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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
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2017 DUKECHRONICLE.COM
Fuqua students gather to discuss mental health
ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTEENTH YEAR, ISSUE 40
DUKE RESEARCHERS ARE 1 PERCENT OF THE TOP 1 PERCENT
By Katherine Berko Senior News Reporter
A group of MBA students gathered Tuesday evening to participate in a town hall about mental health and sexual misconduct at the Fuqua School of Business. The Fuqua Insights Ball—billed as “a fireside chat series exploring (real) life at Fuqua” on its website—was hosted by Miguel Columna, Fuqua ‘18. It focused on the way Columna believes that Duke mishandles the case management for issues like mental health challenges and sexual harassment. Columna was spurred to host the forum because of an experience he had with the Fuqua administration in September. As a native Puerto Rican, when Hurricane Maria struck the commonwealth, Columna had no idea whether his family was alive or dead and whether they had food or shelter. “I was going to need help with academics and mental health planning,” Columna said of his mental state during the hurricane. Out of town in New York at the time, he sent an email to the Dean’s office, requesting academic and mental health help for when he was back on campus. When Columna returned to Durham Sept. 25, he said he was disappointed that the administration was not prepared with a strategic plan for him. After another two days, Columna went to the Student
The systems we have in place are not enough. MIGUEL COLUMNA
FUQUA ‘18 AND HOST OF THE FUQUA TOWN HALL TUESDAY
Health and Wellness Center because he was having “physical reactions” due to his lack of sleep, which included “eye twitching.” Part of Columna’s sleep deprivation came from working with his nonprofit, ConPRmetidos, which was busy supporting the victims of Hurricane Maria. “[My] first frustration came when there was back and forth between my insurance [at the center],” Columna explained. Columna was also upset that the school had not briefed the student health center on his anxieties, particularly after he’d sent so many worried emails. Concerned about his mental state, Columna left the center to check into the emergency room because he had “no clear instructions on what to do” at the center. At the hospital, Columna was displeased with his treatment there. “At one point I was abandoned in the hospital...I was immediately anxious,” Columna said. Since his experience, Columna decided to host Tuesday night’s talk because he says he’s realized the issues he faced are not unique to him but rather systemic problems. Columna hoped to get others to open up about their own challenges with mental health issues at See FUQUA on Page 4
Jeremy Chen | Graphics Editor
By Shagun Vashisth health and science news editor
Duke researchers make up one percent of the top one percent of researchers in their respective fields, according to a report released by Clarivate Analytics. Of the 3,300 researchers listed as the most influential scientists in the world, 34 came from Duke, distinguishing themselves in the fields of clinical medicine, economics and business, environment and ecology, immunology, mathematics, microbiology, physics, psychiatry and psychology among other subject. Another 13 scientists came
from the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore. Clarivate Analytics assembled the list based on which researchers were the most highly cited by peers in the field over an 11-year period. “The listing means that we have many faculty members who are publishing at the very highest level of their field,” said Lawrence Carin, vice provost for research and chair of the electrical and computer engineering department. Carin highlighted Duke’s efforts to accommodate researchers with productive working environments. He also emphasized the highly-interdepartmental research model and the collaborative research environment it creates for Duke’s scientists. “We continually strive to better the environment for our researchers, which often means new buildings and facilities and working to make Duke a really attractive place to be engaged in research,” Carin said. James Berger, professor of statistics and the only mathematician from Duke recognized by Clarivate Analytics, echoed Carin’s thoughts. “I think that Duke is an extremely collaborative university,” he said. “Everybody in my department has extensive collaborations outside of the department. Collaborative works tend to be more widely read and cited within a discipline.” Terrie Moffitt, Nannerl O. Keohane University professor in the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, added that she has benefited from working with faculty who share the same interests as her. Moffitt was among the most prominent researchers listed in psychiatry and psychology. Her research involves studying different measures of child maltreatment and their effects See RESEARCHERS on Page 4
Scientists launch Microbiome Center By Sean Cho
in popularity of microbial studies, Rawls also commented on the particularly at Duke. differences between the Duke “Over the last five years, we have Microbiome Center and the previous Microbial enthusiasts rejoice: the witnessed remarkable growth in the Duke Center for the Genomics of new Duke Microbiome Center has scientific community at Duke University Microbial Systems. He noted that officially launched. interested in studying microbiomes,” that previous center—which was The center expands on the mission and objectives of the previous Duke Research over the last several decades has Center for the Genomics of Microbial revolutionized our understanding of the diversity Systems by integrating new technologies and resources that a larger group of of microbial life that exists in the human body researchers can take advantage of. Its and the environment. foundation was fueled by the “rapidly expanding interest among the public and JOHN RAWLS scientific community in the pervasive DIRECTOR OF THE DUKE MICROBIOME CENTER AND AN ASSOCIATE roles of microbial communities in PROFESSOR OF MOLECULAR GENETICS AND MICROBIOLIOGY human health, the environment, and biotechnology,” according to the center’s official website. Rawls said. “As this scientific community commissioned in 2012—was more John Rawls, director of the Duke has grown, their needs have also grown limited in its focus and resources. Microbiome Center and an associate and diversified. The Duke Microbiome “[The Center for the Genomics of professor of molecular genetics and Center was commissioned in order to Microbial Systems] had three focus microbiology, said that the launch of meet the needs of that community now See MICROBIOME on Page 3 the new center reflects the recent boom and in the future.”
The conversations we try to avoid
Recess’s best of 2017 From Lorde’s “Melodrama” to Durham’s ZenFish, for the year from the arts and culture staffers.
picks PAGE 8
Columnist Amy Fan tackles the tough conversations necessary to make change. It may be awkward, but it will also be powerful. PAGE 19
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2 | WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2017
‘What can women do that men can’t?’ Senior Amy Kramer writes about female leadership in Army ROTC programs for thesis By Claire Ballentine Towerview Editor
Since the military is a made up of mostly males, women who serve typically have few role models. Senior Amy Kramer, an ROTC member who has had a female leader her entire time at Duke, recognized her experience was different—and wanted to examine the impact this had. Kramer, a Robertson Scholar majoring in public policy and political science, wrote her senior thesis on the influence of female leadership in Army ROTC programs nationally, which produced results that the U.S. military plans to explore further and may affect policy changes nationwide. She explained that she got the idea from noticing how her leader’s mentorship included extra sensitivity to gender perspectives. “It was nothing too dramatic but a lot of subtle things that I thought were unique,” she said. “I wanted to know if that was just the one female leader at Duke or if there is something unique about the female presence. I wanted to know if there was a national trend.” Kramer’s project focused on professors of military science who serve as leaders for the ROTC programs at universities. Of the 275 programs in the country, only 25 are headed by women. She examined how competent the cadets viewed their leaders to be, since previous literature indicated that women in traditionally male roles are viewed as less competent. Another question was whether women received higher-quality mentorship under female leaders. Finally, she looked at the cadets’ confidence levels. Kyle Beardsley, associate professor
To pursue the topic, Kramer first had to get permission from the chief of research at the U.S. Army Cadet Command in Fort Knox to survey cadets in North Carolina. Since many cadets in North Carolina meet once a year in March to do a training exercise, she wanted to survey them there and examine trends. The chief responded that they loved her research questions and wanted her to be able to ask them, which surprised Kramer. “Cadet Command had dismissed the impact of leadership on cadets for years,” she said. “They had just never asked any questions. It was not the most significant variable to get more people in program.” The chief said, however, that she couldn’t do the survey for North Carolina because the sample size would be too small, jeopardizing the anonymity of the female leaders. Instead, he told her that she could administer the survey nationally to every senior cadet in the country. The questions were administered on a secure online platform from April to June this year, which Kramer then ran regression analyses on. Contrary to her hypothesis, Kramer found no statistically significant positive benefit of female leadership for female cadets, which she noted was likely because of the small sample size. Although she surveyed the entire nation, fewer than 100 female cadets had a female leader last year and the overall survey response rate was 54 percent. However, she did find that female cadets perceived lower quality mentorship from their male leaders and were more likely to believe their leadership team did not have
I’m always focused not on programs to integrate women just for fairness, but how can female talent be leveraged for operational benefit? AMY KRAMER
SENIOR MAJORING IN PUBLIC POLICY AND POLITICAL SCIENCE AND ROTC MEMBER
of political science and Kramer’s thesis advisor, noted that Kramer’s research is timely in continuing the conversation around gender issues. “It relates to a lot of debates in political science about what the potential for a higher proportion of women in the Armed Services could mean,” he said.
an interest in their success. In addition, female cadets under male leaders were less confident in their ability to succeed as platoon leaders and Army officers. “They indicated they were less confident than their male peers about their ability to have a family and successful career,” Kramer said.
Special to The Chronicle Amy Kramer, an ROTC member, found no statistically significant positive benefit of female leadership for female cadets.
She noted that this may be a reason why women often leave the military after they have a family. Kramer showed these results to a female officer at Fort Knox where she was interning for the summer. Then, the officer gave her access to a database that included more information on every senior cadet in the country. This included the national cadet ranking, called the Order of Merit List, in which each cadet is scored on factors like GPA, leadership experiences and physical fitness scores. Last year, there were 5,344 cadets, so they were rated from 1 to 5,344. Even though differences between men and women had been standardized, Kramer found that female cadets in programs with male leaders were 244 points lower than their male peers on average. She discovered that this was due significantly to the male leaders ranking the female cadets lower than their male peers. “That was the somewhat controversial
finding,” she said. “The good moral of the story is when briefing all of this to military officers at Fort Knox, instead of telling me the limitations of this, they were like, this is something that may be an anomaly or may indicate a more serious trend.” Kramer presented the results to civilian and military staff at Cadet Command, who agreed to continue gathering data on her questions. This could increase the information on female leaders, possibly revealing positive benefits of their leadership that her study was too small to definitively determine. She noted that the military officers she worked with were receptive and willing to support her examining these questions, which she wasn’t certain would be the case given the controversy surrounding gender in the military. “It was the opposite impression that most people have of the Army,” she said. “They’re helping me hopefully be part of implementing See ROTC on Page 3
ABP tops list of avocado use by vendor with 500-650 per week By Jake Satisky Staff Reporter
In May, millionaire Tim Gurner chastised millennials, saying they will not be able to afford to buy a home because they spend too much money on avocados. He’s not wrong. Any expert on millennials will tell you that they love the green superfruit, high prices and all. Since Duke is full of avocado-consuming millennials, The Chronicle decided to find out some more about their popularity at Duke.
Special to The Chronicle After Au Bon Pain, Gyotaku uses the next most amount of avocados with 280-420 per week.
Although not every vendor at Duke serves them, students searching for a meal including avocados can find them at a variety of venues across campus. Thirteen different vendors sell avocados, though West Campus is clearly the avocado hub with 10 of the 13 locations. In the Brodhead Center alone, Au Bon Pain, the Café, Gyotaku, the Chef ’s Kitchen, the Commons and the Devil’s Krafthouse all feature the pitted fruit. Elsewhere on West Campus, avocados are sold at Cafe Edens, The Loop, Twinnie’s and even
McDonald’s—what, you’ve never tried the pico guacamole chicken sandwich? Yeah, me neither. Finally, students can enjoy a nice avocado product at the Nasher Museum Cafe, Dame’s Express and Trinity Cafe. So, how many avocados do some of these vendors use? Number one on the leaderboard was Au Bon Pain, which orders a whopping 500-650 avocados per week and uses 90100 per day for 15-20 of its menu items. Gyotaku also needs quite a few for its sushi rolls, using an estimated 40-60 per day. The Devil’s Krafthouse purchases 24 avocados per week for vinaigrette and six cases of guacamole. And five to 10 of the green fruits per day is all that’s needed at Twinnie’s, as they are only featured on the Cobb salad and in the avocado mayo. Most vendors did not express too much concern over rising avocado prices. However, Dame’s Express had to change its order due to the cost increase. “We purchase avocado weekly, we used to buy it fresh, now we buy frozen guacamole in 16 ounces containers,” a See AVOCADO on Page 4
ROTC FROM PAGE 3 some solution in the future.” Some of her policy recommendations so far include more implicit bias training and more structured leader mentorship programs. Kramer, who was also named a Schwarzman Scholar Tuesday, has always been interested in gender equality but began looking at it as a strategic opportunity for defense and national security fields during her sophomore year. “I’m always focused not on programs to integrate women just for fairness, but how can female talent be leveraged for operational benefit? What can women do that men can’t?” she said. She noted that the most rewarding part
MICROBIOME FROM PAGE 1 areas—microbial evolution, experimental microbial genomics, and microbiome science,” Rawls said. “GeMS faculty membership has nearly tripled since 2012, with most of that growth occurring in the microbiome sciences. The Duke Microbiome Center will continue GeMS’ mission but expands it significantly to support new microbiome-related resources, initiatives, and programs across the Duke campus.” Microbiomes affect much of the human body and the environment, which makes studying them important to the scientific community at large, he explained. He added that research over the last several decades has revolutionized our understanding of the diversity of microbial life that exists in the human body and the environment. “It has become clear that alterations in
of her research was producing a product that has the potential to make real policy change and improve people’s experiences in ROTC programs. In the future, she hopes to continue the research, possibly by exploring programs where cadets have had positive experiences and working to figure out what those schools have in common. Beardsley explained that Amy is unique in her ability to think creatively about solutions to issues. Instead of relying on existing data to answer her questions, she sought more information with courage and confidence. “Amy is an ideal scholar-practitioner in the sense that she is a really great researcher, and she also has a really good understanding about what policy improvements need to happen and is able to combine those in a way that is really rare,” he said. microbial communities contribute to a wide range of human diseases, including cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and neurological disorders,” he said. “There is therefore a growing imperative that we understand how these microbial communities are assembled, how they make these diverse contributions to human and environmental health, and how we might engineer microbiomes to promote health.” In an email, Lawrence David, associate director of the new center and assistant professor of molecular genetics and microbiology, shared some of the important milestones made by the prior GeMS center. “The old center facilitated several major new initiatives on campus, including an NSF Research Traineeship called ‘Integrative Bioinformatics for Investigating and Engineering Microbiomes; a new NIHsupported project to understand how the microbiome and microbiome-derived
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2017 | 3
Special to The Chronicle The U.S. military plans to explore the results of senior Amy Kramer’s thesis on female leadership in Army ROTC programs further, which may affect policy changes nationwide.
Courtesy of Duke Photography
metabolites contribute to pediatric obesity and intervention outcome; and a new American Heart Association project that also investigates the role of the microbiome in pediatric obesity,” he wrote. Regardless of these impressive accomplishments, David noted that he hopes that the new center will help answer some questions that the previous center was unable to address. “The DMC will define success by ensuring that Duke investigators have access to the essential methods and resources to conduct high-impact and reproducible microbiome
research, and allowing Duke to work towards international prominence in the microbiome sciences,” he said. Rawls shared his own excitement for the launch of the center, adding that he hopes it will foster further collaboration and discovery amongst those interested in microbiome sciences. “We look forward to working with partners across Duke University to grow and sustain the microbiome sciences, and we invite interested faculty, students, trainees, and staff to contact us if they want to get involved,” he said.
Project Share Help a local family in need by providing gifts during the holiday season!
Roberta is a former nurse now caring for her pre-teen granddaughter. Her limited disability income barely covers her small family’s monthly expenses. Will you help bring some holiday cheer to them with gifts of a book bag, lunch box, and basic clothing and household items? (SYC 6931) After the death of her adult son, Phyllis now lovingly cares for her young grandson full-time. She is doing her best to be mother, father and grandmother to him, but the family struggles on a very limited income. You can help a family that has experienced a great loss look forward to better times this holiday. Your gifts of a winter coat, toys and basic household items will make a big difference to these two. (SYC 8871) It has been a difficult year for these two young brothers and their sister as they adjust to living apart in three separate foster homes. Your holiday gifts of clothes, books and toys will remind them of how special they are. (SYC 9225) Persistent mental health issues currently put long-term progress for this mother and her young teen son just beyond reach. She is striving to create a positive and stable home environment now and hopes the holidays may be a turning point. Will you help this mom and her son with your gifts of clothing? (SYC 9195)
Call 919-684-4377 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Sponsored by the Duke Community Service Center
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4 | WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2017
FROM PAGE 1
FROM PAGE 1
Fuqua during the talk. Some other students echoed Columna’s sentiments about the way the administration handles issues and doesn’t provide sexual harrassment training during Fuqua orientaiton. Still, some found CAPS resouces to be very helpful. Columna ended his talk by sharing ways that he thinks Fuqua students can help these systemic issues. He said Fuqua should revise the honor code. “The honor code is currently circumscribed to act against academic violations and explicitly defers anything related to discrimination or sexual misconduct,” Columna said. Columna also suggested that members of his class bestow a class gift of an endowment for mindfulness sessions at the business school. “[Mindfulness] is what helped me cope with stress and anxiety,” he said. “I think [our gift] has to go beyond a physical tangible thing...I think mindfulness can go a long way.” The final sept Columna mentioned was a petition to “have a broader conversation with the stakeholders” so that students have “safer and more responsive protection.” “The systems we have in place are not enough,” Columna said.
on an individual’s mental and physical health throughout their development. “My research participants live in New Zealand and England, so why do I work here you may ask,” Moffitt said. “One reason is because Duke is a magnet for really smart students, and I need students to help me with this research.” Moffitt conducts her research using a longitudinal burst cohort study model, a form of observational study in which all the people born in one place during a given year are studied. She noted that this model of studying her subjects has allowed her to distinguish herself in the field. “The reason that this is so useful is that if you want to prove that stress causes health problems, you would have to do an experiment, but with human subjects, we are not ethically allowed to stress participants out,” she
Research is very accessible at Duke to our students, and we really encourage our students to get involved in research and many of them do.
emphasized the ease of collaboration between the University’s main campus and the medical school. “The other thing that is important is that the medical center is right next to the main campus,” Carin said. “In other universities, the health system is separate from the campus, and so that also is a significant strategic advantage for Duke.” “I recognize a lot of those people who were mentioned on the list, but I would point out that there are many factors that go into being highly cited, including working in a big field,” Carin said. “While we are really proud of those people on the list, we have fabulous faculty at Duke who are at the very top of their field who do not appear on lists like that.”
AVOCADO FROM PAGE 2 representative from Dames’s Express wrote in an email. “It is quite good and we have had no complaints. We did this due to the price increase from the hurricanes, as well as
VICE PROVOST FOR RESEARCH AND CHAIR OF ELECTRICAL AND COMPUTER ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT
Katherine Berko | Contributing Photographer Miguel Columna, Fuqua ‘18, hosted a town hall Tuesday to discuss mental health.
said. “I think that people turn to studies like mine because they offer the naturalistic observation of tracing a person through time.” Although her research methods often take longer and cost more than other forms of observational study, they have afforded her study credibility in the field. Carin noted that Duke’s collaborative research environment extends to its students. “Research is very accessible at Duke to our students, and we really encourage our students to get involved in research and many of them do,” Carin said. “The research experience is one that many students at Duke want to get involved in as possible.” Beyond the breadth of research going on, Carin
Number of avocados The Devil’s Krafthouse purchases a week for vinaigrette and guacamole the unavailability.” The other vendors said that for now, they will not raise prices on their menu options featuring this delectable superfood. Avocados—which are technically berries—are full of health benefits, from healthy fats to vitamins and minerals galore. Regardless, Duke vendors use hundreds of avocados per day to satiate everyone’s endless hunger for them. Go and enjoy as many as your heart desires—or afford a home. Your choice. McDonalds, the Nasher Museum Cafe, Cafe Edens, the Brodhead Center Café, the Chef ’s Kitchen and the Commons did not respond in time for publication.
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WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2017 | 5
VOLUME 19, ISSUE 40 | DECEMBER 6, 2017
study at the nasher Museum to open Monday of reading period, page 7
music in the chapel Inside the underappreciated tradition, page 7
the best of 2017 From Lorde to “Twin Peaks,” the staff picks, page 8
6 | WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2017 6, 2017 6 | WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER
recess editors What’s the best holiday movie?
Will Atkinson ..............ZUZU’S PETALS Nina Wilder .......... xmas w/ the kranks Georgina Del Vecho..................frozen Dillon Fernando ...............home alone Christy Kuesel .... the live-action grinch Jessica Williams .............love actually Likhitha Butchireddygari............... elf
on the cover: The ceiling of the new Rubenstein Arts Center, opening Jan. 2018. Photo by Katy Clune.
When I tell someone that I’m graduating a semester early, I know exactly how that person will react to the news: 1) Express shock that I’m leaving early 2) Say some obligatory phrase of congratulations 3) Ask me what I’m going to do with my spare semester, plus with the rest of my life 4) Try to arrange some food date — that never happened freshman year and sure as hell isn’t going to happen now — to say goodbye. And while this routine type of exchange has become all but second nature to me, it’s that third question, “So, what are you going to do next?” that always gets me. You see, as of the time of writing this, I’m in this weird limbo state, where I know what I want to do career-wise, but the process of making it a reality is complicated and far from easy. To make a long story short: I want to work in television as a writer; I have to move to New York to be a competitive applicant; again, I have no job, and New York is super expensive. Do you see my problem? I don’t have a “return offer” from a notable Wall Street bank or a medical school acceptance on the horizon. Television doesn’t work that way. It functions on a rare combination of instantaneous, fickle luck, talent and connections. All I know for certain is that I have a cardboard box with my name on it that I know all of my possessions and my body can fit in snugly if worse comes to worst. It seriously takes a leap of faith to be in an industry with the uncertainty factor of unemployment lasting, for some of my friends already fighting the good fight, a little over a year. That is terrifying to me, and I’m going to willingly live it soon enough. Imagine articulating this whole internal dialogue of anxiety to friend after acquaintance after professor after parent who asks me question number three. (Seniors pursuing a career in the arts, you’ll soon know my pain in five months’ time
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unless you’ve somehow snagged a job postgrad already. In that case, give me your contacts — in exchange, I’ll endorse you on LinkedIn for some skill I have no idea if you’re qualified for. Or better yet, let me bum on your couch until forever.) If I’m being quite honest with you, what makes me truly anxious about question three isn’t my personal situation of being unemployed — I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make it, even if I fail trying. Instead, it’s not getting that instantaneous reward of impressing people and myself with my secure future plans and then enduring that consequential, low-key judgement when they learn about my limbo. “You’ll find something, I guess. That’s so cool,” they’ll say, but their face reveals a different sentiment.
staff note Getting a job in something with a recognizable name or reputation gets those impressed “Oh”s. Uncertainty is for some reason shameful, and every sap-sorry or snooty “Oh”s I’ve received is a dagger to the heart and feeds into perpetuating my own self-doubts: “What if I’m not good enough? Am I truly wasting my life?” At this point in the conversation, I’m internally crying for 40 days and 40 nights and externally posting a feigned smile. But then, I have to remind myself of a very crucial question: Why should I try to impress people who I likely will never see again, let alone go on a final food-date hoorah with? I think the nature of being a
writer is being desperate for approval and appreciation by others; “Your work inspired me. I totally relate. I love the way you write.” And so, similarly for me, I realize in these cursory post-grad conversations that what I’m truly afraid of is the failure to obtain that immediate acceptance. Luckily, I have a Duke education that’s helped me deal with that all too much. Having been here at Duke for four years has inoculated me to the disease of crippling failure, especially sharing a classroom with peers who are naturally more gifted than I’ll ever be. Be it the very first week of school when I was rejected from both student comedy groups; when I received deafening silence and pained facial expressions from my peers during and at the end of a table read of my work because it sucked; when I was told by a professor that “nobody should try that hard to understand anything you write”; or, on a less serious note, when I’d dance at Shooters. (Seriously, a friend of mine, an animal lover, said my dancing hurt her eyes so much, and she’s seen actual wounded gazelles on her DukeEngage trip that have moved more gracefully than I dance.) My early work was abysmal. But I got better. I’ve gained confidence in my abilities, to the point where I’ve decided to forfeit the cash value of my biology degree and sign myself up for constant struggle and uncertainty in a fickle industry. For a chance at doing something I know I’ll love. And I may be biased, but that, to me, is nobler than getting into a profession where your heart is not in the work but in the path to financial security. I know too many friends that are beginning this new chapter of their lives like this. As an outgoing senior and former Recess editor, Culture Editor Dillon Fernando just had too much to say to meet the word limit. Read his full staff note online at dukechronicle.com/section/arts-culture.
Admission is always free for Duke students. ASK US YOUR QUESTIONS. GIVE US YOUR OPINIONS.
The Medici’s Painter
CARLO DOLCI and 17th-Century Florence
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On view through January 14, 2018
Carlo Dolci, Poetry (Poesia) (detail), late 1640s. Oil on panel, 21 1⁄4 x 16 1⁄2 inches (54 x 42 cm). Galleria Corsini, Corsini Palace, Florence. The Medici’s Painter: Carlo Dolci and 17th-Century Florence is organized by the Davis Museum at Wellesley College and curated by Eve Straussman-Pflanzer, recently named head of the European art department and Elizabeth and Allan Shelden Curator of European paintings at the Detroit Institute of Arts. This project was supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.
Duke University Stores. We are the Stores that Work for You! OPERATION: Stores Administration PUBLICATION: Chronicle
At the Nasher Museum, this exhibition was made possible by the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, with additional support from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation; the E.T. Jr. and Frances Rollins Family Foundation; Patricia Roderick Morton; Katie Thorpe Kerr and Terrance I. R. Kerr; the Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans Foundation, in loving memory of Jenny Lillian Semans Koortbojian; Lisa Lowenthal Pruzan and Jonathan Pruzan; Kelly Braddy Van Winkle and Lance Van Winkle; Caroline and Arthur Rogers; and Karen M. Rabenau and David H. Harpole, M.D.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2017 | 7
The Nasher to open its doors to students for annual Study Hall By Selena Qian Staff Writer
Last year, sophomore Katja Kochvar walked into the Nasher Museum of Art on the Monday of reading period. Instead of the usual open floor of the Great Hall and lobby area of the museum, she was greeted by rows of tables and chairs filled with students, accompanied by a low murmur of conversation, the clicks of fingers on keyboards and the scratches of pencils on paper. The Study Hall at the Nasher, an annual event now in its third year, takes place this year on Monday, Dec. 11, from 3 p.m. to midnight. To Kochvar, the event was a nice “change of scenery,” since she dislikes studying in Perkins and instead rotates between the Bryan Center, the Broadhead Center and her room. This year’s event will feature snacks and coloring pages based on the works currently in the galleries, as well as activities that include tour breaks, yoga and a primal scream, to provide some breaks during the study slog. The yoga will be in the galleries instead of in the Great Hall, where it has previously been held. Junior Brittany Halberstadt, co-chair of Nasher MUSE, the student-run organization that planned the event, said bringing students into the galleries to see the art is central to all of the group’s events. The Study Hall at the Nasher, though, differs from other MUSE events in that it is more academically focused rather than
social in nature. “We had a lot of events that were based around celebrating, and around parties and things like that, like the first-year party is one of our most successful events,” Halberstadt said. “But we wanted to do something where students could actually use the museum space to help their academics and to help their studying.” The event ties in with the larger goal of MUSE: to bring students into the museum and engage them in the art. Halberstadt said the group focuses on events designed specifically for the students, an audience the Nasher did not target until the establishment of MUSE. The museum instead tended to work more with K-12 students and faculty to bring classes to the galleries. MUSE has recently begun doing more collaborations with other groups on campus to bring in students who may not otherwise visit and to make them more aware of what MUSE does. These collaborations have included a screening of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off ” with DUU Freewater Presentations and a senior celebration with the Senior Class Council earlier this semester. They also have another event, Bridge to the Nasher, planned for Thursday with The Bridge, an online publication and social media outlet intended to create a community for black and Latina women. The planning of these events, though, can be difficult, particularly because the Nasher has a budget already set a year
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons The Nasher Museum of Art will open its doors Monday, Dec. 11, to students seeking a place to study.
in advance. Halberstadt said the current members of Nasher MUSE are working on ideas for events that would happen in the next academic year. The group also needs to coordinate with other departments in the museum throughout the planning process to ensure the events run smoothly and are of the same quality as other Nasher events. “It is a lot of different moving parts, and that’s kind of nice why we have a big board,” Halberstadt said. “We have about 15 people on the board right now, so that way we can split it up and make sure that everybody kind of has a task and can get something done.”
With the study hall, planning included the coordination of tables, chairs, lighting and outlets with the special events department, as well as work with marketing to design graphics and promote the event on social media. Overall, Halberstadt said she feels the study hall will go well, since they had a big turnout last year — around 400 people. She also made a point to mention that students can drop by during the event. “You don’t have to stay the whole nine hours, definitely,” Halberstadt said. “But it’s just a great place to take a study break or to study really hard.”
Inside the organ music that fills Duke Chapel almost every weekday By Ajay Dheeraj Contributing Writer
The Duke Chapel is the most important building on campus. Its status as the tallest building on West Campus and as the central architectural marvel of Duke makes it emblematic of the Collegiate Gothic style our university is famous for. The first-year class gathers for convocation under its arches and over 70 marriages take place in the Chapel each year. In recent history, the Chapel has even become a focus of political tension, as the statues of historical figures that line the entrance breed discourse over the role of statue glorification in American culture. Yet for all of its charms, it is criminally underappreciated. As the days go by, sometimes it can fade into the backdrop of campus, simply another wonderful building that students glance at as they race to and from classes and meetings. When prospective students and parents come to visit Duke, do you see their awed reactions to the Chapel? Oh, how that excitement can sometimes be forgotten. In no context is that more clear than through the numerous services offered by the Chapel, and through the stunning organ music that plays from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays during the academic year. Over the past week, I’ve visited the Chapel several times and sat for the hour-long organ music display. I’ve encountered numerous first-time visitors to the Duke Chapel, but very few students. All of the visitors answered in a similar way: “Stunning,” said three of the onlookers when I asked them to describe the experience. The organ music swelled and faded over the course of the hour, filling the Chapel with a wondrous sound. As I left to go to class, I felt happier and more at peace — the Chapel had been therapeutic.
Courtesy of Ivydawned via Flickr Organ music is played for the public between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays.
I had the chance to ask Joseph Fala, one of two Organ Scholars at Duke, and Christopher Jacobson, Duke University Chapel Organist, some questions about their time here and about the experience of playing organ music in the Chapel. “On a campus like this, where things are so stressful and busy ... spending 15 minutes to come and just relax in the Chapel is a really wonderful thing,” said Jacobson, who has been the Chapel Organist since 2014, echoing the sentiment of the Chapel as a calming presence. In an email, Fala wrote about how the organ music helps him deal with feeling overwhelmed: “The music that pours out of this instrument instantly reminds me why I do what I do. ... It’s hard to leave that organ bench without a smile inside.” One of Fala’s favorite parts of playing in the Chapel is watching the diversity of reactions of visitors as they enter, from contemplative praying to the excitement of children and the fascination that so many people experience.
The organ is an old and storied instrument, and Jacobson noted the excellence of Duke’s collection, calling the four organs in the chapel “one of the finest collections of organs under one roof in the U.S.” Fala, who came to Duke this year after receiving his Masters in organ music from Yale this past spring, agreed, writing that “the Aeolian organ at Duke Chapel is easily one of the top three organs I’ve played in this country.” Its approximately 6,600 pipes — some of which are almost 32 feet in length — and location in a chapel whose design complements the acoustics of the organ truly bring out the full sound of the instrument. Jacobson remarked on the complexity of services here at Duke, wryly smiling as he admitted that “My job is multifaceted, and certainly involves organ playing and overseeing a team or organists.” As an Organ Scholar, Fala’s responsibilities include accompanying the weekly Sunday choral evensong as well as other ceremonies like weddings, funerals and choral vesper services. Fala noted that the Organ Scholar
program, only in its fourth year, takes its concept from “many of the great English cathedrals and collegiate chapels, which would employ young organists to shadow a principal organist/choirmaster and learn the ropes of church music done at a very high level.” I was surprised to learn that the organ and the piano have very little in common, as Jacobson called the difference between the two instruments akin to “a trumpet and a violin.” The biggest difference, Jacobson noted, is that when notes are played on the piano by pressing a key, “the sound will eventually decay and stop,” while with an organ, “the sound will always be made until you release the key.” Additionally, an organ can be altered to sound like a variety of instruments using sets of pipes called ranks. As Fala wrote, the Aeolian organ “was built during a period where organs were conceived of as complete orchestras. … It has every imaginable instrument available at the organist’s disposal.” The daily 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. organ music used to be covered by volunteer organists but is now primarily the responsibility of the two Organ Scholars. The music, which ranges from improvised hymn tunes to pieces set to be played at later services, is less formal than a recital and is structured so that visitors interested in hearing the organ can schedule a trip and be sure that music will fill the Chapel when they arrive. So the next time you’re trying to squeeze in some homework before your 1:25 p.m. class, I suggest stopping by the Duke Chapel and listening to the hour of organ music instead. Maybe take a look at the Duke Chapel website and attend some of the performances. Everyone deserves the opportunity to hear what Fala termed “the voice of the Chapel.”
8 | WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2017
COURTNEY BARNETT & KURT VILE, “OVER EVERYTHING” Along with the calming sound of acoustic guitars, I loved the series of vivid imageries like “hair flag waving” that Barnett and Vile integrated into the song. They brightened up my gloomy bus rides to West Campus to take my midterms. Also, unlike most duets between male and female artists, this piece did not once mention the word “love” and was not about a painful breakup. Instead, the dialogue between Vile and Barnett turned into a song revealed much more about their emotional connections and shared passion in music. Although the song is rather long (about six minutes), I can listen to it endlessly. — Ashley Kwon
LORDE, “MELODRAMA” I never really bought CDs in high school. The music streaming renaissance was in its first, fledgling years, and I didn’t see the point in the CD’s physicality — that is, until I listened to Lorde’s “Pure Heroine.” It resonated with me so deeply that I purchased a physical copy, despite the fact that the only CD player I had access to was in my car. “Melodrama,” like its predecessor, has moved me in a manner that’s overwhelmingly personal. Perhaps it’s because Lorde and I are nearly the same age, going through the same young adult drama, or that I’ve also thought of myself as a liability and experienced innumerable relationship woes. Regardless, it’s comforting to know that my worries and joys are shared — in a beautifully vulnerable and well-made album, no less. — Nina Wilder
KING KRULE, “THE OOZ”
TAYLOR SWIFT, “REPUTATION”
Perhaps the best album of his career yet, the release of “The OOZ” demonstrates King Krule’s (the English artist born Archy Marshall) commitment to producing music that does not conform to popular sound qualities. “The OOZ” does not shy away from utilizing experimental synth, heavy bass and distortive voice effects, yet still proved to be a rather successful album for an independent musician. “The OOZ” highlights the unwavering relevance of independent and alternative rock during an age of prominent pop icons. — Sarah Derris
It’s the next best thing because Aaron Sorkin didn’t do anything big this year. — Dillon Fernando
BE O 201
SORORITY NOISE AT CARRBORO’S CAT’S CRADLE, APRIL 22 Sorority Noise played their first headlining show at Cat’s Cradle in celebration of their third studio album “You’re Not as _____ as You Think,” released in March. The LP centers around the suicide of frontman and vocalist Cameron Boucher’s close friend. In typical SN style, the album is deeply, almost cringingly personal, but it manages to transform that personal story into one that every listener can glean something from. Equal parts anger and hope, the album both acknowledges the turmoil that accompanies mental illness while working to hold onto the parts of life worth living. More than once that night, Boucher’s guitar pedals and microphones were disconnected from the speakers by falling crowd-surfers, and midway through the show he paused to encourage us to be safe, to take care of one another, to help each other up. He said, “If you brought any anxieties with you, try to leave them here. But be safe while doing it.” And really, isn’t that what shows are all about? — Alexandra Bateman
ZENFISH ZenFish is not only bringing poké to Durham, but expanding the city’s already robust farm-to-table movement. By offering tours of the farms they source from, ZenFish allows consumers to learn exactly where and how their food is produced while at the same time promoting the work of farmers in the area. ZenFish expands the array of food options in Durham and expands the participation of local communities in the farm-to-table movement. — Georgina Del Vecho
PERKINS LIBRARY’S “HUMANS OF PARIS” EXHIBIT It’s a very interesting exhibit about memes and stereotypes in 19th-century Paris, but it’s still very relevant and relatable today. How should we think about social or political comments in the forms of memes today? Should we just laugh it off, or should we think critically about it? I had a very enjoyable conversation with the curator of the exhibit, Kathryn Desplanque — her insights about the importance of history and a different perspective on art history were very thoughtful. — Eva Hong
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2017 | 9
“TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN” When it was announced that, after 26 years, the cult classic to end all cult classics “Twin Peaks” would return in the form of a limited series event on Showtime, perhaps the best that could be asked of the show is that it would attempt to break from the coffee and cherry pie that has defined its nostalgic appeal since we last entered the Black Lodge. Under the full supervision of David Lynch, who directed all 18 hour-long episodes, “Twin Peaks: The Return” does all that and more, actively rejecting the soap-opera trappings of the original show. It’s a dark, brutal, sometimes agonizingly boring affair, but it’s full of some of the most indelible scenes this year in TV has brought us (doing to The Platters’ “My Prayer” what “Blue Velvet” did to “In Dreams”). If the summer of 2017 will go down in my memory as the summer I binge-watched “13 Reasons Why,” it was also the summer I found myself waiting in rapt anticipation every Sunday for a new addition to a show that — even in this, the Golden Age of TV — defies comparison. — Will Atkinson
“I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE” This neo-noir gem won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance before landing at Netflix and receding into streaming obscurity. The film is — as one might have guessed from that bludgeoning of a title — bleak, gritty and thoroughly absurdist. It is also rollicking, hopeful and hilarious (with a head-banging, nunchuks-wielding Elijah Wood, how could it not be?). Melanie Lynskey stars as a heroine whose plight, that of people around her being exceptionally terrible and careless, fashions her into a modern-day Sisyphus. When she and her neighbor (Wood) embark on an epic quest to get even following the robbery of her home, the film plays like a Tarantino caper flick, only set in Middle America and bathed in dystopian grime. This one — with its existential bent and genuine feeling — is a real keeper. — Jake Parker
ST F 17
Within a genre generally defined by stereotypical characters and hollow storylines, Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” is characterized by something rarely found in horror films: astute social commentary. Considered by many to be one of the best films of 2017 — and rightfully so — “Get Out” is not only creepy because of its actors’ strong performances, but also because of its examination of racial injustice in the United States. From its thrilling plot to its great moments of comic relief, the film is undoubtedly one of 2017’s most captivating to watch. To add, some of 2017’s best memes were inspired by the film’s unsettling imagery. — Jessica Williams
THE POPULARITY OF MUSICALS This year saw a newfound appreciation for musicals as an art form, particularly among young adults who are becoming increasingly aware of the power of musical theater to transform, inspire and protest. Musicals such as “Be More Chill,” “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Falsettos” are bringing important issues to light with grace and creativity and changing the lives of the adolescents who watch them. The intersection of acting, music and storytelling has encouraged teenagers all over the world to delve into musical theater and continue its path to modernization. By the time 2018 rolls around, don’t be surprised if musicals look very different than they did ten years ago: The medium is changing for the better. — Sydny Long
CONFRONTATION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE The year 2016 ended on a difficult note, with a man accused of multiple counts of sexual assault being elected to the White House. In 2017, women have come out with stories of sexual assault and harassment from prominent figures in media and entertainment, like Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K. and Matt Lauer. While these accounts were shocking and heartbreaking to read, retribution against these figures has been swift, showing that these industries are starting to take sexual assault seriously. Women are feeling more and more empowered to share their personal experiences with sexual assault, prompting a greater discussion of gender politics in the workplace. These conversations are difficult to have, but they could lead to greater change in the culture of the media industry as a whole. — Christy Kuesel
10 | WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2017
2017 Holiday Gift Guide
Manicure and Pedicure, $35
Allure Nail Spa
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2017 | 11
White Freshwater Pearl Drop Earrings 18kw, $450
Hamilton Hill , Silver Face Leaf Watch, $630
The Foster’s Market Cookbook, $35
2608 Erwin Rd # 112. (919) 384-0989
2200 W. Main St. (919) 286-2990
Hamilton Hill 905 W Main St (919) 683-1474
2694 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. (919) 489-3944
Nestor Cross Body in Rouille, $650
Appalachian Bloom Candle, $30
Bull City Toffee - Durham Gift Box, $40
OMY XXL Giant Coloring Roll, $30
Vert & Vogue
The Durham Toffee Co.
Vert & Vogue
353 W. Main St. (919) 251-8537
113 S.Gregson Street (919) 688-1150
353 W. Main St. (919) 251-8537
I know how to make everyone’s holiday special. K?
I already got Kanki gift certificates!
VIRTUAL CARE FROM EXPERT PROVIDERS. Student Health now offers virtual visits over a secure online platform so you can consult directly with our providers from the comfort of your room. To ﬁnd out more about the types of appointments that can be scheduled call (919) 681-9355 or visit bit.ly/DukeVirtualVisit
What Are You Celebrating Today? Doesn’t It Deserve Food, Fun and a Little Fire? Kanki.com
12 | WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2017
Duke Stadium Sweater by Hillflint, $94.95
Sauces in 12oz Glass Jars, Three Flavors, $6.99 each
Doris Duke’s Shangri-La: A House in Paradise, $55
Pottery Double Face Mask and Handmade Bowl Set, $25
Duke University Stores
Bull City Burger & Brewery
Nasher Museum Store
Sweet Temptations Tower, $29.99
Durham Skyline, $59.99
Gift Card for four people to try Lunar Escape, $100
Zola Craft Gallery
Bull City Escape
Bryan Center (919) 684-2344
201 South Estes Drive, Chapel Hill (919) 929-7133
107 E. Parrish St. #105 (919) 680-2333
626 9th St. B (919) 286-5112
2001 Campus Dr. (919) 684-5135
711 Iredell St (919) 627-8386
Mike Krzyzewski Autographed White Panel Duke Basketball by Steiner Sportsie, $399.99
Duke University Stores Bryan Center • (919) 684-2344
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2017 | 13
2017 - 18 Collection of Gifts Catalog
2017- 2018 The only collection of Duke merchandise in the world that actually comes from Duke University
The only collection of merchandise in the world that actually comes from Duke University.
SHOP OUR ENTIRE COLLECTION at
Sports 14 | WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2017
THE BLUE ZONE
ALL THE RECORDS DUKE BROKE LAST NIGHT dukechronicle.com/blog/blue-zone
WEDENSDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2017
IN A FLASH
Blue Devils score most points since 1997 after cruising to hot start against undersized St. Francis By Mitchell Gladstone Sports Managing Editor
After a scorching start to his freshman season, Gary Trent Jr. found himself mired in a slump. Even with a 3-for-5 performance from distance against No. 7 Florida, the freshman was shooting just 19.5 percent from beyond the arc in Duke’s last eight contests. Just 39 seconds into Tuesday night’s contest, though, the 6-foot-6 guard set the tone for what would wind up a record-setting offensive performance for the Blue Devils. No. 1 Duke dominated St. Francis 124-67, racking up 71 points before halftime to come up just one shy of a program-record 72 points in any single half. The Blue Devils’ final total was their most prolific output since they scored 126 points against Mercer in December 1997 and their fifthhighest scoring game of all time. The Blue Devils used a balanced offensive effort to dominate the visiting Red Flash, as Trent drained all four of his 3-pointers before the break—the Columbus, Ohio native finished with 14 points and Marvin Bagley III added 21 points along with 11 boards to lead the way. “Gary’s a scorer. That’s what he is, and he’s come up with really big plays for us even when
Henry Haggart | Staff Photographer
Marvin Bagley III posted his sixth straight double-double and ninth of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds. he’s not scoring the ball,” senior Grayson Allen said. “Whoever is going up against him knows that they’re going up against a tough guy. You can just tell by the look in his eyes that he’s not going to back down from anyone.... He’s
a really streaky guy, so we know when he gets one or two going like he did tonight, to get him the ball.” Duke (11-0) actually missed its first fieldgoal attempt of the night, but collected the first
of its 17 offensive boards to turn what could have been an empty possession into a lead the hosts would never relinquish. With just two players on St. Francis’ roster taller than 6-foot-8, the Blue Devils controlled the paint on both ends of the floor. Offensively, Duke scored 52 points in the paint thanks to a combined 53-point performance from the big-man trio of Bagley, Wendell Carter Jr. and Marques Bolden, whose 17 points shattered his career high. The sophomore added 10 boards for his first career double-double, and the Blue Devils easily outrebounded the Red Flash by a 61-25 margin. “We’re bigger and more talented than they are, although they’re a good team. I just think we played so darn hard tonight,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “We’re better. We should have won tonight, but I thought we played well and hard for 40 minutes.” Coming into the matchup, St. Francis (3-5) ranked a miserable 282nd among 351 Division I programs in basketball statistician Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted defensive efficiency metric, so the signs pointed to an obvious mismatch against the nation’s top-ranked offense. See M. BASKETBALL on Page 17
Kyra Lambert decides to redshirt due to torn ACL By Spencer Levy Staff Reporter
The Blue Devils’ heartbreak from last March will have an impact for longer than expected, as Duke will be without one of its leaders for the rest of the season in its quest to advance deep into the NCAA tournament this March. Junior Kyra Lambert will use a redshirt this season and begin the 2018-19 season with two years of eligibility remaining. Lambert tore her left ACL during the Blue Devils’ firstround victory in the NCAA tournament last season against Hampton and was aiming to return at some point this season, but that will not be the case. Head coach Joanne P. McCallie revealed the news during her first radio show of the season. “It just didn’t work out,” McCallie told team radio broadcaster Chris Edwards. “It’s best that she medically redshirt, and we support her.” The Cibolo, Texas, native started 56 of her 65 games in her first two years with the program. Although she has been vocal on the bench and in practice throughout this fall as a team captain, the 5-foot-9 point guard has not been able to facilitate for her teammates on the hardwood. “It is going to be very hard not being out there
with the team, but I know they are very capable of going very far and accomplishing great things and the goals we have set for ourselves this season. As of right now, I don’t feel like my knee is strong enough to get me at the level that I was playing at and I don’t want to come back anything less than 100 percent,” Lambert said in a press release Tuesday. “I want to step on the court just like I was and even better than I was before the injury happened.” Out of high school, Lambert joined the Blue Devils ranked as high as the ninth in her recruiting class from multiple publications. She lived up the anticipation as a freshman, starting 23 games and averaging 6.2 points. Last season as a sophomore, Lambert played more than 30 minutes per contest, chipping in 7.8 points per contest in the backcourt. The No. 14 Blue Devils will now need freshman Mikayla Boykin to continue to step up and lead the backcourt. Graduate students Rebecca Greenwell and Lexie Brown will have to play their entire final season under McCallie without their fellow captain. According to McCallie, the starting lineup would have ideally included Lambert alongside Greenwell and Brown to form one the most formidable and experienced backcourts in the nation. But for now, Boykin will remain at the point guard spot, as she has
in Duke’s eight games to date. Next season, the Blue Devils will be in need of reinforcements following the departures of Greenwell and Brown. Lambert can be expected to start alongside Boykin in the backcourt when 2019 rolls around. “I cannot wait to see how far we go. I am
going to be on that bench cheering my bottom off each and every day,” Lambert said. “I am also going to be working as hard as I can to get back to 100 percent so that next year when that time comes around I am going to be more than ready to come out here and lead this team.”
Carolyn Chang | Staff Photographer
After tearing her ACL in the NCAA tournament last March, Kyra Lambert was hoping to return this year but will not recover quickly enough.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2017 | 15
Duke looks to bounce back Thursday Expand the playoff By Daniel Landa
Graduate student Rebecca Greenwell entered Sunday’s top-25 contest against No. 5 South Carolina with aspirations of claiming Duke’s alltime career record for made 3-pointers, needing just one to tie it and two to break it. After coming up empty, she will get another chance to cement her name in Blue Devil history Thursday night. No. 14 Duke will welcome UNC Greensboro to Cameron Indoor Stadium searching for a bounce-back performance after it was held to just 52 points—its lowest total since Jan. 15 last season—in a 20-point defeat to the Gamecocks. South Carolina led for all but the first four UNCG minutes of the contest, vs. as Blue Devil head coach No. 14 Joanne P. McCallie’s Duke squad could not find a way to contain forwards THURSDAY, 7 p.m. A’ja Wilson and Cameron Indoor Stadium Alexis Jennings, who combined for 39 points and 21 rebounds. “We obviously had a tough time with Wilson and Jennings on the inside, taking care of them, and also rebounding-wise, we would need to be better there. Scoring-wise, we need to be a bit better than we were,” McCallie said after Sunday’s game. “These are some great lessons for us in early December that we must apply to games that are coming up.” Although the Blue Devils (6-2) won’t be facing quite as much size against UNC Greensboro, they will need to keep an eye on senior transfer Ije Ajemba, who tied the C-USA Tournament record by posting 21 rebounds in a game for Old Dominion last season and has quietly racked up 10.6 rebounds per game for the Spartans this year. It will be 6-foot-4 Duke senior Erin Mathias’ job to contain Ajemba in the paint and crash the boards with the help of sophomore forward Leaonna Odom. Despite giving up two inches to Mathias, Odom has been slightly more effective
on the glass, averaging 8.1 rebounds per game compared to Mathias’s 6.0. Outside of the frontcourt matchup, McCallie stressed the importance of her team’s ability to attack the basket and convert at the charity stripe, an area that has cost the Blue Devils of late. “We’ve got to make free throws. You have to get to the free-throw line,” McCallie said. “You have to make layups and free throws to be at the highest level. There’s no question about it, so we have to work on that.” As a team, Duke is shooting only 67.4 percent at the line, compared to the Spartans’ 72.6 percent mark. After shooting as many 3-pointers as free throws against South Carolina, McCallie hopes to see the Blue Devils become more aggressive and avoid falling in love with the three-ball. “I think we took too many threes based on what the game was because it was so covered around the 3-point line,” McCallie said. “We needed to get more free throw attempts. Ten would not be enough to beat a team of South Carolina’s caliber.”
Although Duke relies on guard play to provide most of its scoring, with the duo of Lexie Brown and Greenwell contributing 34.6 points per game, it will be forced to guard a pair of talented guards on the other end as well. The Spartans (4-4) will bring a crafty backcourt to Cameron featuring Brandi Fier, leading the team with 35 assists, and sophomore Nadine Soliman, who averages 14.0 points per game. Despite quality guard play, the Spartans’ inability to hit the 3-pointer has contributed to three straight losses. Aside from sophomore guard Alexis Pitchford, nobody on the team has a 3-point percentage better than 37 percent, and as a team, UNC Greensboro is shooting an abysmal 27.0 percent from deep. The Blue Devils will look to get ahead early and never look back in a golden opportunity to get on track after a performance that left a lot to be desired Sunday. Spencer Levy and Conner McLeod contributed reporting.
Charles York | Staff Photographer
Rebecca Greenwell remains two 3-pointers away from breaking Duke’s career record after she did not make a triple against South Carolina.
This past Sunday, the eyes of the college football world were trained on a room where the 12 members of the College Football Playoff committee had to answer an almost impossible question: Which teams are worthy of the four spots in the Playoff? Clemson, Oklahoma and Georgia were easy choices, but the battle between Alabama and Ohio State for the fourth spot was fierce. The committee ultimately decided to favor the Crimson Tide, but what if they didn’t have to choose? The four-team playoff is a fundamentallyflawed design with five so-called power conferences, guaranteeing that at least one major conference champion will be left out every year. This year, both the Big Ten and the Pac-12 were shut out of the playoff, and Alabama, which did not even make the SEC championship, snuck into the Final Four. Central Florida, the only team in the nation to finish the season undefeated, was not even considered in the playoff discussion after it did not face a ranked opponent until playing No. 20 Memphis in the AAC championship. But it is hard to predict how the Knights’ high-powered offense would have fared against the best teams in the nation. The ideal structure for the playoff has always been eight teams, with the five powerconference champions getting automatic bids and one bid being reserved for the best team not in a power conference if any are ranked in the top 15. This would create two at-large bids available for deserving teams. If this structure was in place this fall,
See COLUMN on Page 17
SWIMMING AND DIVING
Blue Devil women beat Tar Heels in Knoxville By Winston Lindqwister Staff Reporter
Chronicle File Photo
Duke’s women’s team finished second in a nine-team field with 807 points, beating out No. 21 North Carolina.
With a squad returning some of last year’s brightest talents, the Blue Devils looked to make a statement in the early stages of the season. And even when faced with some of the nation’s top competition, Duke made sure it was heard loud and clear. The Blue Devils wrapped up their action for the fall semester with the Tennessee Invitational in Knoxville, Tenn., at the Volunteers’ Allan Jones Aquatic Center. Competing from Thursday to Saturday, Duke’s women’s team took second of nine teams behind only No. 7 Tennessee with 807 points, led by senior Isabella Paez’s first-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly. The men’s team took fourth of six teams with 492 points. Despite facing the Volunteers and No. 21 North Carolina on the women’s side and No. 15 Tennessee and No. 22 North Carolina on the men’s side, the
Blue Devils delivered strong performances across the board. “One of our goals was to be [consistent],” Duke head coach Dan Colella said. “A lot of times in these multi-day events you have some ups and downs, and we wanted to work on being consistent, and its been the most consistent three-day invitational championship meet we’ve had in quite some time.” Colella’s team got off to a bit of a slow start in the races on the first day of competition, but made up for it in diving. In the opening 200-yard freestyle relays, the Blue Devils struggled to find a way past the home team. The women’s A-relay team of sophomore Alyssa Marsh, senior Leah Goldman and juniors Hunter Aitchison and Maddie Hess took third at 1:30.03 behind the Volunteers at 1:29.07 and the Tar Heels with a time of 1:28.52. Although Marsh and Goldman put Duke in a strong position to See SWIMMING on Page 16
16 | WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2017
SWIMMING FROM PAGE 15 overtake Tennessee, the Volunteers’ Stanzi Moseley and Erika Brown powered through the last half of the relay to keep the Blue Devils at bay. The Duke men’s A-relay team of sophomore Miles Williams, juniors Sean Tate and Max St. George and senior Alex Peña suffered a similar fate as the women’s team, falling into fourth at 1:19.63 behind Pennsylvania at 1:18.69, Tennessee in second at 1:17.68 and Denver at the front of the pack with a time of 1:17.66. Williams gave the Blue Devils a slight lead early on, but strong splits from the leading teams denied Duke a chance to contest at the finish. The only other Blue Devils to make it to the top three for the rest of the day were Goldman taking third in the 200yard individual medley with a time of 1:57.72 and senior Verity Abel taking third in the 500-yard freestyle at 4:43.53. However, Duke’s diving squad managed to turn heads despite the rest of the teams’ struggles. Junior Lizzie Fitzpatrick took
second in the one-meter diving event with a score of 267.20, and junior Evan Moretti placed second with a score of 382.35 on the three-meter board for the men. On day two, Duke’s diving squad continued to impress while the Blue Devils’ racing teams began to pick up steam. Goldman took second in the 100-yard butterfly behind the Volunteers’ Erika Brown, and junior Judd Howard claimed third in the men’s 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 53.95. St. George—who reached the 50-meter backstroke finals in the 2017 Phillips 66 National Championship—took second in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 46.73, barely holding off the Volunteers’ Matthew Garcia. The Blue Devils found a big break in the 800-yard freestyle relay. The women’s A-squad of Marsh, Goldman, sophomore Kylie Jordan and Abel took a convincing second with a time of 7:12.62. Although they could never catch up to the Volunteers— who torched the competition with a final time of 7:07.11—the Blue Devils refused to let Denver catch up to them, keeping the Pioneers behind in all legs of the race. The men’s A-squad of Tate, sophomore Sheldon Boboff,
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The Chronicle senior Nick Bigot and Williams held down third with a time of 6:34.69 in the 800-yard freestyle relay behind Tennessee in first and Denver in second. Initially trailing North Carolina— who took fourth in the race—Williams made up more than three seconds on the final leg to overtake the Tar Heels by less than half a second. In the deep end, junior Mackenzie Wilborn and freshman Teddy Zeng continued Duke’s standard of success on the diving boards. Wilborn took second in three-meter diving with 297.55 points, and Zeng took second on the one-meter with 345.75 points. “[The divers] were incredibly consistent,” Colella said. “They finished in the same spots. I talked with [head diving coach] Nunzio [Esposto] and he was very pleased with their performances. All in all, it’s been a great trip to Knoxville and I’m glad we came.” On the final day of competition, the Blue Devils put up their strongest performances of the weekend. On the women’s side, Abel opened with a second place, 16:18.96 finish in the 1,650-yard freestyle with junior Maddie Hess following up with a third-place 1:55.46 finish in the 200yard backstroke. Marsh took third in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 48.63. Senior Isabella Paez, who initially struggled throughout the day to break the top-10 in other events, took the 200-yard butterfly title with a convincing 1:56.73. Although Tennessee’s Meghan Small led Paez in the first 50-yards, the Medley, Fla., native upped the pressure for the rest of the race and never looked back. Concluding the action for the women’s team, the A-squad of Marsh, Hess, Aitchison and Goldman put up a time of 3:16.63 to take third in the 400-yard freestyle relay. On the men’s side, Howard secured third in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:57.73 before the A-relay squad of Williams, Boboff, Tate and St. George finished in fifth at 2:56.61 in the 400-yard freestyle relay. “Every session, we need to build on the previous,” Colella said. “I’m very proud of these young men and women and how they finished it off tonight. Everyone is in really great spirits and really proud of their teammates and how they performed. It’s something where you work hard and reap the benefits, it’s just going to really motivate [the team] for the second half of the season.” The diving squad finished strong yet again, with two Duke divers taking second in platform diving. Wilborn finished with 224.25 points to lead the women’s squad, and sophomore Nathaniel Hernandez led the men’s team with 355.70 points. The Blue Devils have some time off before their next meet, when they will take on Queens University of Charlotte Jan. 12. “To be able to come off a meet like this with the kind of performances we had—even for those who didn’t achieve the times they were hoping for—I think there was a lot to be learned from the experience,” Colella said. “It’s just something this year where the culture has been different—a lot more competitive—and people are excited about the second half of the season and see what we can do in the conference.”
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COLUMN FROM PAGE 15 seven clear playoff participants would have been Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, Southern California and Central Florida. The final at-large spot would have been a debate between Auburn and Wisconsin, and the committee placed the 12-1 Badgers one spot ahead of the Tigers in their final rankings this season. This size allows the committee to reward teams that play challenging schedules and may suffer a loss or two, as well as the teams that emerge victorious from the slog of conference play. It also gives every team in the country a chance at the national championship when the season starts. Now, teams outside the power conferences often have no chance at cracking the field from the start of the season. The new system could also allow the playoff to feature one of the defining characteristics of
college football—the passionate and vibrant stadiums and traditions. The higher seed in the quarterfinals should be able to host the quarterfinal at its home stadium. Imagine Clemson charging down the hill after touching Howard’s Rock or the Sooner Schooner rolling onto the field in a playoff environment. The current system is a significant improvement on the old Bowl Championship Series system that only allowed two teams to compete for the national championship, but it is far from perfect. The eight-team bracket allows for more teams to have a shot at the crown while still maintaining the importance of the regular season, one of the main things that makes college football great. It’s time to give more deserving teams a shot at the championship and embrace the madness of college football. I for one want to live in a world where the words “Central Florida: National Champion” are possible. Let chaos reign.
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Nick Saban’s Alabama squad snuck into this year’s College Football Playoff as the No. 4 seed despite not playing in its conference championship game.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2017 | 17
M. BASKETBALL FROM PAGE 14 It showed quickly, as Duke hit nine straight shots following Duval’s early miss to open up a 22-5 advantage. With his teammates providing plenty of scoring, Duval rediscovered his role as the Blue Devils’ floor general—the freshman dished out 11 assists despite scoring just four points on the night while only committing a pair of turnovers. The team’s 34 assists were the program’s alltime single-game record. “We struggled with that Saturday in our last game, because even though we were bigger and we got out to a bigger lead, we wanted to make sure we dominated the entire 40 minutes and played our best,” Ian Jaffe | Photography Editor sophomore Javin DeLaurier said. “It’s a lot Gary Trent Jr. knocked down a career-high of fun playing with each other. It doesn’t four triples in the first half. matter who scores, it’s a Duke bucket. At the end of the game, we won by a wide margin, coast-to-coast, hitting the layup through and it’s a lot of fun playing.” contact and knocking down his and-one From there, the offensive onslaught only attempt at the charity stripe for his first three continued. Duke stretched its lead to as points as a Blue Devil. many as 39 in the first half, and by the eight“That’s a thrill for a kid to score,” Krzyzewski minute mark of the second half, the Blue said. “The students gave him a great ovation when Devils had already scored 100 points for the he came in, then he hit the free throw, too—that first time this season. was really something because usually they’re not With the contest well in hand from the going to make the free throw. He kept the thrill opening minutes, Krzyzewski had plenty going for a little bit longer.” of time to utilize his bench. Nine Blue Duke will now turn its focus to conference Devils played before intermission, and as play, heading to Chestnut Hill, Mass., Saturday the contest wound down, Duke dug deeper afternoon for its ACC opener against Boston into its reserves—Jordan Tucker played for College. The Eagles hung tough with Duke the first time since the Blue Devils’ season last season in Durham and return their three opener, adding six points in eight minutes to leading scorers, including preseason secondteam All-ACC guard Jerome Robinson. pad the margin. “We’re 0-0,” Bagley said. “All these games we’ve But the highlight of the night may have come from the final man added to Duke’s won, we have to put them behind us. It’s going to The New York Times Syndication Corporation get tougher but I think we’re ready. We’ve worked roster, walk-on guard Mike Buckmire. After Sales 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018 We’re battle-tested and I think that we’ll a chase-down block from Justin Robinson, so hard. For Information Call: 1-800-972-3550 be 5, ready for this conference.” Buckmire collected the rebound and December went For ForRelease Release Wednesday, Tuesday, December 6,2017 2017
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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
18 18 || WEDNESDAY, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER DECEMBER 6, 6, 2017 2017
Full participation in all we do
n Tuesday, an article published by the Chronicle highlighted Duke Student Government’s many issues with attendance policies yet again. Although the article did suggest that as a whole the organization has somewhat improved upon its past problems with poor attendance, it nonetheless struggles with this chronic issue under Ganguly’s tenure, evidenced by judicial proceedings against a number of DSG senators with unexcused absences. The problems faced by DSG are in no way unique. Whether it be an intramural sports team or a studentled activist group, many clubs and organizations at Duke have most likely dealt with poor attendance issues among a high-achieving student body. At an elite university with so many accomplished students involved in a wide-variety of campus pursuits, it is worth exploring why exactly certain organizations like DSG are currently dealing with poor attendance issues. Most Duke students come to the Gothic Wonderland with accomplishments spanning a large number of extracurricular and co-curricular activities from their high school years. Many of us, in the hopes of being admitted to universities like Duke, decorated our Common Application with a packed resume of different awards and leadership positions: captain
onlinecomment “Just remember these are students too, trying to do the best for themselves with the amazing opportunities Duke has to offer while also trying to give back to their community, all in a very short period of time.” —Abhi Sanka responding to “‘It is important that we show up’: DSG’s attendance improves, but some issues still exist,” published on Dec. 5, 2017
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of the track team, first-chair violinist in the school orchestra and state debate champion, just to name a few. When launching ourselves head-first into the Duke experience, it can be tempting to replicate the incessant cycle of balancing so many different activities at once along with an oftentimes intimidating academic workload. Nonetheless, many Duke students, especially first-years, do end up becoming involved in too many
Editorial Board activities on campus, which can arguably result in poor attendance issues in many student-led organizations. There arguably also exists a certain tendency to treat campus activities and leadership positions within organizations as resume boosters designed to impress future employers, graduate school admissions officers and internship firms. Rather than treating the responsibilities of extremely enriching activities like writing for the Chronicle or representing the student body as a DSG senator with a genuine interest, this ulterior motive of superficial self-gain can undoubtedly undermine the organizations in which
one participates. Skipping executive board meetings for academic organizations or incessantly foregoing rehearsals for dance teams and other musical groups sends a demoralizing message to other peers who do approach the same organizations with the utmost level of commitment. More often than not, the impetus is on those who do actually show up consistently to pick up the slack of those who do not, and thus work twice as hard to keep the organization afloat—undoubtedly contributing even more stress to the group. Consequently, instead of pursuing so many different campus activities at once, or treating one’s pursuits strictly in terms of professional development, Duke students should approach said ventures with a much more genuine, distilled focus. Rather than pursuing memberships in a wide variety of organization and failing to become meaningfully contributors to any one of them, students should aim to be involved in a few core activities during their Duke experience and dedicate themselves fully as members and leaders. The University’s mission statement emphasizes the need for Duke students to pursue “full participation as leaders in their communities.” We should aim to do exactly that, especially if we hope to make an impact on our beloved school during our four short years here.
iTime and ‘me time’ T
here is a maxim that has been widely circulated in the business world: “What gets measured gets managed.” This principle is popular because it has so many diverse applications. Do you want to improve productivity on an employee by employee basis? Measure each
Jack Dolinar FEATURED COLUMNIST worker’s current output in order to know where to invest in staff development. Do you want to drive more traffic to a website? Use Google Analytics to measure your current page views and figure out where they come from. Do you want to mitigate time wasted on your smartphone? But wait... why would anyone want to do that? My younger brother, who is currently a freshman at Georgetown, has a roommate who has chosen to use a $30 flip phone instead of a $300 smart phone. When I asked the roommate why, he told me that he “didn’t want to get addicted.” In an unrelated discussion, my brother has also told me that this roommate is one of the most productive people he knows. There is no doubt in my mind that these two traits are correlated. Improved productivity is just one of the many benefits we can see when we develop the skill of using our phones more conscientiously, and the app under scrutiny today is a handy tool for developing that conscientiousness. This app has been previously referenced in more than seventy national and international publications, including the New York Times, BBC, Bloomberg and PBS, but never before in the Duke Chronicle. It’s called “Moment,” and has the potential to completely recalibrate how we use our smartphones. Moment is what is known as an invisible app— you don’t play games on it or interact with it during the course of your day, but it runs in the background and constantly serves its purpose. Moment’s purpose is simple: it tracks how much time we spend on our phones each day, how many times we “pick up” our devices and on which apps we spend the most time. And, as Moment proudly declares on its page in the App Store, “Moment is the first and only app on the App Store to do this.” This brings us back to our original question —why do you need to manage the time you spend on your screens? Maybe you don’t. Or maybe you simply think you don’t. Moment data indicates that many people wildly underestimate how much time they spend on their screens. Kevin Holesh, the developer behind the app, estimated he spent 45 or 55 daily minutes on his smartphone. His girlfriend presumed that she spent
around an hour on her device. After installing the beta version of the app, they learned the sobering truth : humans are bad at estimating. Both Kevin and his partner were spending around twice as much time on their devices as they had guessed. I do not doubt that many of us have fallen prey to the same underestimation. As I’ve written in the past, our smartphones are simply tools that we have begun to use indiscriminately. Managing the use of these tools begins with measuring their use. But even if people agree that we spend a lot of time on our devices, there is nothing in that fact that inherently motivates us to become digital hermits. A desire to spend less time “on the line” comes from an internal motivation, not from a few statistics. I personally chose to begin a more intentional association with my iPhone, after contemplating one specific piece of data. In the past three months, I have spent a daily average of one hour and 58 minutes on my iPhone 6s. I checked that statistic this morning using Moment’s helpful tracking system, which can generate reports of your phone usage over a day, a week, a quarter or “all time”. What really struck me—and what has struck me in the past—was the number that Moment generated after calculating this average. I am spending 12 percent of my waking time on my phone. Moment indicated that if I continue at my current rate, I will squander 5.2 years of my life on the screen. Before that number sunk in, the even more disconcerting fact was that my current screen usage is down 9 percent from this summer, when I spent hours each day surfing the web and watching Netflix or Amazon Prime TV series. The average Moment user spends 23 percent of their waking life on their phone. That’s 10 years on screen over the course of a lifetime! Imagine what you could do with 10 years. You could launch a successful business, get two college degrees, travel the world, build a career or start a family. We live in an age of maximalism, where technology is concerned. We have lived by the unspoken principle that “More tech is good tech.” By all means, if your phone provides you with value, then you should continue to use it as much as you please. But consider what you miss when you fail to live intentionally. Consider what you stand to gain if you simply measured your screen time and reduced it by 30 minutes daily. Consider downloading Moment, an app that will help you use other apps less. Think about spending less time iTime on your phone, and more me time on yourself—it might help you better understand what you really need to accomplish. Jack Dolinar is a Trinity junior. His column usually runs on alternate Mondays.
Soft power and foreign policy
The conversations we try to avoid
ne Saturday night, a friend is in my room to chill for a bit before going to “Kappa probate.” After answering my confusion over which Kappa she’s talking about (hint: NPHC, not Panhel), she explains what the event is. She and my roommate encourage me to check the probate out if I’m interested. Instead, I join another group of friends to head over to what could generously be described as a party. It’s about 10 p.m. at this point. Standing outside my room, on the main quad, another friend I’m with asks “Hey, what’s going on in front of the Chapel? Let’s go check it out.” I struggle to come up with the name—“Someone was just in my room who
he news that President Trump’s former national security advisor lied about discussions with the Russians was the latest sign of dishonesty in the highest ranks of the administration. Far more lasting for our national security, however, will be the legacy of our potentially soon to be departing Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, who has enthusiastically dismantled our diplomatic corps at a time when we face growing foreign
wanted to go there!”—but eventually produce the name “Kappa probate,” adding that it’s an event for one of the black fraternities. “Ew no, I don’t want to go to that.” At this point, I debated whether I wanted to say something. Because within less than 20 minutes, around two different groups I considered friends, I had heard both enthusiasm and disgust about the same event, and I didn’t think it fair not to say something. But it was also a Saturday night, I was going to spend an entire night with these friends and didn’t need to stir up any conflict, and it was really, really cold ou— Before all these thoughts had gone through my head, the window for me to have said something had already passed. All it would have taken was a quick “Hey, that’s not cool,” or “What’s wrong with that?” These were friends I should have been comfortable enough to say such things around. But looking back, I’m not sure if I could have realistically expected myself to have said anything. Sure, the main quad on a freezing Saturday right before a party was not the best environment to bring up this concern, but even had the environment been right, I didn’t have the familiarity with black Greek life to articulate what was wrong. On another Friday night, two of my friends who had only briefly met before were sitting on the floor in my room talking. Somehow the conversation moved to students with disabilities and the accommodations for them at Duke. One of my friends was struggling to find the right word to describe disability—is saying impaired offensive? Is differently-abled the right word? It was midnight, but none of us had plans for the rest of the night. It was not cold nor windy, and there was plenty of time to work around awkward wordings. We understood his point, and the conversation moved on. Later, my friend confessed, “I don’t know. It’s really difficult for me to talk about disability issues, because I’m just so not used to it.” I don’t hear this kind of confession often, and I wish I did. I wish there were more time that Saturday for me to speak up, for me to find the right words. I wish that kind of space and room for mistakes was welcome and present. This semester, I’m taking my first sociology class, where I find myself reading and processing words and concepts that I had previously never heard. And the first time I wrote and spoke and parroted the concepts, they felt foreign. That was not the case for others in my class. Maram Elnagheeb, in a column a few weeks ago, criticized her peers for pretending to be liberal by simply reading and parroting an ideology presented to them in class, while their original thoughts, particularly on social issues, may contradict some of those beliefs. I don’t know how many original thoughts I have yet, but in the process of developing them, I do expect there to be some contradictions. In the process of clarifying my viewpoints, it’s likely that I will mess up, that the words won’t come out right, that there will be contradictions in my belief system. Because just as comforting friends becomes easier and easier the more it is done, the more that we mess up and stumble through unfamiliar topics, the more these conversations on tough topics can emerge. This isn’t an explicit plea for or against politically correct language (though if you’re going to talk about a topic, ideally you should know the history of its vocabulary). Rather, it is a reminder that we should consider the way we want to talk about issues, so that when the time comes again, we can get across the message that we want to convey. And the only way to talk about topics that may be uncomfortable is by… talking about them. Where is the space for those conversations, and where is the time? Certain courses may offer that space, but how many people take a class in Sociology, African and African American Studies (AAAS), or Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies (GSF)? What other classes and fields offer environments in which identity and lived experiences are so important? And perhaps a dorm room on a Friday night can occasionally serve as that space, even if it is incredibly difficult to create with intention. But just because these conversations and environments are difficult to create and engage with doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. What’s important is having these conversations, hard as they might be, so that they eventually get easier. Most of us are probably at Duke because we wanted a challenge- this is an additional one. Because, what are the consequences of living in a world where some ideas are so foreign that they can’t even be discussed? And what will our society look like if people are unwilling to engage in challenging conversations? I don’t know. Maybe we should talk about it.
policy threats. With a rogue North Korean dictator launching missiles, wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East, and an emboldened Russia that seeks to dismantle NATO and interfere in western elections, one would think that the U.S. needs both hard and soft power tools to combat these strategic challenges. Yet, rather than try to complement military use with effective diplomacy, the Trump administration has instead sought to increase military spending by an amount greater than the entire budget of the State Department. Simultaneously Mr. Trump and Mr. Tillerson have encouraged the departure of hundreds of seasoned foreign hands, leaving key positions unfilled, and diminishing morale among State Department employees. Particularly concerning are cuts to State Department programs responsible for humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and economic development, which total about $6.6 billion. The Trump administration’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget—released earlier this year—requested a 29 percent cut to State Department funding, with climate change initiatives, foreign aid spending, and United Nations contributions among the most severe budgetary reductions. The proposed budget called for slashing funding for the World Bank, which sponsors crucial anti-poverty initiatives, as well as for critical cultural exchange programs such as the Fulbright Program, which enables recent college graduates to study, teach, and conduct research abroad. While a number of these cuts were rejected by Republicans and Democrats in Congress, they represent a troubling lack of interest in confronting pressing challenges. Cuts to climate change programs reveal a denial of science; slashing foreign aid spending impedes effective responses to refugee crises and global pandemics; and reductions in U.N. contributions hinder global peacekeeping, nonproliferation, and counterterrorism efforts. Equally troubling is the absence of many senior level State Department officials. Only ten of the top 44 State Department political appointees have been confirmed, and for most of these vacancies, the president has not nominated anyone. The number of officials with the department’s top two ranks of career ambassador and career minister— equivalent to three and four star generals— were cut in half last Friday from 39 to 19. Of the 431 minister-counselors who have two-star equivalent ranks, only 369 remain, which is an 18 percent drop. Such vacancies are particularly alarming in light of current events. Despite the civil war in Syria and increasing concerns over a possible conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, there is no confirmed assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs or ambassadors to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, or Qatar. While Zimbabwe confronts an uncertain future following Robert Mugabe’s departure, the department lacks a confirmed assistant secretary for African affairs, as well as an
Amy Fan is a Trinity sophomore. Her column, “fangirling,” runs on alternate Wednesdays.
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ambassador to neighboring South Africa. And even with the ongoing North Korean threat, Mr. Trump has yet to formally appoint an ambassador to South Korea. Draconian budget cuts and unwillingness to fill critical State Department positions have led to the dismantling of the Foreign Service, whose officers in nearly 300 embassies and consulates aid American citizens abroad, help American companies navigate barriers to trade and investment, coordinate counterterrorism programs, and manage development and humanitarian aid to countries in conflict zones. Mr. Tillerson’s recent decision to downsize the Foreign Service by eight percent is misguided. Given that the Foreign Service is a fraction of the military’s size, and that officers are already strained in tackling the myriad global challenges the U.S. faces, such a reduction makes little sense. Proponents of the State Department’s evisceration might claim that the U.S. is combating challenges more effectively than over the previous eight years. In a statement last month, Vice-President Mike Pence said, “President Trump is achieving real results on the international stage,” citing the fact that “ISIS is on the run” and “North Korea is isolated like never before.” Yet, ISIS’ defeat is largely due to strategic and military successes from the Obama administration, and if the U.S. hopes to prevent marginalization and corruption from radicalizing youth and creating a power vacuum that can be filled by terrorists, then a well-funded State Department is essential. Additionally, North Korean sanctions were due in large part to Nikki Haley’s tireless work as U.N. ambassador and cooperation from fellow U.N. Security Council members, all the more reason to adequately fund the U.N. Even members of Trump’s administration have endorsed the need for a strong State Department. As his Secretary of Defense and former four-star general James Mattis famously said, “If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition ultimately.” A strong military is necessary for a superpower like the U.S. and can provide crucial leverage at the negotiating table. Yet military might alone cannot compel competing actors to forge durable political solutions to end bloody wars, or enable partners to strengthen institutions to prevent corruption and ensure adherence to the rule of law. From the formation of NATO and valuable economic institutions such as the IMF and World Bank, to the 1968 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Richard Nixon’s historic 1972 opening with China, and Jimmy Carter’s deft management of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty that ended a 40-year conflict, many of America’s greatest foreign policy successes have been won at the negotiating table. The impressive negotiations that facilitated the collapse of the Soviet Union and reunification of Germany, as well as the negotiation of the Iran Nuclear Agreement show the transformative results of American diplomacy. It is a welcome sign to see bipartisan Congressional opposition to the marginalization of the State Department. With upcoming battles over funding the government, Congress must continue to urge the administration to adequately fund diplomatic resources that critically complement America’s military strength. Only with a fully-utilized diplomatic corps can the U.S. continue to play a vigorous global leadership role and promote a rules-based international order that has maintained global stability for over 70 years. Max Labaton is a Trinity sophomore. His column runs on alternate Tuesdays.
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