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The Chronicle T H E I N D E P E N D E N T D A I LY AT D U K E U N I V E R S I T Y

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XXXXXDAY, MONDAY, JANUARY MMMM 27, XX, 2014 2013

ONE ONE HUNDRED HUNDRED AND AND EIGHTH NINTHYEAR, YEAR,ISSUE ISSUEXXX 73

Duke STEAM Faculty debate over new master’s reignites winners announced by Shanen Ganapathee The ChroniCle

history repeated itself at an Academic Council meeting november 2013, when proposals for new master’s degrees reignited a debate from 2010. Master’s degrees have been featured prominently in the recent meetings of the Academic Council, with five new programs approved for next Fall. The proposals for the new degrees were met with debate—a situation not unlike the Spring of 2010, when five new master’s degrees were approved. A number of faculty members expressed concern in 2010, noting that the proliferation of graduate programs could have adverse consequences for the University, and a Master’s Advisory Council was established in order to provide a more thorough review of new degree programs. The recent debate has caused the Academic Council to take a second look at the role of master’s degrees in the University’s academic environment. Provost Peter lange explained that new programs go through a rigorous review process which includes approval by the Master’s Advisory Council, the executive Committee of the Graduate Faculty and the Academic Council. The Master’s Advisory Council was created to provide a more uniform process for

by Emma Loewe The ChroniCle

The first annual Duke STeAM challenge prize was awarded to a group of four undergraduates working to curb dehydration caused by diarrhea in northern india. The STeAM initiative calls upon undergraduate, graduate and professional students to create an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving by combining science, technology, engineering and math with the arts. This year’s winning team designed a program that implements puppetry as an educational tool to depict the benefits of oral rehydration therapy. At a judging Jan. 18 at the nasher Museum of Art, the team was awarded a $10,000 prize. The group’s members—sophomores Saffana humaira, Suhani Jalota, rebecca lai and Kehaan Manjee—chose to tackle this global health issue after researching diarrhea’s detrimental effects on child health in Bihar, india. All of the members, except lai, are international students from South Asia. “People were either not aware of or simply not using oral rehydration therapy to treat diarrhea, even as thousands of children died each day due to the disease,” Jalota said. Their initiative to combat dehydration focused on educating school-aged girls so they can pass the information down through family generations. The group tried to theorize a creative way to communicate their message to the target audience, as girls are more likely to play a larger family role, humaira said. “if we want people to listen to us, we need to adopt their methods of delivering information,” Jalota said. “Adolescent girls are more engaged with cartoons and visual representations.” Jalota spent this year’s winter break working with schools in india to implement a trial run of her group’s educational puppet show. She collected feedback from local officials, teachers and students that her team used to See STEAM, page 5

ILLUSTRATION BY SOPHIA DURAND/THE CHRONICLE

See MASTER’S, page 8

premed students must plan to go abroad by Ryan Zhang The ChroniCle

Despite a long list of required pre-health courses, many students seeking a career in medicine are able to enjoy study abroad experiences. Pre-health students are encouraged to study abroad if they want to, but doing so requires careful planning that starts early, said Dan Scheirer, associate dean and chief prehealth advisor at the office of health Professions Advising. on average, he estimated that more than half of pre-health students study

abroad at some point—in the overall student body, between 43 percent and 46 percent of students will have studied abroad by the end of their time at Duke. “From the perspective of the pre-med portfolio, [study abroad programs] provide a number of competencies that medical schools are looking for,” Scheirer said. “First is diversity—not in the sense of racial or ethnic diversity, but in the sense of visiting another culture, perhaps learning another language, living with a host family. it also provides them with communication skills, and

there’s the academic aspect as well.” one obstacle facing pre-health students is that prerequisite courses taken at foreign institutions are generally not accepted by medical schools, Scheirer said. As a result, many students take summer courses to catch up on requirements they missed during the school year. “not only do we have to worry about our individual major requirements, but we have to fit in all of the pre-health See PREHEALTH, page 5


Q &

A

The Chronicle

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2 | MonDAY, JAnuArY 27, 2014

TIME’s Thirty under Thirty Brittany Wenger talks research, Duke experience Brittany Wenger—a Duke freshman and Angier B. Duke scholar—was recently named one of TIME magazine’s Thirty Under Thirty people who are changing the world with their ideas. Wenger won the Google Science Fair Prize in 2012 for developing a computer program that successfully detected over 99 percent of malignant breast tumors in a test set. The Chronicle’s Jenna Zhang sat down with Wenger to discuss her research, experience at Duke and future plans. The Chronicle: What’s it like being named one of the TiMe Thirty Under Thirty? Brittany Wenger: it was definitely really surprising and exciting. They had a board that voted on who was going to be named the Thirty Under Thirty. it’s great to know that those people really believed in my research, and to have something like TiMe behind me is obviously huge, especially since i’m nineteen on Thirty Under Thirty list. i never thought that would happen. TC: how was it coming to Duke after creating a breast cancer diagnosis program that garnered so many accolades after it was released? BW: it was really nice that i was able to get into a lab when i got here. i’ve been lucky to have a lot of support for the project. i got to meet the President and explain it to him. i got to go to Cern, which was really cool. i got to go underground and see the large hadron Collider and such. So i’ve definitely been really lucky to have people believe in my project, and it made it into hospitals, which is really exciting. TC: Are you continuing your previous work or will you be starting new projects at Duke? BW: Both. i work in the Murphy lab on campus, so i’m doing a lot of wet lab work there, but i’m also hoping to use my program to analyze the dataset that the lab has. right now my program works in diagnosing both breast cancer and leukemia. And of course, i’m looking to use those further and get them into hospitals and help real patients. TC: how has your time at Duke been so

far? BW: it’s been great. i really liked my Genome Focus Program this Fall. i’m actually planning to pursue the Genome certificate now. it’s cool to have eighteen person classes as a freshman. Professor [huntington] Willard, [director of the Duke institute for Genome institute Sciences and Policy], was one of my professors. he’s a pretty big deal, so to have a discussion-based class with him is just really exciting, so definitely enjoying that. i’m on the Quidditch team and recently joined round Table, so it’s been good. Definitely like it a lot—lots of nice people, lots of good friends. TC: how did you decide to come to Duke? BW: it was actually a really difficult decision. essentially, i got accepted to twelve colleges and had one month to visit them and figure it out, so i didn’t visit them all. When i came to Duke though, i felt the most at home though. i stayed with a girl who had very similar interests to me. i saw her research, and i saw how accessible all the professors were. i got to meet with people who were running labs, and i felt like the Duke community and students really got along with one another, and i really liked it. Ultimately, it came down to Yale University, Stanford University, or Duke, and i felt like Duke was the best fit for me. TC: What are the two best things about being at Duke? What are the two worst things? BW: i think the best thing is definitely the community. it’s really a collaborative atmosphere, and i really enjoyed that a lot. And again, i really liked how open the research is to undergraduates and being able to go into a lab and bring ideas and work on questions that i’m interested in solving, and have the support from Duke to get the mentors that will help me do that. i think the hardest part about being at Duke is the time. There’s so much i want to do, and there are so many great opportunities, it’s just a matter of realizing there are only 24 hours in a day to fulfill them all. i’m also a big family person,

so it’s hard being away from home... TC: Who is your favorite professor and what is your favorite class? BW: last semester, i took Genomes, Biology and Medicine with Professor Willard, and it was absolutely incredible. We sat around and read these peer-reviewed articles that were breaking news, and we just got to learn about genomics and have class discussions. We got introduced to so many different aspects of the field that we were really able to figure out what might interest us in this broad and emerging area. i really like the idea of systems biology and understanding different protein interactions, and that was something i got further interested in throughout the course.... it was definitely a very inspiring course, and Professor Willard is very approachable. he would email back and forth with us after every class and have lunches with students. he’s incredible. TC: Do you have any plans for the summer? BW: Yeah, this summer i’m going to russia with the State Department. i’m really excited. i’m going to a technology conference there, and i’m going to schools to talk about my research and such. i’m always coding and improving it, and i recently got through the second round of peer review with one of my articles, so definitely furthering the research. Afterwards i’m going to study abroad in oxford, [england] so it’s definitely going to be a busy summer, but it’ll be a lot of fun. TC: What do you envision yourself doing after Duke? BW: i really want to get an MD-Ph.D, so on one hand i want to be a pediatric oncologist, and on the other hand, i’d also like to continue doing this sort of interdisciplinary research—combining computer science and biology, and to be on a team that works to find cures for cancer and to have those kind of breakthroughs that can help to save lives.

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MonDAY, January 27, 2014 | 3

Local “bread dorks” turn up the heat in baking contest by Paul Cajamarca The Chronicle

Seventeen contestants squared off in the Triangle Amateur Baking Contest Friday evening. As those watching the competition enjoyed artisanal bread and piping-hot chili, the contestants tested their baking skills in two separate competitions at Ninth Street Bakery. Organized by the owner of the bakery, Ari Berenbaum, participants prepared three loaves in each competition—the multiingredient and four ingredient. The entries were evaluated on a 100-point scale based on appearance, crust, crumb and overall quality. Although prizes were doled out for first, second and third place, most participants were there to enjoy each other’s company and test their own skills. Those not involved in the competition enjoyed light jazz and could sample the loaves for $8 a piece. “We’ll hopefully bring people out and celebrate good bread,” Berenbaum said of the bakery’s goal for the night. Christopher Johnston and Matthew Novak emerged as the night’s victors, receiving first place in the multi-ingredient and the four-ingredient categories respectively. Contestants could only bake with water, flour, yeast and salt in the four-ingredient category.

Johnston said he took off a full day of work to prepare the bread for the competition. Others took a relaxed approach. “I started baking a few weeks ago and this was something to do on a Friday,” said Joel Guerrero, who entered a simple sourdough bread. Eric Ward, Trinity ‘82, said he has been baking since graduate school but never entered a formal competition before. “I’ve still got all the jitters,” Ward said before judging began. Charlotte Agger, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Asa Palley, a Ph.D. candidate in the Fuqua School of Business, entered the competition as a pair. Vying for the “four-ingredient” victory, they submitted non-leavened noni loaves, a traditional staple of Afghan cuisine. “We bake all the time and we’re here to see the new loaves,” Agger said. Although everyone could not take home the win, losing did not dampen the spirits of non-placing contestants. “It was pretty cool to be around a bunch of other bread dorks,” said David Sittser, who earned second and third places in the two contests.

Got a sweet pic? Post it on Instagram or tweet it with #chronsnap. Best photos will appear in the paper next week  

Amanda Voisard/The washington post

Rescue personnel respond to the scene of a shooting Saturday at The Mall of Columbia, in Columbia, Md. Two employees of a clothing store were killed; the suspected gunman was also found dead, apparently with a self-inflicted wound.

No German? No Problem.

Go Berlin Info at: studyabroad.duke.edu OR german.duke.edu Application Deadline for Summer Session is Friday, February 7


4 | MonDAY, January 27, 2014

The Chronicle

www.dukechronicle.com

Maryland mall shooter a ‘good kid’ with no criminal record by Ian Shapira

The Washington Post

Darion Aguilar liked cooking shows. He wanted to be a chef. He liked to spend summer afternoons at the Martin Luther King Jr. Swim Center in Silver Spring, Md. Harmless. That’s what his friends say. Unremarkable. He has no criminal record that police or online court records can turn up. He’s had no contact with Maryland’s mental health system that authorities have found, law enforcement officials said. But on Saturday, Aguilar, 19, who graduated from James Hubert Blake High School in Silver Spring in June, shot and killed two people and himself at a skateboarding and surfing clothing store at The Mall in Columbia. Aguilar’s friends are trying to figure out what they missed or whether they should have seen the violence coming. “He was a good person. He always believe[d] in inner peace, that is why it was so shocking to believe that he was the shooter,” said Peter Chu, a Blake classmate who is now a freshman at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. “He was a good kid,” Chu wrote in a series of Facebook messages with The Washington Post. “He never caused any trouble, that’s why this news is so shocking to me. He was just a really funny guy. . . . I really want to talk to him and ask him why, but he’s gone now. I want to ask him what was his motives.” Police also are trying to figure out why Aguilar walked into the Zumiez store, pulled a shotgun and killed two employees: Brianna Benlolo, 21, and Tyler Johnson, 25. He then killed himself in the

store, never going back out into the mall or threatening anyone else, even though he was laden with ammunition. Authorities said they have found no connection between Aguilar and the people he shot. Howard County Police Chief William McMahon said at a news conference Sunday night that authorities had discovered a journal in a search of the College Park, Md., home Aguilar shared with his mother. McMahon said the teenager had written about his “general unhappiness” in life. Aguilar’s parents, who do not appear to live together, declined to comment by hanging up or did not return calls. No one was at his house. Neighbors in Aguilar’s College Park community said they knew little to nothing about him or his living circumstances. On Sunday, after authorities released his name, reporters swarmed to his family’s white two-story home with green shutters, where a Christmas wreath still hangs on the front door and the welcome mat reads “Bless this Home.” Police searched the home Saturday, and one official said they took the journal, computers and ammunition, among other items. McMahon said investigators are still going through the journal and computer files. Aguilar had attended schools in Anne Arundel County before going to Blake. After high school, he was admitted to Montgomery College but did not attend. He worked at the Dunkin’ Donuts near Route 1 and Cherry Hill Road, near his house in College Park. He was supposed to open the store Saturday morning, two law enforcement officials said, but he never showed up. Two hours after

the shooting, about 1:45 or 2 p.m., his mother reported him missing to Prince George’s County police. The mother did not seem to have any inclination of what her son was involved in, the officials said. A Prince George’s County police investigator who had read Aguilar’s journal as part of the missing-persons inquiry — before he knew Aguilar was the mall shooter — said in a report that what he read had made him concerned for Aguilar’s safety. Aguilar’s role in Saturday’s shooting has mystified many from his Blake social circle. On Facebook, Chu posted: “R.i.p. Darion. I couldn’t believe it when I heard the gunman was you at Columbia. Just half a year ago we were still chilling in high school laughing about our future. But it really didn’t have to end like this . . .” Several friends chimed in. “WAIT Darion from Blake?” wrote one friend. “Yeah it’s Darion. No one can believe this,” Chu wrote. But the news did not entirely shock another Blake classmate, Aaron Gayadeen. “He was always a little bit crazy,” Gayadeen said through Facebook messages. “To be honest I am a little in shock that it was him but I’m not too surprised. . . . He would always talk about what it would be like to stab someone but he would always gimme a weird look then laugh and say ‘just kidding.’ “ Gayadeen said Aguilar would make these remarks in jest during spare time in a pre-engineering class, an elective they took to graduate. “He would be like, ‘I wonder what it feels like to stab

someone. A knife piercing thru someone’s skin.’ “ Christopher Berry, the principal of Blake, declined to comment. But on Saturday at Zumiez at the Columbia mall, law enforcement authorities said Aguilar’s weapon of choice was a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun. Chu said Aguilar “mentioned about getting airsoft guns and a crossbow, but he never got them,” Chu said. “He just thinks weapons are interesting because [of how they are] engineered, but he talks about them for self-defense and home defense. . . . He was just into self defense because he cared about his loved ones.” At Blake, Aguilar was not that wellknown. He wasn’t marginalized, though, his friends said, because many people were interested in his conversations. But Aguilar also sat at the same lunch table most days and remained quiet, opening up only “when there [were] less people at the table,” Chu said. His favorite memory, Chu said, dates to the summer of 2012. The two had just finished up a day at the King Swim Center in Silver Spring and were walking back to his house along Route 29. But Chu got the cramps and fell down. “And [Aguilar] had to drag me to the side of the road, we shared a good laugh right there,” Chu recalled. A Colorado woman who identified herself as Aguilar’s grandmother said in a brief interview that the news startled her. “He was my spoiled little grandson. He wasn’t a bad kid. He was never in trouble,” she said. “You’re not supposed to bury your grandchildren.”

Meet the Duke Startups Demo Day Wednesday, February 19th 7 p.m. l Fuqua’a HCA & McClendon Auditoriums

WHAT IS IT? The Duke Start-Up Challenge, founded in 1999, is designed to help Duke’s entrepreneurship community flourish, with a year long entrepreneurship competition followed by an accelerator program.


The Chronicle

www.dukechronicle.com

Prehealth

MonDAY, January 27, 2014 | 5

was very useful,” Krishnan said. “The key thing for me was that I made a rough map required coursework as well,” said John of courses that I needed to take to fit in Park, a pre-med sophomore. “A lot of pre-health requirements and major requirethat required coursework can’t be tak- ments.” en abroad, which really limits kids who didn’t plan on studying abroad from the from page 1 beginning.” The pre-health curricular sequence alone does not usually prevent students from go- perfect the design in time for the final judging. ing abroad, but it may pose difficulties when The group plans to use the prize money paired with other requirements. to implement a six-week pilot program for “If a student on the pre-health track is also the Bihar project, Lai said. They will start double-majoring or combining course-inten- by hiring local schoolteachers to put on the sive certificates or minors with his or her ma- puppet show until the first class of graduatjor, it may be challenging to fit in a semester ing girls can take over the initiative themabroad program,” said Sarah Russell, director selves. “We plan to collaborate with Duke faculty of academic engagement for global and civic and other Duke resources for advice and also opportunities, in an email Tuesday. special to the chronicle Pre-health students must also take into ac- present our project in conferences like Clin- Four undergraduates working to curb dehydration in northern India were awarded the STEAM challenge count the timing of certain required classes ton Global Initiative and other global health prize. case competitions to find more support,” Huwhen considering studying abroad. One such class is Introductory Biochem- maira added. istry I, which is offered exclusively during The team’s win is also being seen as a vickakuro_409C.txt the Fall and the first Summer session and tory for interdisciplinary education at Duke. Created by Peter Ritmeester/Presented by Will Shortz typically sees large enrollments—last semes“The old-fashioned distinction between ANNOUNCEMENTS HELP WANTED 16 13 12 8 20 13 19 12 13 10 ter, the class had 415 students. Introductory science and technology, on the one hand, and 7 23 12 Biochemistry II, which is offered only in the the human, ethical, social, cultural and aesSAT Prep Classes Gymnastics Coaches 26 4 15 Spring but is not required for pre-health stu- thetic dimensions of technology just doesn’t Wanted! Full-time and Part28 6 20 25 16 hold any more, if ever it did,” explained Spaces are still available in the time (Durham, North Carolina) dents, currently has 27 students enrolled. classified advertising 13 34 Scheirer said the demand for the class may Cathy Davidson, John Hope Franklin Hu- SAT prep classes starting on Jan11 11 8 11 increase as a result of an added biochemistry manities Institute professor of interdisciplin- uary 30. For more information: Are you interested in coaching www.dukechronicle.com/ 21 17 23 29 10 section on the 2015 MCAT but the Fall and ary studies and STEAM Challenge co-leader. 919-684-6259 learnmore.duke. gymnastics in a fun and safe en9 14 classifieds vironment? edu/youth/testprep_SAT/ 5 24 13 “In the STEAM Challenge, Duke students led Summer offerings were sufficient for now. 8 13 8 “We definitely recommend study abroad the way to make many new pathways across Bull City Gymnastics is hiring! Email tpatters@duke.edu to our pre-health students,” Scheirer said. “If these divisions in the curriculum.” We have full-time and part-time Manjee also saw the challenge as an opporthat is something they want to do, it is doable. positions available for energetIt is something that they don’t have to give tunity to bridge the gaps between students in TRAVEL/VACATION ic, enthusiastic instructors. BCG 8 4 4 2 7 2 8 offers competitive salary rates the Trinity School of Arts and Sciences and up.” 5 2 8 6 9 3 9 Contacting the advising offices early is the Pratt School of Engineering in order to BAHAMAS SPRING BREAK and flexible schedules. Experi3 1 4 8 1 2 ence is preferred, but not reespecially helpful, said sophomore Priyanka create a unique project that combines prin6 9 2 8 9 7 quired - we will train the right $189 for 5 Days. All prices in- candidates! Send us an email Krishnan, who said she met with both her ciples from multiple academic arenas. 6 4 9 8 7 “We as a team truly believed that any real- clude: Round-trip luxury par- to start your gymnastics career pre-health advisor and the global education 3 5 3 5 2 1 world problem requires a multi-disciplinary ty cruise. Accommodations on with us today! Please include a office about studying abroad. 7 5 8 9 3 7 the islandThe at your choice of New York Times resume Syndication Sales Corporation with your response. “Also, talking to other pre-health students approach for a truly sustainable solution,” thirteen resorts. Appalachia 4 1 8 7 9 5 8 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018 who had worked in akakuro_409C.txt study abroad semester Humaira said. Travel. www.BahamaSun.com 6 2 6 2 5 2 6 from page 1

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In Kakuro you must place the digits 1 to 9 into a grid of squares so that each horizontal or vertical run of white squares adds up to the clue printed either to the left of or above the run. Numbers below a diagonal line give the total of the white squares below; numbers to the right of a diagonal line give the total of the white squares to the right.

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61 Executioner in “The Mikado” 62 What many furry animals do in the spring 64 Butterfly or Bovary: Abbr. 65 Neither’s partner 66 German “a”

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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

The Chronicle

Language matters Posters have flooded campus in recent days that bear important messages for the student body, but the “You Don’t Say” campaign—run by campus group Think Before You Talk and student-led LGBTQ organization Blue Devils United—stands out as a particularly thoughtful attempt to raise awareness about the power of language. Although poster campaigns can be ephemeral, the “You Don’t Say” campaign promises to encourage more, and more productive, discussions about the effect gendered and homophobic language can have on marginalized groups. Words not only reflect our cultural attitudes and beliefs, but also reproduce those attitudes and give them legitimacy. They give voice to cultural standards about gender and sexuality— the norms that dictate what it means to be a man, whether or not being gay is acceptable and how women ought to be treated. And words, by giving these standards voice, give them substance. They make imagined sexual differences seem fixed and weave beliefs that dehumanize certain groups into the fabric of our language, making those beliefs difficult to tease out and eject.

Most of the time, we use derogatory language unintentionally. We overlook or forget how our friends and peers might feel when we use words that trivialize or demonize parts of their identity. But, even if we do not intend for our words to wound, language carries latent and

Editorial slippery meanings that can easily stray from their intended deployment. As the “You Don’t Say” campaign reminds us, it is for this reason that pondering the effects of language is such a valuable exercise. It is rarely wise to ban speech or to make sweeping claims about which words ought to leave the lexicon. The “You Don’t Say” campaign succeeds precisely because it avoids blanket prohibitions of certain words. Although the posters clearly have an agenda, they display one person’s opinion about a particular word and his or her reasons for choosing not to use that word. The posters do not tell people what to believe or do; they only ask readers to consider the opinions of their peers and decide

They lived for a year as pariahs; they and their families where subject to thousands of threats of violence, to include specific threats against family members made by gangs which were quite capable of carrying out those threats; ordinary life was impossible.

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—“Algiers50” commenting on the column “When free speech gets too expensive.”

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for themselves how they want to choose their words. In this way, the campaign avoids the primary pitfall of political correctness—telling people what they can and cannot do—while encouraging students to recognize that causal utterances and thoughtless phrasings can cause others to feel like they are less than human. Poster campaigns spring up every few months and most fade away after just a few weeks. Think Before You Talk and BDU plan to extend their campaign beyond the initial flurry of flyers. They will co-host events during Me Too Monologues week in February and plan to host more events, including panel discussions and speakers, the following week. Expanding the campaign to include in-person events promises to improve the efficacy of the project. The posters will resonate with some people and cause others to roll their eyes. Indeed, this campaign cannot solve the deep cultural problems reflected in disrespectful language—namely, insidious cultural attitudes and practices that quietly assert the inferiority of women and sexual minorities. But, if they are able to encourage some of us to think more carefully about how we use language, they have succeeded.

40 percent of the time, it works none of the time

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6 | MonDAY, January JAnuArY 27, 13, 2014

B

lue Devil Nation, Despite my two week hiatus due to MLK Day (Just saying, I have dreams all the time and that doesn’t stop the business week), I’m back to give you the good stuff. Now, I was originally

back at my five years on campus with pride. But after all the cocaine and frat parties, I can’t remember a second of the glory days. But like Big Mike barreling down campus drive in a C1, The Chanticleer is here to help me. Built in with three

Monday Monday right wing

going to write an amazing article praising the exclusivity of Rush and its ability to apply free market economic rules to the cheapest commodity on campus: freshmen. (I would have called it Rushin’ Roulette, you would have loved it.) But I have decided that my red blood boils for more. I want to discuss a far more important issue to Duke life: The 40 Percent Plan. Although a seemingly unimportant plan, it threatens to destroy some of the basic principles of life at Duke. To allow the Richard Shermans to keep up, I’ll keep this basic like pH 12. Currently, students at Duke pay an activities fee of $116 every year. This non-negotiable fee goes straight to Duke Student Government for processing and is distributed to all the student groups on campus as DSG sees fit. The 40 Percent Plan suggests that we give the students 40 percent of their student activities fee to spend how they please. In other words, each student can distribute their money to important clubs on campus like Bear Arms Alliance, Orientals Against Obama and the White Student Alliance. Now you’re probably thinking, “Right, this limits the power of the student government. You should be a fan of smaller government.” Simmer, my slow-minded plebite. There is more to the Mona Lisa than a smile. Duke has a time honored tradition of wasting money. I mean, look at the Penn Pavilion. The 40 percent-ers are planning on stopping this by creating a system of monetary distribution that gives the power to the students. This will create a streamlined system that will destroy what makes Duke, Duke. I look back to all of the pointless expenditure in our past and wonder what it would be like without them. Imagine a campus without drug abuse or isolation. A vote for the 40 percent plan is a vote against college values. Would you really wish that on Duke? Also, this puts The Chanticleer (Duke’s very prominent yearbook) in more Jeopardy than Cameron Kim. As a proud Duke alum, I look

pictures of me randomly walking on the Main Quad and making a fool of myself at LDOC, The Chanticleer acts as a time capsule of everything that was important at Duke. And thanks to SOFC, I didn’t have to pay a cent for it. And to top it all off, Duke covered the bill of $103,000 which keeps with that Duke tradition of pissing away money. Now, you’re probably wondering who are these brilliant young minds that alter the course of your life at Duke. They are no other than the Student Organization Funding Committee. Made up of 14 of the most probably qualified students on this campus, this shadow group controls more of the wealth than a boatload of Young Trustees. But the best part is that they aren’t even elected! Yes, $667,000 of our money is controlled by those that aren’t corrupted by elections or evaluation. We have a team of people that control one of the largest sums of money that directly affects student life, and all they really have to do is win the approval of whoever is chair of the SOFC that year. With no real pressure on them from constituents, SOFC members can kind of just chill. And as all college students know, when you have no pressure to do piles of paperwork, you never put it off or procrastinate. And to be honest, I’ve started to lose faith in the election process. It all just degrades into a poster-making contest. Nowadays, I can’t tell the difference between someone who is running for DSG and someone who is a Me Too Monologue performer. Also, elected officials are the worst. You know who else was elected to power: Hitler and Obama. (Yeah, I went there. You get your column, then you can write about stuff.) I mean, who needs to deal with all the bureaucracy of elections? The sheer planning alone would be mind-numbing. Where would we get the money? Am I Right, or am I right? Right Wing keeps trying to check his privilege, but he can’t find the app on his iPhone.


The Chronicle

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Hour four

Letter to the Editor Response to “Think twice about 40 percent” In Stefani Jones’s recent column, she explains her opposition to The 40 Percent Plan and suggests that the implementation of The 40 Percent Plan could have significantly adverse effects on small and minority groups such as the Singapore Students’ Association. As the President of the Singapore Students’ Association, I feel that it is hasty and unfair to claim that implementation of The 40 Percent Plan would be a setback for such groups. Indeed, I believe that small groups will remain viable under the proposed system. The assertion that the implementation of The 40 Percent Plan will result in steep budget cuts for small and minority groups is questionable. The members of cultural groups, such as the SSA, are closely involved in events and activities and are therefore likely to allocate a significant portion of their money to the organization under the proposed plan. Under the current system, small groups typically receive smaller budgets than larger groups. Thus, there is no compelling reason to say that the proposed system

will result in steeply reduced funds for small groups. Even where this is the case, the 60 percent of fees that is available to the Student Organization Finance Committee is a significant buffer that can be used to support small groups. The SSA, up to now, has had no practical issues with the current system. The SOFC has allocated reasonable annual and per-event budgets, and the SSA has been able to operate within this framework. There is no guarantee that the implementation of The 40 Percent Plan will benefit the SSA or other small groups directly in terms of funding. The 40 Percent Plan, though, challenges the current system on principle—it espouses greater transparency and student involvement in fund allocation. Given that small groups can be viable under either system, I would like to see the plan go to the ballot for judgment. Manish Nair, Trinity ’17 President, Singapore Students’ Association

Letter to the Editor President Brodhead does not speak for me In the early 2000s, we used to say “Barbara Lee speaks for me,” referencing the fearless California Congresswoman who defied the Bush administration’s rush to war. Today, I say President Brodhead does NOT speak for me when he condemns the American Studies Association for its decision to boycott Israeli academic institutions. Along with many Israeli, Palestinian, U.S. and European academics, I support the boycott as a non-violent tactic in larger

struggles against the on-going and expanding Israeli occupation of Palestine. As we celebrate the life and achievements of Nelson Mandela, we would do well to remember that all the same specious arguments against this boycott were deployed in support of the apartheid regime in South Africa and shown to be wrong with the passage of time.

edit pages Diane M. Nelson Professor, Cultural Anthropology

Young Trustee Endorsement Policy The Chronicle will be running endorsement letters for the 2014 Young Trustee election beginning Monday, Feb. 3 and ending Wednesday, Feb. 5. We will accept letters from any and all student organizations until 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 4, so long as the groups adhere to the following guidelines: Organizations must meet with all three candidates: seniors Neil Kondamuri, Jacob Tobia and Katherine Zhang. Organizations may not endorse if they do not meet with the candidates or must note that candidates declined the opportunity to be endorsed or did not attend an endorsement meeting. In the endorsement process, organizations must give equal speaking and question time to each candidate. No candidate may receive more time than another. Members of organizations who decide they want to participate in endorsements must remain in the room for every candidate’s appearance. Members may not leave and return, or arrive late. If they do so, they may not participate in endorsement voting. The Chronicle trusts that members of organizations with significant personal or professional attachments or associations with candidates will remove themselves from the endorsement process. Members who sit on the Young Trustee Nominating Committee must recuse themselves from the process. If an organization then wishes to endorse candidates in a Chronicle letter, the president of the organization must email chronicleletters@duke.edu. The email must include an attached endorsement letter and the following statement: “I, the president of [organization name], certify that all required endorsement guidelines were followed in the formulation of this letter. I understand that failure to adhere to the guidelines undermines the election process, as well as the integrity of my organization and The Chronicle.” There is no guarantee that any endorsement letters will be published. Letters may not exceed 325 words. Please contact Scott Briggs at sab59@duke.edu with questions.

Online Only Today: “If you were a stock” by Dillon Patel “We were all sitting around the TV—the unofficial “watering hole” in most American households—when one of my aunts decided to bring up the topic of marriage. Apparently, she thought it was as good a time as any to remind my eldest cousin, who was currently is his mid-20s, how he has continued to put off the prospect of finding himself a “nice Indian” wife. Normally, he’d shake off the interrogative stares—a trait incredibly common among middle-aged Indian mothers—but this time, he decided to defend himself, likely because he was in an analytical mindset, in the midst of his year-long exploration of the financial world, locked in a room for days at a time studying Warren’s Buffet’s third grade composition books.”

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MonDAY, January JAnuArY 27, 13, 2014 | 7

L

ast Saturday afternoon, I returned to my room after finishing my third hour of discussion about The 40 Percent Plan. As a member of the DSG Executive Board, people kept asking me about my opinion, and I felt some kind of civic responsibility to engage. I did so reluctantly—there’s only so long you can discuss the intricacies of activities funding before wanting to bang your head against a wall. To avoid this eventuality, I put on the Gilmore Girls DVD I had

Ellie Schaack brave new world stumbled upon while at home for break. The show takes place in an idyllic Connecticut small town. Star’s Hollow feels almost utopic because caring is the default, not the exception. When there’s a winter carnival, everyone runs a booth. When a random old man is dying, everyone lines up for hours to say their goodbyes. In the episode I watched, they call a town meeting at 3:00 a.m., waking everyone up to discuss the fact that the Town Selectman would not be back in time to run a major event. While watching bleary-eyed Star’s Hollow residents make their way in the dark to the local dance studio where the meetings were held, I remembered how much I love it when people care. If I tried hard—if I squinted and cocked my head to the left—I saw that everyone talking about The 40 Percent Plan was sort of wonderful. So, in the spirit of everyone contributing to the debate, I turned off my Gilmore Girls, and I’m extending my three hours of discussion even further. Happy Saturday. Duke has too many student groups to research—there are literally hundreds. I would presume that, under this plan, the 40 percent allocated to groups directly by students will be nearly proportional to size of group membership. Any deviance likely would be in favor of groups who are high profile enough to have fans in addition to members. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Everyone pays an equal portion of the fee. Why shouldn’t larger groups have more funds? But consider: How much a group needs isn’t necessarily proportional to its size. Many popular groups—large cultural or discussion groups, perhaps—have low operating costs, whereas smaller groups might have high operating costs—like a small group that publishes a magazine. Need is not directly correlated to size. OK then, you might think—that’s easy. All groups just publish how much they need, and people will stop giving once they’ve met that number. Then, SOFC can use the remaining 60 percent of the budget to fill in for groups who don’t have enough members to meet their need. Simple fix. But that solution requires a poor understanding of need. A need assessment has two parts—how much is desired and how much is available. I might say I need a plane ticket home for break. But if I don’t have that money, or if buying one means not buying food, I don’t really need it. Somebody needs to do the difficult job of not only understanding exactly how much a single purchase will help a group in its goal, but also contextualizing that purchase to ensure that money is spent as best it possibly could be. Contextualization is truly difficult work. A group might be holding a wonderful event where serving food is crucial to its goal. But is $13 a head for food just too much? Is $12? Is $11? Understanding whether that group really needs to spend that extra $200 requires understanding the numerous possibilities of what the other hundreds of groups on campus could spend this money on. SOFC does its due diligence. It meets for hours every week, asking groups tough questions to truly get at the core of what funding is necessary, questioning every item in the line-item budgets the groups create. And now that the new SOFC bylaws passed last Wednesday, SOFC undergoes an auditing process to ensure that their assessment was a good one. The fact that they do this so regularly allows them to contextualize budget expenditures in a way that regular students cannot. Supporters of the plan claim that SOFC will still be able to do this. And they will. After the early year allocation, SOFC will spend the rest of the time attempting to approximate what their actual assessment would have been in the absence of The 40 Percent Plan. The popular group that got all of the funding that it requested from students? Under the current model, SOFC may have trimmed down their request and allocated $450 to another club. But under The 40 Percent Plan, given that SOFC would no longer be able to audit the amount of money that the student body allocated, it will have to settle for simply giving the popular group no additional money beyond what the student body already allocated them. Then, when a small group asks for more money for an event for which SOFC otherwise would have allocated $500, the pool that SOFC can draw from is smaller, and the small group would not get as much. I’m glad we’ve all been figuratively brought out of bed at 3:00 a.m. to discuss an issue relevant to all of us, as unpleasant as I might find it sometimes. SOFC can improve—and has been in the process of improving for years—which culminated in Wednesday’s passage of the new SOFC bylaw. I’m glad we’re at this town meeting. But it’s not enough to show up— we need to listen carefully and critically as well. Ellie Schaack is a Trinity junior and the DSG vice president of facilities and the environment. Her column runs every other Monday.


8 | MonDAY, January 27, 2014

master’s

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the establishment of new degree programs in Spring 2010 after the Academic Council approved five new master’s programs—a degree in engineering in February and degrees in biostatistics, Christian studies, Christian practice and experimental and documentary arts in May. Faculty raised concern at the time that the programs themselves were created more for financial reasons after the economic downturn of 2008, rather than for academic inquiry. Professor of history John French raised a similar concern during the November 2013 discussion, however Lange said finances were not the main factor behind the proposals. “It would be a little misplaced to attribute all of these to a financial motive on behalf of the units or of the faculty members who are driving them,” Lange said at the November meeting. Although the financial benefits of the new degrees were mentioned at the November 2013 meeting, the debate focused on the infrastructure for approval. “This time the debate focused not so much on the merits

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of any particular program but on a general sense that we were not considering the overall impact of expanding the number of master’s programs so significantly,” said Frederick Mayer, professor of public policy, political science and the environment, who has been on Academic Council for the discussions in both 2010 and 2013. “A number of those voiced concerns were not with a particular program, but the fact that we were moving ahead with the programs without having had a chance of considering the impact there might be of adding so many programs and therefore master’s students in the mix at Duke.” Dean of the Graduate School Paula McClain, co-chair of the Master’s Advisory Council, said that all five of the degrees discussed November 2013 were brought about by faculty interest and belief in the importance of master’s degrees. The five new degrees will be offered in bioethics and science policy, historical and cultural visualization, medical physics, statistical science, and economics and computation—with the first three approved by the Council in November and the last two in December. Lori Bennear, assistant professor of environmental economics and policy, noted that master’s degrees offer an important

The Chronicle middle step between undergraduate and doctoral education. “Master’s programs have an appropriate role in the spectrum of degree offerings at Duke,” Bennear wrote in a December email. “There are legitimate demands in society for people to receive specific types of training that exceed what is expected in undergraduate programs, but does not require the years of independent research and dissertation writing required for a Ph.D.” Some professors feel that the added programs could put a strain on resources allocated to undergraduate and doctoral teaching and advising, however. “Adding master’s programs and students without adding faculty inevitably leads to decreased time for faculty to spend on undergraduate or doctoral teaching and advising, to pursue research grants and to undertake top quality research and scholarship,” Paul Baker, professor of earth and ocean sciences, wrote in a December email. Bennear added that the introduction of new master’s programs should consider resource availability, educational necessity and student employability, as well as academic value. “Many faculty argue that master’s programs are worthy and that graduates are in demand for good jobs,” Baker said. “I don’t disagree. I just don’t believe that this is the core mission of Duke University.” Although MAC still plays an important role in the master’s degree approval process, some faculty believe more oversight is necessary to look at the role of master’s degrees at large rather than the value of individual programs. Because not all master’s degrees are run by the Graduate School—with some being managed by the professional schools— the MAC serves as an important structure to look at all master’s programs, said Craig Henriquez, chair of the department of biomedical engineering and the chair of Academic Council in 2010, when the MAC was formed. “The Academic Council felt that it was necessary to have a committee on campus that looked at the programs globally,” Henriquez said. The MAC reviews proposals for new professional master’s degrees, interdisciplinary and nondepartmental degrees and master’s degrees with global content, McClain said. It also examines economic and infrastructure issues related to both new and existing degrees. Among the factors the MAC reviews are issues related to campus infrastructure—such as career services and student counseling—the availability of local housing for graduate students, and needs related to the fact that a relatively high proportion of master’s students are international, Henriquez noted. “The impact [of adding Master’s programs] on student services, classroom spaces, lab spaces, parking is real, because adding 200-500 students over several years is not trivial,” Henriquez said. “The MAC was formed to get a better handle on all this.” John Klingensmith, associate dean for academic affairs of the Graduate School, noted that the MAC is not a faculty governance committee like Academic Council is. Rather, it provides advice to the provost and to the provost’s Academic Programs Committee. Some feel, however, that discussions meant to occur in MAC are beginning to surface only in Academic Council. “The faculty and administration have now recognized that some work needs to be done to clarify the place of master’s programs in Duke’s overall mission and the impacts of master’s programs on the full range of resources Duke makes available to its students and faculty,” Socolar said. Henriquez noted that some faculty concerns could be fueled by the fact that a number of current Academic Council members were not on the Council when the MAC was introduced and are not aware of it. “Each year there are some new faculty members on Academic Council and thus they ask questions,” Henriquez said. “Most faculty are not fully aware of the details of the committees at the University level. A continuing concern is that some entity is actively assessing the Master’s programs and the growth.” Some faculty members have noted that though the MAC looks at the programs’ merits individually, it does not consider the overall impact of introducing so many programs. “In Academic Council, at least, we haven’t heard anyone make a case as to why Duke needs a lot of new master’s programs,” Mayer said. “My impression is that they have been considering these programs one at a time and evaluating their merits and I think they will have done a good job. We need to do that. But, potentially having many more master’s programs and master’s students could change the character of Duke in some ways and we ought to think about that.” This aspect of master’s programs will be studied at the committee level this Spring. “Discussions have begun in several committees and I don’t want to speculate now about their outcomes,” Socolar said. The discussions will examine the collective impact of the new degree programs. “In response to the concerns I and others raised, there will now be an evaluation of the cumulative impact of the growing number of master’s programs and I am encouraged by that,” Mayer noted. “That’s really what I wanted to have happen before we approved several programs, but it didn’t. I think we will be taking a bit of a pause before we approve any more.”


January 27, 2014