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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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ONE ONEHUNDRED HUNDREDAND ANDEIGHTH ninth YEAR, YEAR, Issue Issue xxx 108
DSG Judiciary Bowling for Soup kicks it back to 1985 reallocates more than $40,000 by Carleigh Stiehm The Chronicle
In a decision made entirely over email, the Duke Student Government Judiciary ruled that more than $40,000 recovered from inactive student groups will not go back to DSG Senate. After DSG and the Student Organization Funding Committee dechartered 83 inactive student groups, more than $40,000 was recovered from their funding accounts—leftover from student activities fees allocated years ago. Members of DSG and SOFC had for months touted this recovery as a sign of SOFC’s improving transparency and efficiency. But when they approached the Judiciary two weeks ago to sign off on the transaction, the Judiciary decided to give the funds instead to University Center Activities and Events for allocation. To some, however, it is still up in the air whether or not the Judiciary— which is not a money-allocating body—has See judiciary, page 12
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Bowling for Soup performed at the Duke University Union’s annual Old Duke concert at the Keohane Ampitheater Friday evening.
Coalition for Preserving Memory unites Duke community by Stephanie Wu The Chronicle
Yesterday, on the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide, the names of genocide victims filled the air in an endless stream. Today, the air still echoes with names as we remember and vow never to forget. For the past two years, the Coalition for Preserving Memory has hosted a 24-hour name-reading ceremony to honor genocide victims on Holocaust Remembrance Day. This year, with an expanded vision, the genocides of not only the Holocaust, but also of Armenia,
Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur will be memorialized through a namereading ceremony, panel discussion, music night and art exhibition. “The goal of CPM is to honor by remembering—to commemorate the victims of genocide of the 20th and 21st centuries and to bring the discussion of genocide on campus,” said sophomore Josephine Ramseyer, CPM’s art exhibition coordinator. While the term “genocide” was coined by Duke professor Raphael Lemkin in 1944, CPM formed in response to the lacking campus discussion today.
CPM’s motto encourages us to “remember humanity at its worst to inspire humanity at its best.” In using the arts to remember genocide, the organization gives a voice to an unspeakable past. Through art and music, genocide becomes personal— regardless of who the person is, or what she has experienced. “I’ve never been afflicted by genocide personally in my lifetime, but I can see it and live it through artwork…and people can all share that experience,” Ramseyer said. Naturally open for personal
interpretation, music and art allow people from all walks of life to join together in solidarity. CPM’s art exhibition, “Together We Remember,” will showcase multimedia works created by various Duke students and organizations including Blue Devils United, the Duke Human Rights Center and PACE (Performance Art & Creative Engagement). In joining together these diverse groups of people, the exhibit knits together a multi-dimensional conversation about genocide. See remembrance, page 4
2 | monDAY, april 7, 2014
What’s happening at Duke
shanen ganapathee/ The chronicle
Duke Chinese Dance held its “Rainbird” showcase of dances that display the diversity of Chinese culture in Page Auditorium Friday evening. samantha schafrank/The Chronicle
Students participated in the festivities at the Duke International Association’s annual Springternational event on the West Campus Quad Friday.
emma loewe/ The chronicle
Church World Service organized its 40th annual CROP Hunger Walk, which started at Duke Chapel and proceeded through East Campus Sunday.
Meet AwArd-winning nAture PhotogrAPher FeAtured in docuMentAry Chasing iCe
James Balog 2014 Duke LeAF™ AwArD recipient griFFith theAter bryAn center, Duke cAmpus A reception and open house will follow the event in the new Duke environment hall (circuit Drive)
photo by Jeff Orlowski/Extreme Ice Survey
2 PM sat., aPril 12
Photo by Mary Cybulski
Free and oPen to the PubliC, but tiCkets to the leaF CereMony are required.
tickets.duke.edu • 919.684.4444
phillip catterall/The Chronicle
Momentum Dance Company presented “Encore,” its 4th annual dance showcase, at Page Auditorium Saturday evening.
Rubenstein urges students to engage in philanthropy
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Duke hosts first ever Bitcoin conference by Kirby Wilson The chronicle
emma loewe/The Chronicle
Chair of the Board of Trustees David Rubenstein announced a $1.9 million donation and challenged students to use their education for philanthropic efforts.
by Abhi Shah The chronicle
Chair of the Board of Trustees David Rubenstein, Trinity ‘70, spoke to students, faculty and administrators in the Freeman Center this past Friday, the day after he announced a $1.9 million donation to Jewish life on campus. Rubenstein spoke about the trajectory of his life, including what he hopes to do next. A prominent donor to the University, he noted his hope to continue his philanthropic efforts. “I made more money than I could spend,” Rubenstein said. “I do not really need all of it in the afterlife.”
Rubenstein began with a short summary of his life, describing his early life and his undergraduate education at Duke followed by law school at the University of Chicago. He briefly talked about working as a policy adviser for President Jimmy Carter and how that led to the birth of the Carlyle Group, Rubenstein’s private equity and asset management firm. The company started with $5 million and now manages $170 billion of assets. He plans to spend the coming years doing what he loves and what makes See rubenstein, page 4
When senior Jeremy Welch booked a large lecture hall in the French Family Science Center for the Duke Bitcoin Conference, he thought he might have overestimated the University’s interest in the event. But the full room that awaited him Saturday afternoon—with about 100 attendees—showed that Duke has a healthy curiosity about the electronic currency. “It was awesome,” Welch said. “I was not expecting this many people.” Bitcoin is a payment system built on open source software that allows for peerto-peer transfer of the digital currency. The two hour conference featured an hour-long information session intended to educate the community about Bitcoin and an hour of expert panel discussion. Speakers included students from Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Duke professor, a Bitcoin entrepreneur and a journalist. The panelists had varying levels of optimism about Bitcoin’s potential. Eric Martindale, lead evangelist at BitPay—a company that helps businesses handle Bitcoin transactions—said Bitcoin has the potential to completely change the financial system. “We are about to see the biggest value transfer that has ever happened in human history,” Martindale said. Martindale said Bitcoin was the beginning of a movement away from what he sees as overly-powerful financial entities, such as banks or the Federal Reserve. “The problem that we are solving is liberty,” Martindale said.
Jon Hilsenrath, a panel member and financial writer for the Wall Street Journal, said he doubted Bitcoin had the potential to change things in the way Martindale envisioned. “What problem is this phenomenon solving? Does it allow us to transact at a lower cost? Maybe,” said Hilsenrath, Trinity ‘89 and a member of the Duke Student Publishing Company board, which oversees The Chronicle. “Is there more trust inherent in [Bitcoin’s] financial system? I have my doubts.” Campbell Harvey, the J. Paul Sticht Professor of International Business at the Fuqua School of Business, said Bitcoin is too young for anyone to know what its potential is exactly. “The actual implementation of the idea today might be fleeting,” Harvey said. “[But] I don’t think this is ever going to go away.” The conference opened with a talk from UNC junior Matt Corallo, a major contributor to the original Bitcoin code. He explained the process of Bitcoin “mining,” in which programmers put Bitcoin transaction histories into “blocks.” The blocks of Bitcoin transactions provide structure to the decentralized network by creating a record of all Bitcoin actions. If a user tries to spend the same amount of Bitcoin twice, the documented record imposed by the blocks invalidates the later transaction. “The Bitcoin network allows you to do business with anyone at any time, without asking anyone’s permission,” Martindale said. See bitcoin, page 12
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4 | monDAY, April 7, 2014
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Rabbi Jeremy Yoskowitz, Imam Abdullah Antepli and the Reverend Dr. Luke Powery, Dean of the Duke Chapel, read the names of genocide victims Sunday.
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Class of 2018 Find your focus â€Ś
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in the past, artâ€™s innate beauty has allowed the atrocity of genocide to be remembered and understood. Similarly, history has acted witness to musicâ€™s role as a beacon of hope in times of darkness. â€œArt and music are two of humanityâ€™s finest creations, and weâ€™re using them to commemorate genocide, which is arguably humanity at its worst,â€? said sophomore and CPM member Tom Vosburgh. CPMâ€™s music night seeks to immortalize the various cultures from around the world which have been afflicted by genocide. Taking place tomorrow at Baldwin Auditorium, the event will be highlighted by a performance by tenor noah Stewart, the first black artist to reach no. 1 on the UK classical album charts. United in Praise Gospel Choir and individual Duke students will also perform. â€œThe goal of music night is to show that cultures can persevere even after genocide. Thereâ€™s going to be African drumming, classical musicâ€Śevery piece has been specifically chosen to be relevant to this theme,â€? said junior Sarah Garland, coordinator of music night. Bringing together these different cultures shows that genocide is not confined to a specific culture or people, and instead defines the history of humanity as a whole. â€œThe truth is that the world is so very small, and anything that happens anywhere impacts all of usâ€” affects all of us,â€? ramseyer said. Through holding this series of events, CPM hopes to give everyone a chance to personalize the concept of genocide while also uniting everyone in remembrance of genocideâ€™s universality. â€œTogether, we remember. Together, as a Duke community, we remember. As all these coalitions of people, as all these individuals, we remember,â€? said CPM President eliza Meredith. CPM will be holding its name-reading ceremony until 7 p.m. tonight. Music night is free and will be on Tues., April 7 at 7 p.m. The art exhibition, â€œTogether We remember,â€? will open in the Brown Gallery on April 14 at 7 p.m. For more information, visit the Coalition for Preserving Memoryâ€™s website.
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him happyâ€”running his company and using his money towards philanthropy to give back to those who helped him. This means giving not only to Duke, but to â€œpatriotic philanthropyâ€? as well, he said. â€œMy purchases of historical documents like the emancipation Proclamation, the Declaration of independence, and the Magna Carta are down payments on my obligation to this country,â€? rubenstein noted. he has donated these documents to the government for public display, with the copy of the emancipation Proclamation residing in the oval office and the Declaration of independence at the national Archives Building. rubenstein ended by challenging students in the audience to focus on how they can make the world they live in a better place and to think about what they can do with their education to achieve that. â€œYou do not need to be extremely wealthy to do philanthropy,â€? rubenstein said. â€œit is a Greek word that means time and energy.â€? Students said they were inspired by rubensteinâ€™s talk. â€œrubensteinâ€™s speech today shows his commitment to Jewish life, Duke, and it is great that we have a Jewish chair of the Board of Trustees,â€? junior Jill rubin said. â€œit shows the impact that Mr. rubenstein has had on campus, as well as the impact the Jewish community has had. he sets a really good example of success for us.â€? Administrators were also humbled by the talk. â€œi am glad to have had the opportunity to learn about his trajectory, and i appreciated his humility and the simplicity of his message in what we each can do to lead a fortunate life,â€? said Chandra Guinn, Director of the Mary lou Williams Center for Black Culture.
Check out our online coverage of the new Dean of Social Sciences.
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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Dartmouth sit-in, effective advocacy? Last Tuesday, a group of Dartmouth College students staged an overnight sit-in in the office of college president Phil Hanlon. The activists demanded a point-by-point response to their Freedom Budget, which entailed over 70 action points ranging from diversity concerns to problems with sexual assault within the greek community. The Wall Street Journal issued a harsh rebuke to the Dartmouth protesters. “Mr. Hanlon might have told the kids occupying his office that most of mankind would love to be as oppressed as they are,” the WSJ advised in a Friday op-ed. We challenge the WSJ’s assertion that privileged people should not seek to improve their own communities. It is absolutely true that students at top-tier universities—like Dartmouth, Duke and many others—are immensely privileged. We have impressive resources denied to many others who have neither the means nor opportunity to receive an elite education. Nevertheless, that does not imply that elite universities are not the sites of injustice—however your political orientation inclines you to interpret that word. It was only 50 years ago that Duke admitted its first black students, and today 31 percent of Duke undergraduate women report unwanted sexual
contact from another Duke students. Given that their privileged situation does not foreclose their right to advocate for change, we turn to the concrete demands of the Dartmouth protesters. Their Freedom Budget includes calls to hire more minority faculty, implement more
Editorial gender-neutral housing, implement higher penalties for sexual assault perpetrators and ban the phrase “illegal immigrant,” among other policy decisions. We find that their demands fall into four broad categories: regulation of offensive speech, mandated numerical diversity, equitable access to resources and curriculum changes. Although we support the protesters’ general goal of making Dartmouth a more inclusive place, we disagree with a few of their specific recommendations. We find that banning the phrase “illegal immigrant”—however insensitive— and expunging objectionable words from the library catalog are antithetical to the free and open intellectual discourse of the university. But we agree with other demands, such as making their
It’s wonderful that Duke has such a generous alumnus as David Rubenstein, but I’m not comfortable with his decision to single out a religious group as his primary beneficiary. —“Duke of Nuts” commenting on the editorial “Rubenstein Donates $1.9 million to Jewish Life”
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campus more handicap-accessible. Throwing all these 70 demands together promotes quantity over quality. Although the interests of women, racial minorities, the LGBT community, handicapped, poor and undocumented students may often overlap, merging them messily under one umbrella proposal is intellectually premature. That being said, we understand the political strategy behind this decision. Building coalitions among different interest groups is a common activist tactic. Working alone, an interest group may be too small to gain traction. If the protestors were truthful in claiming they had exhausted all other avenues, then a communal sit-in to broadcast their combined—but somewhat inconsistent—demands might have been their only robust option. Will these methods of civil disobedience work to open dialogue or close it? Is this the only recourse for students seeking to correct some perceived injustice? How can we maintain an intellectually ventilated university environment while broadcasting some severe opinions? The Dartmouth protesters have every prerogative to imagine a better university. Whether their political tactics actually produce a better university is to be determined.
Want of wonder
We are perishing for want of wonder, not want of wonders.” – G.K. Chesterton\ Look up. With your naked eye, you can see 2.5 million years into the past. The Andromeda Galaxy is 2.5 million light years away from us, so when we look at it in the night sky, we see it as it was millions of years ago. We see light from stars that died long ago. If someone on Andromeda could zoom in and see Earth, they’d see an Earth without humans—2.5
was the man who brought winter. When I look up, I feel the clichéd insignificance, but I feel significance too, for I am a creature who can look at those white dots and understand at least a little bit of what I am seeing; I can hold with me the pictures my ancestors saw in the stars but carry with me also the knowledge that the light that I am seeing is often thousands–sometimes millions–of years old and comes from giant spheres of plasma, that it is travelling to me as a particle/wave that I
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Ellie Schaack brave new world
million years ago, the genus Homo was first emerging. Homo Sapiens wouldn’t be around for another 2 million years. If we use the Hubble Telescope, our ability to see cosmic ghosts is far greater. In images like the Ultra Deep Field and its successor the Extreme Deep Field, we can see light that is over 13 billion years old, observing galaxies that are theorized to have been created only 450 million years after the Big Bang. Sometimes, I just stare at those images and let myself feel the wonder for a while, savoring it like people savor fine wine. But your eyes have probably never seen 2.5 million years into the past. In fact, you’ve probably never really seen the stars as they appear from Earth. There’s too much light pollution, so much so that sometimes it seems like you could easily count the stars we can see. Find some dark sky and look up. Especially in summer, you’ll see an enormous band of light stretching across the sky, so bright you’ll be surprised that it is so often hidden. That’s our galaxy, a collection of stars brought close together by the gravity of a supermassive black hole at the galaxy’s center. We can only see 0.000003% of it, but still—that band of light stretching across the sky is an illustration of the laws of physics in epic proportions. If you can, spot Orion—look for his belt, easily identifiable, three stars lined up in an even row. He has been a character in human stories for as long as we’ve been recording our observations. The Egyptians thought he was a betrayed man who had been immortalized by his wife in the night sky. The Europeans told a story of him being a great hunter and warrior. A Native American tribe thought he
don’t really understand at speeds I can’t imagine but that I am seeing it and processing it as a little white dot, twinkling ever so slightly… As Carl Sagan observed, “The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” And, due to incredible circumstantial fortune, this collection of matter has been granted the gift of observation. As Sagan said, “we are a way for the universe to know itself.” This quote has always brought to my mind a memory of chimpanzee researcher Adrian Kortlandt. “Once,” he said, “I saw a chimpanzee gaze at a particularly beautiful sunset for a full 15 minutes, watching the changing colors, [and then] retire to the forest without picking a pawpaw for supper.” So much of what we do is base, animalistic. We act to sustain ourselves—seeking nutrition and comfort and safety and progeny. But there is something holy to me in seeing the chimpanzee take a break from that to observe the majesty around him. As humans, our powers of observation are incredibly vast and expanding all the time. We spend so much time looking at ourselves and the environments that we shape in order to sustain ourselves. We look straight ahead and side to side. We look down to make sure we don’t trip. But the true meaning in my life has often come from the times in which I’ve looked up. Ellie Schaack is a Trinity junior. Her column runs every other Monday.
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in defense of middle children
have always been keenly aware of middle child status. The running joke was that I didn’t look like anyone else in the family, so I must have been adopted or dropped off at our front step. For the record, this was probably just as likely as my other theory— that I was conceived by the Holy Spirit. I mean, that’s what Indian parents have been doing for centuries and, with a population of over 1 billion, it seems to be an efficient strategy. I remember driving home from school a few years back with my mom, older brother and younger sister,
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growing up stuck in the middle. First of all, middle children are great negotiators. Firstborns and lastborns are automatically entitled to various things. For instance, my older brother has eternal shotgun privileges while my little sister always gets the last piece of cake or first “dibs” on everything. Middle children are forced to navigate through others’ needs before finding a way to get what they want. Interestingly enough, according to the U.K.’s Daily Mail, 52 percent of US presidents are middle children.
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it’s casual... when we passed our mailman. My mom waved at him, and soon after my little sister asked, “Mom, how do you know the mailman?” She quickly replied, “Well, where did you think Dillon came from?” My brother then nicknamed me “FedEx,” after middle child Mark Baker from the movie “Cheaper by the Dozen.” Luckily, that nickname never really caught on. It did, however, get me thinking about just how much birth order can affect us. I was recently in a trendy New York City bookstore and skimmed through a book on the science of birth order. I was excited to learn about the traits that bind us eternally neglected middle children. The book, entitled “The Sibling Effect” by Jeffery Klugner, started off with the oldest in the family. According to the book, twenty-one of the first twentythree U.S. NASA astronauts were either firstborns or only children. It also said how oldest children tend to be more responsible, hold tighter to family traditions and achieve greater academic success. Conversely, lastborn children tend to have experienced a more relaxed style of parenting than their older siblings, and thus are charming, entertaining and more likely to follow an atypical career path. Finally, we get to middle children. After pages on firstborn and last-born children, here’s what the book had to stay on middle children: “And middle children? Well, they can be a puzzle—to families, scientists, and themselves, for that matter.” These two lines definitely didn’t help in my twentyyear pursuit to defy middle child syndrome. For those unfamiliar with the term, “middle child syndrome” describes the constant struggles that middle children often face. The most common middle child syndrome symptom is a struggle for parental attention. In essence, middle children are depicted as the forgotten ones, prone to longing for attention and low self-esteem. I’ve never really been a fan of the term “middle child syndrome,” as it classifies birth order like a disease. While we may not get all the cuddling and attention throughout childhood, the term entirely omits the positive personality traits you learn from
Furthermore, middle children are trailblazers. Our lack of more direct parental oversight combined with a rebellious sprit allows us to think creatively and make calculated risks. Middle children learn early on to be independent and form close bonds to their “chosen families,” a combination of certain family members and friends. Thus, middle children such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Mark Zuckerberg are innovators and learn to think differently in their pursuits of success. Finally, middle children tend to be justice seekers. They often fight for the underdog, for the person who is not the focus of all the attention and privilege. Martin Luther King Jr., Princess Diana, and Susan B. Anthony were all middle children. As middle children, at some point in our lives, we sometimes feel like we are constantly at civil war with all of our siblings, who have allied against us. Eventually, we learn to be diplomatic and flexible. Dr. Catherine Salmon, a birth order researcher, showed that 80 percent of middle children in her study said they never strayed in a long-term romantic relationship, compared to 65 percent of firstborns, and 53 percent of last-borns. There are definitely many other variables that affect how birth order influences us. For instance, according to Salmon, the effect tends to be significantly less prominent when a middle child is the only child of a certain gender or if the age gap between any two children is greater than five years. Our family environment has a profound effect on the people that we become, but each child often faces a distinctly different family environment. In the end, my birth order, among other things, created a set of circumstances that helped form who I am. My birth order doesn’t define me, but it has taught me many important life lessons that have guided my life choices and the paths that I have chosen to take. I have learned that self-esteem is best when earned, calculated risks lead to the most satisfaction and internal validation is essential to being happy with your life choices.
lue Devil Nation, We have a pandemic upon us. Hyper-sensitivity is rampant across campus and it is really harshing my mellow. To all the contestants of HackDuke, I should probably clarify that when I say hyper-sensitivity I’m referring to people being easily offended, not being premature in bed. Every time anyone says any sort of comment that may “oppress” a certain group, I am immediately given a correction of what I should or shouldn’t say. It’s ridiculous! Allow me to expand on this with an anecdote. Think about the glorious weather we have had recently. And with good weather comes copious amounts of frisbees, sunglaswses, and shirtless DSig bros. But it also comes with
Dillon Patel is a Trinity sophomore. His column runs every other Monday. Send Dillon a message on Twitter @ thecasualdevil.
bikini clad girls littering the campus. Now you think this would be nothing more than the good lord bestowing eye candy for men to enjoy, but the second I said, “I’d hit that,” to my fellow man, I was met with shame –black people read as shade. Out of nowhere, my socalled friend went on a diatribe about women’s body issues and how the objectification of women creates an unattainable ideal of beauty that hinders every girl growing up. I then proceeded to call him gay and leave the room. The problem is, you can’t call everyone gay and you can’t leave all of the rooms. So what can we do? Well, I decided to do some research on this issue specifically and, based on my findings, we may be able to find a cure. Under the chatroom alias whoisdillonfrancis69, I infiltrated discussions on the women objects and found that the biggest hot button issue was this big Barbie doll controversy. People said that the Barbie dolls that we all know and love have over the years been projecting unrealistic ideals of beauty and perfection, with someone going so far as to say that this “made every day a struggle” and “caused serious body image problems that tormented them throughout life.” So, after I called the seacows a whambulance, I came to the pretty clear conclusion that all of this was just a bunch of whining over nothing. Let’s be real, women have it pretty easy. All they have to do is look pretty. I mean, things get tough for them if they try to expand into the sciences, but sciences are tough classes that men have to do to better the world. But I digress, because the point is that women don’t have to worry about that because they have to worry about one thing. Looking like Barbie. And even if that was impossible, the next easy route is to just grow thicker skin. One of the girls was saying that “every day putting on my mascara feels like putting on chains. I am bound by the world around me to fit an ideal. I am terrified to miss a day without makeup, worried that everyone will ask me if I’m tired or sick.” Pathetic, right? And don’t even try to add race to the issue. Black women are constantly writing on these blogs and always inconsistently. One day they are writing about how they are never seen as the ideal of beauty and other days about how they are hyper-sexualized toys for the white man. Am I supposed to believe that it’s that tough to be a woman of color? Oh! And I almost forgot about the way that liberals get all uppity about using words like gay, fag or pussy. Come on, leftists. I’m just using terms I was raised with. I’m not making some attack at you or trying to show that certain groups are less than others. I’m just saying that if you aren’t willing to be a real man, then you’re being either a fag or a woman. And that’s not bad, just different. So where do we go from here? How do we cure sensitivity to the presentation of these groups in society? Well it’s pretty obvious. Find a new group to persecute. We need to start making straight men the insulted because we’re just stronger. Unlike gays, women, or gay women, we can handle the slurs. So when you see a man not acknowledging his feelings, say “that’s so hetero.” When someone responds to ‘how was your day’ with a cold, generic “Good,” call them a nutsack. We’ll also need a new line of Ken dolls with extremely large penises to make men insecure. And I’m talking really long. If they don’t look like tripods, then it’s too short. Every society needs a persecuted group and we really thought women and the LGB-whatevers could handle it. Way to let the whole team down over a little emotional scarring. Am I Right, or am I right? Right Wing wanted to go to Penn Pavilion on Friday night. The Lavender ball was in there...he’s still scarred.
monDAY, April 7, 2014 | 7
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hilsenrath said he had several doubts about Bitcoin— including its volatility as a commodity, its size compared to the monetary system of the United States and its anonymous creator, a man working under the pseudonym “Satoshi nakamoto.” Although there are problems with Bitcoin, people should take the technology seriously, harvey said. Martindale noted the current problems with Bitcoin all presented opportunities for entrepreneurs. For instance, the company that figures out how to enable the borrowing of Bitcoin will fill a large hole in the marketplace, he said. “This is just the beginning of what’s to come,” Martindale said. “You can’t kill an idea.” Junior nick Balkissoon said he knew almost nothing about Bitcoin going into the day but found the conference enlightening. “What really sticks out to me about this conference is that they actually want us to begin integrating with the Bitcoin market,” he said. “i want to know more.”
chronicle file photo
The Duke Student Government Judiciary ruled that more than $40,000 recovered from 83 dechartered inactive student groups will not be reclaimed by the Senate.
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the authority to make a decision like this. Although the details of the plan still need to be finalized, UCAe will use the money to fund campus improvement projects that students deem to be the most important, said sophomore Max Schreiber, chief justice of the Judiciary. “it is like Fix My Campus, but with funding,” said Schreiber, who is running for DSG vice president of facilities and the environment. “This is going to do a lot of good things for the campus.” he described a process by which students submit ideas for improvements to be approved by UCAe based on their feasibility. The projects would be put to a student-wide vote to determine which ones are most broadly supported, and the surplus $40,000 will then be allocated based on ordered student preference. Schreiber is optimistic that the details of the plan will be finalized and implemented for later this month or early in the Fall. Typically, SoFC decides where student activities fees go on a year-by-year basis, and UCAe issues the money. Junior nikolai Doytchinov, DSG executive vice president, said there is still a chance that the Senate would regain control of the funding to be allocated through SoFC, though he was unsure of how this could happen. “The final decision is still pending,” he said, noting that any final decisions would have to be made in consultation with UCAe. Schreiber, however, said the decision is final. he added that the Judiciary consulted UCAe representatives while making their decision. “The idea has been approved. The idea has been decided on, but we don’t have any of the logistics of it,” Schreiber said. Following the decision that DSG could not retroactively take back funds, the Judiciary discussed several potential options for reallocating the money—including returning it to students or allowing DSG to have it in lieu of raising the student activities fee—but ultimately felt distributing it to student-generated projects was the fairest and most feasible idea, Schreiber said. “it is their money, not our money,” he said of the student body. Doytchinov said the bylaws require the Judiciary to approve the dechartering of groups, but the process is “automatic” if the groups meet certain criteria. he noted that the process of asking the Judiciary to sign off on the Senate retrieving the funds was intended to be a check and balance between the two bodies, not to give the Judiciary the power to decide where the money goes. The bylaws state, “The disposition of [dechartered groups’] assets shall be at the discretion of the Judiciary in consultation with UCAe.” The Judiciary interpreted this to mean that they could overrule the Senate’s claim on the funding and appropriate the money at their discretion. Doytchinov said this was “a little bit of an oversight” on part of the bylaw. The Judiciary thought the Senate should not get the money for a number of reasons—it is possible some of the reclaimed funds were privately raised, it would allow SoFC to use debt as leverage, and the money should go back to students if possible because it was theirs in the first place, Schreiber said. Schreiber said the majority of the communication to reach this conclusion was done via email between justices, adding that he was unsure if this type of decision was really within the Judiciary’s purview. “We only have to meet in person if there was an actual hearing,” Schreiber said. This is the first time in his memory that the Judiciary was asked to issue a decision outside of an official case, he added. Doytchinov, however, noted that this was an official case of DSG versus the inactive student groups.