 in English can be. academic culture at Duke “The ironic thing is that and penalizing talented proas GPAs have gone up and jeremy ruch fessors and students. become less meaningful … Start with the professor students and professional run and tell that evaluations completed by stuschools have decided to try dents at the end of each semester. Teacher to make distinctions between GPAs at a evaluations are used as a resource in deter- finer and finer level,” Rojstaczer said in an mining whether or not to award tenure— e-mail. that is to say, they are pretty important. Unsurprisingly, this trend skews student They are also correlated to the grading dis- enrollment toward majors and courses that tributions used in a given course. A study are graded more leniently. “Grading pracreleased last year by former Duke professor tices do influence student choice,” RojstacStuart Rojstaczer showed that professors zer, who has completed decades of research who award higher grades on average tend on the subject, told me. Amazingly, a study to receive higher course evaluations from by former Duke statistics professor Valen students. Johnson concludes that “American under“In my experience as a department chair, graduates take 50 percent fewer courses in looking over the teaching evaluations of my the natural sciences and math than they colleagues, there’s a correlation between eval- would if grading practices were more equations and grades,” said Alex Rosenberg, the uitable.” chair of Duke’s philosophy department. The domino effect here should scare anyAwarding higher grades also keeps stu- one who cares about the future of Duke and dents happy and away from office hours, its peer academic institutions. Professors are which increases professors’ down time and rewarded for giving higher grades and departleaves them free to do more valuable things, ments—through increased enrollment—are like research. “There are people who think incentivized not to do anything about it. In that their livelihood, their continued em- the meantime, students are steered towards ployment at Duke, and even their level of classes that give higher grades, rather than non-annoyance by students is assured by the ones that interest them. the current system,” Rosenberg told me in This is not an issue of grade inflation, which a phone call. is a problem (mostly) unto itself. Instead, it’s As departments have begun to recognize an issue of grading disparities. If every Duke the grade inflation that results from these professor used the same grading distribution perverse incentives, some have taken uni- with an average grade of A-, for instance, that lateral action against it. Ken Rogerson, the would clearly result in grade inflation. But it director of undergraduate studies for public wouldn’t skew student enrollment or result in policy, showed me a memo he sends to un- the same confusion for employers. dergraduate professors in his department That this problem has festered for so long every year. The document includes the rec- at institutions of Duke’s caliber is astonishommended mean grades for sub-100 level, ing. While other schools are introducing 100-level and 200-level courses. The memo innovative grading policies, Duke’s administells professors they are free to “bust the tration has, as ever, remained stagnant. This grading curve” when they feel it is necessary, issue cannot wait any longer: It is too crucial but it also warns that consistent lack of adher- to the future of our institution. ence to department grading policy is taken We need to reverse the cycle. into account in faculty career reviews. “One of the reasons we do this is because Jeremy Ruch is a Trinity junior. His column of the problems of grade inflation,” Roger- runs every other Wednesday. son told me. “We want to push students to be really good critical thinkers.” But other departments take a different approach. “There is no grading policy in the philosophy department,” Rosenberg told me. “Every member of the department is completely autonomous in the grades they give.” Of course, the fact that different majors have different grading policies wouldn’t really matter if students were never compared to their peers in different disciplines. But they are. In fact, our University makes this comparison every year when it computes Dean’s List and Latin Honors cut-offs. Even though philosophy and public policy majors are subject to completely different grading standards, their GPAs are mashed up and compared against each other in the University’s recognition of academic excellence. And employers, graduate Mariah Hukins, Trinity ‘13 schools and other folks who
thought at first that it would go away. Once the novelty wore off, people would stop. But I was wrong, just like I was wrong about “Call Me Maybe” (seriously, WHAT is appealing about that song? Nothing. Sorry I hate fun). I thought that the fad would die out. But no. It is here to stay. I am talking, of course, about how everyone here thinks they’re Southern. For a lot of Dukies, Durham is their first encounter with the South, so they basically think that they are rogue, nouveau-Southern warriors living out “Deliverance.” Not true. Duke is a veritable castle in the heart of the most urban, un-Southern part of North Carolina. Sorry, Dukies: Just belillie reed cause it’s normal here to get shuper shwasted and wumbology belt a half-slurred “Wagon Wheel” does not mean you’re living the Southern life. I would know. I am what you might call “Southern as f***.” Or, to use an expression that might actually kill neurons: Southern as biscuits. Blech, I think typing that made me develop diabetes. Recently, some of my friends have asked me to explain what Southern REALLY means. So as your resident GRITS (Google it you ignorant Northeasterner), I’m here to enlighten you. So here’s a snippet from my book, “What Is Southern: Things Dukies Should Know, Volume One.” Tip One: The South is not a fraternity. I figured I’d put this one first because it seems to be Dukies’ biggest misconception about the South. Soon after rush, the Duke uniboy emerges: the stereotypical “Southern” frat-rostitute, going to Carolina Cup and wearing boat shoes like normal shoes and whatnot. Now I’m not saying frats are an exclusively Southern thing, but it is the main thing Duke boys love that they seem to think is Southern. Many Duke frats take pride in their “Southernness,” which they express through blaring Taylor Swift songs and recruiting lots of rich white kids. Which brings me to the second item. Tip Two: Conservatism. We Southern folk cordially invite you to our Tea Party. Admission comes with a free Bible and your choice of torch or pitchfork, and a guarantee that we won’t picket YOUR funeral. Tip Three: The use of “Y’all.” Dear God. Please—don’t. “Y’all” said with a Midwestern accent is like someone with a Jamaican accent talking about shrimp on the barbie and kangaroos (without the supermega-awesomeness of that combo). Tip Four: Bojangles’. Go. Just go. Go and order everything and eat it. You eat it right now. Tip Five: Subtlety. If you want to truly act the Southern part, stop being straightforward. Living in the South is legit learning to speak in code. No one ever says what they mean ever. To be Southern, be indecipherable literally 100 percent of the time. This subtlety extends into how we insult people. Southerners are the LORDS of passive aggressive b****iness. Start making cutting comments that sound like compliments, Regina George style. Example: Your friend ordered a Loop burger AND mozzarella sticks AND the calamari. You say, “You must have one fast metabolism!” Meaning: “You’re a fata**. Look at your life. Look at your choices.” The goal is to perpetuate a culture where no one trusts anyone and you can never tell if your friends love you or keep you around to mock you. You can also utilize the infamous “bless their heart.” You can pretty much call anyone anything with this one. Even to their face! “Bless your heart you goblin-faced, herpes-harvesting penis-burglar.” Totally acceptable. Tip Six: Weird hobbies. These can range from mudding, shooting guns at road signs and chivalry, to mowing lawns, mispronouncing simple words and hearkening back to the goodole-days. Hopefully with these six simple tips I’ve made what “Southern” is a little clearer for you. If not, you’ll have to order the whole book, for a low price of $1,197! I never really transitioned back from Confederate currency, so that seems like a reasonable price to me. Okay, so not to get all deeps**t on you—I don’t think anyone reads my columns for the life lessons that I superimpose on them—but I actually have a point with this one. There is widespread disdain for the South, and stereotypes about Southerners, some of which I just enumerated. Southerners in popular culture are often portrayed as über-conservative religious nuts with thick drawls and IQs below 50. In fact, go ahead and imitate a stupid person for me. They had a Southern accent, right? I love being Southern. Hell, I love the South. Yet I often feel like that’s a minority viewpoint at Duke. Duke students live in the South for at least four years. But how often do we appreciate the fact that it is the home to an incredibly diverse, unique culture? North Carolina has so much to offer—appreciate it! The South will always be an incredibly important part of my life. I invite y’all to make it a part of yours! And if you don’t, you’re a filthy pirate hooker … bless your heart. Lillie Reed is a Trinity sophomore. Her installation of the weekly Socialites column runs on alternate Wednesdays. Follow Lillie on Twitter @LillieReed
12 | WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 2012
INTERNET from page 3 downloads from external websites to be slower than usual,” Bonnett said. The issue reached its peak in early March, Bonnett explained, adding that some of the problems may be due to issues with one of Duke’s Internet service providers. Several students reported the problem to OIT, and Bonnett noted that her office tried to resolve problems as quickly as possible, adding that issues were addressed within 24 hours. Despite these reassurances, the slow Internet continues to cause problems for students. “I’ve noticed it being slow all the time but especially in my [computer science] lab, which is a huge inconvenience because it keeps crashing while I’m trying to snarf code,” sophomore Marshall Vingi said. Vingi added that in computer science classes, students are expected to both download project instructions and submit the final assignment via Internet. Crashing pages creates dif-
gotcha! living green
C O E ID
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ficulties when students try to complete an assignment. “Occasionally my connection to Google Docs has been slow to save,” senior Shreyan Sen said. “While that hasn’t caused any problems for me yet, you can imagine how a shaky connection could be problematic for heavy cloud users.... A lot of [Google Docs are] used for collaborative work.” This expansion of bandwidth comes a year after Duke committed to steadily improve wireless service. Last July, Duke committed to providing high speed Internet service by participating in Gig. U—a collaborative project with dozens of other American universities and communities to promote high speed networks in order to accommodate academic, professional and personal online pursuits. Duke is also making improvements to provide better redundancy for the system, Bonnett noted. Redundancy means that each connection can handle the full usage of Internet traffic in case one of Duke’s two connections goes down. The improvements are also equipped to provide automatic adjustments when interference from other devices occurs. OIT is currently upgrading wireless access points and controllers across campus.
CATCH SOMEONE IN THE ACT OF
DOING SOMETHING GREEN 2 CONTEST PERIODS IN FEBRUARY AND MARCH
SUBSIDIES from page 1 Mayor Bill Bell said. “For the University to… support the housing efforts is very important, even key to revitalization.” The project would collaborate with Durham’s current efforts to redevelop the neighborhood and would initially include 10 University employees and their families, Wynn said. After these participants are identified and have qualified for mortgage loans, Duke officials plan to work with the city and developers to construct homes for the participants. Eligibility criteria for individuals interested in the program include five years of continuous employment at the University and a maximum of $40,000 in income from Duke, Wynn said. All qualifying employees will be eligible to apply for the program, though only 10 will be chosen for the pilot phase, with another 25 or so being placed on a waiting list. “The benefits and incentives of the program include no down payment on the home, [which will be] provided through a $10,000 loan that will be forgiven after five years of continuous occupancy in the home, a below market-rate mortgage loan and the purchase of a new home at two-thirds of the purchase price,” Wynn wrote in an email Monday. Participants will also be required to enroll in the Center for Community Self-Help’s Fast Track program, a community development program that works with aspiring homeowners and provides them assistance in credit repair, credit building and saving, Wynn added. Wynn did not comment on the cost of the program or how the University will finance the program. Bell noted the advantages to Duke’s proposal not only related to housing but also having to do with the city’s ongoing efforts to be environmentally conscious. “[To make] sure we have a [low] carbon footprint that’s sustainable, we’re looking at transportation issues for Duke employees who become homeowners in that area, where they can make the best use of public transportation,” Bell said. “Southside is an accessible area for public transportation to help employees get back and forth between home and job.” The city of Durham has been working with Self-Help on redevelopment projects in the neighborhood for the past four to five years, Bonfield said. Self-Help plans to sell the 100 Southside properties it has acquired to the city or other nonprofit home builders interested in participating in an overall city rehabilitation strategy. “The Southside Neighborhood is one of the… more challenging inner-city neighborhoods with low homeownership, high vacancy rates [and] high code enforcement needs,” Bonfield said. “[The] neighborhood has been in decline since the Durham Freeway was constructed 40 years ago.” The city has not yet constructed any new homes— though it has completed rehabilitation on two homes and plans to renovate two others soon—but hopes to construct at least 35 homes in the first phase of the project, Bonfield added. Each home will cost the city about $165,000, and qualified buyers will be able to purchase them with a reduction of about $35,000 to $55,000, plus any Duke-funded subsidy. Officials hope this initial phase will create momentum for more market-based new construction in the future. Although the proposed initiative would be novel, it would not mark Duke’s first involvement with the Durham’s Southside rehabilitation project, Bonfield said, noting that Duke has provided Self-Help Credit Union with low-to-no interest loans to acquire the properties for a number of years.
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