See Inside Can Duke stop Baylor’s explosive offense? Page 8
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, SEPTEMBER 12, 2018 DUKECHRONICLE.COM
Duke ties Penn in U.S. News rankings
ONE HUNDRED AND FOURTEENTH YEAR, ISSUE 9
FLORENCE THE MACHINE Classes canceled as campus readies for hurricane Staff Reports
Staff Reports The Chronicle
Duke regained its eighth position in the U.S. News and World Report rankings this year. The University, which fell behind the University of Pennsylvania to ninth place last year, is tied with Penn for the 2019 rankings. The three years previously, Duke was in eighth. Princeton maintained its position at the top of the rankings for the eighth year in a row, beating out Harvard, which again came in second. This year, there was a four-way tie for third place between Columbia, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Chicago and Yale. The four-way horse race was followed by Stanford, then Duke. Johns Hopkins moved back into the top-10 in a tie with Northwestern University, bumping out the California Institute of Technology. As Duke gained one spot in the national university rankings, Williams College maintained its hold on the top of the list for best liberal arts colleges. Aside from the best national university and liberal arts colleges rankings, U.S. News and World Report also publishes more specific rankings for a wide swath of college features. In the “Best Values School” category, Duke dropped from its 10th position last year to 13th this year. The Pratt School of Engineering moved up from 20th place to a tie for 18th place this year, compared to 18th in 2017 in the ranking for engineering programs. Duke dropped from 10th last year to a tie for 16th this year in the “Most Innovative Schools” category. For “Undergraduate Teaching,” Duke maintained its hold on 10th place, compared to ranking 14th in 2017. The Blue Devils, however, remain firmly ahead of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, which moved into a tie for 30th from its ranking of 30th last year. UNC ranked tied for fifth this year among the best public schools. The U.S. News and World Report rankings are based on statistical and qualitative measures to parse out the rankings, and the rankings take into account a wide variety of factors. In order of their weight, the factors they consider are graduation and retention rates, undergraduate academic reputation, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate performance and alumni giving rate.
Duke announced that classes would be cancelled from 5:00 p.m. Wednesday until Saturday, following similar announcements from other colleges in the Triangle area. In addition, all athletic events on campus from Thursday to Sunday will be cancelled or postponed, the University stated Tuesday morning. Duke will activate the severe weather and emergency condition policy beginning Thursday at noon. Students were notified about the change in a DukeAlert that was sent out around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. Workers have begun taking precautionary safety measures as the area braces for the storm, securing outdoor equipment and storm drains. Medical personnel and police will still be on-call throughout the storm, the alert said, as will facilities crews. Courtesy of NASA Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall in North Carolina later this week.
See CLASSES on Page 12
Keep up with all of The Chronicle’s hurricane coverage on our live blog at dukechronicle.com
Getting around Duke in the storm By Nathan Luzum Senior Editor
Likhitha Butchireddygari Investigations Editor
When Hurricane Florence hits land, high winds and rainfall flooding will likely consume Bull City, Wes Hohenstein, chief meteorologist at CBS 17, told The Chronicle Sunday. On the ground in Durham, winds are likely to reach a speed of more than 70 miles per hour, which may create unsafe conditions for drivers. Most days, trees that enclose and fill Duke’s campus complete the school’s scenic aesthetic. But, combined with high winds, those same trees may cause damage to your car. For example, a fallen branch or other debris could break your windshield or dent the top. Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, wrote in an email Tuesday that he recommends students to “avoid driving as much as possible during the storm” and said he will “avoid parking under tree limbs as best I can.” Regarding driving, National Weather Service aptly warned: “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.” “If you see a road covered in water or blocked off due
See RANKINGS on Page 12
See STORM on Page 12
Duke alum runs for N.Y. attorney general
Tales of New York
Zephyr Teachout, Duke Law ‘99, is running for the New York office to “lead the legal resistance” against Trump. PAGE 3
Public policy graduate student on navigating New York City.
INSIDE — News 2 | Sports 4 | Crossword 9 | Opinion 10 | Serving the University since 1905 |
Sujal Manohar | Photography Editor Duke students crowded the Lobby Shop Tuesday afternoon.
Sujal Manohar | Photography Editor Students stocked up on frozen foods and chips.
Dueling columnists: Is Duke football toast? releases
memoir PAGE 7
After losing two starters last week, our Derek Saul and Winston Lindqwister take sides on Duke’s fate. PAGE 8
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2 | WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2018
Lecture looks: Professors discuss classroom fashion By Cynder Rodriguez
their wardrobe. It’s important to stay warm and safe, they said. As the weather gets colder, Roy adds cardigans—and sometimes even a sports coat—to his look. Additionally, during some winter days, icy roads make it too dangerous for Bermeo to wear her classic stilettos.
The Chronicle spoke to some professors who teach large lecture courses to get the rundown on lecture fashion musts, faux pas, and everything in between. Here are the do’s and don’ts they shared. Do: have some fun with your wardrobe It’s always a plus to have some fun with your wardrobe, whether it’s with bowties, graphic tees, or colorful pants. Brian Hare, associate evolutionary anthropology professor, said he sometimes wears a Batman belt and orange pants to lecture. “I think it communicates that I’m taking the class serious, but we’re still having fun,” he added. Similarly, Ahmad Hariri, professor of psychology and neuroscience, enjoys jazzing things up sometimes with brightlycolored shoe soles—on Wednesday, they were neon green.
Yi Chen | Contributing Photographer Charles Skender, professor of economics, says he wears a suit and tie every day to lecture.
dress his outfit up with nice shoes. Hariri buys many of his dressier shoes from a Cole Haans line that have Nike soles, providing the perfect balance of fashion and comfort—perfect for the strain of 75 minute lectures and walking around campus. Do: spice things up with your footwear Sarah Bermeo, associate professor of public Fun shoes can make a statement. policy, prefers less comfortable shoes. “If you want to do something fun… I think “I like really high heels...usually of the shoes and socks are the first place men stop,” stiletto variety,” she said. Hariri said. She noted that she will change out of her It’s safe to say he has a large variety of shoes heels if she has to quickly get across campus, to pick from—Hariri noted he was slightly but she’ll immediately put them back on just embarrassed to say he can almost make it because she likes them. through an entire semester without wearing the same pair of shoes twice. Don’t: unless you’re absolutely sweltering, Christopher Roy, associate professor of wear shorts chemistry and education, also spices things up Most professors spoke of wearing shorts to with some funky socks. Although he’s generally “a lecture as a major faux pas, but given the recent jeans and a t-shirt kind of guy,” he will occasionally heat and humidity that has hit Durham, some
have broken their longstanding rule. “I feel a little guilty because for the very first time in almost ten years, the second day of class, because the first day was miserable, I wore shorts,” Hariri said. Hare faces a similar conundrum every spring. “Can I wear shorts to lecture or not?” he asks himself every morning. Most of the time, he decides against it, but he has given in to the heat a few times. Like Hariri, he feels a little guilty when he wears them. Roy, on the other hand, had no qualms about wearing shorts during his time teaching at the Duke Marine Lab this past summer. Do: dress for the weather Just as the scorching heat of the summer sometimes drives some professors to wear shorts, the winter also forces them to mix up
Do: wear what you are comfortable in For different professors, being comfortable means different things. However, it is most important to feel comfortable in front of your students. For Roy, being comfortable usually means jeans and a t-shirt. “I’d like to think I’m about a step above slob,” he said. “There’s so many other things to think about, and being comfortable makes for a more comfortable atmosphere.” Roy stressed that lecture fashion is about setting the kind of atmosphere you want in your classroom, but also about practicality for post-class commitments, such as working in the laboratory. On the other end of the spectrum, Charles Skender, professor of economics, wears a suit and tie every single day, a practice that has stuck with him since his days in public accounting. He does enjoy mixing his wardrobe up, nonetheless. “On Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, I wear bow ties. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, I wear neck ties. I also wear braces (suspenders), cuff links, a pocket square and a lapel pin,” he wrote in an email. However, although Skender dresses professionally, he agrees professors should wear whatever they’re comfortable in since “the most important aspect is teaching the material, not putting on a fashion show.”
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Across 9 weeks, artists, performers, activists, and scholars invite us to rethink the role of art and history in shaping social and political change. All events free and open to the public. Organized by the Power Plant Gallery and the Forum for Scholars and Publics in partnership with the Duke Center for Documentary Studies, the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts, The Oﬃce of the Vice Provost for the Arts — Duke Arts,the Rubenstein Arts Center, Arts of the Moving Image, Screen/Society, the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, the Duke Dance Program, the Duke Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, the Program in Literature, the Department of Cultural Anthropology, the Department of African & African American Studies, Duke Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies, Duke Performances, the Duke Coﬀeehouse, and Calabasa Calabasa: Dancing and Making the Music of Life.
Duke alum runs for N.Y. attorney general to ‘lead the legal resistance’ against Trump By Caroline Avery Contributing Reporter
Duke alumnus Stephen Miller helped elect Donald Trump, but now a different Duke alum is hoping to bring him down. Zephyr Teachout, M.A. and J.D. ‘99, is running as a progressive populist in Thursday’s Democratic primary race for the position of New York’s attorney general. Like many other Democrats, Teachout is running in opposition to President Trump. In 2017, three days after President Trump’s inauguration, she and a team of lawyers sued him in the case Citizens for Responsibility in Ethics in Washington v. Trump for his violations of the Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution. On her campaign website, she names “leading the legal resistance against the Trump assault on law” as her first priority as attorney general. Endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Cortez, Teachout is running on a populist and progressive platform. In the wake of Cortez’s victory over incumbent and Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley, her platform might prove to be strategic to attract New Yorkers currently gravitating toward an alternative to the Democratic establishment. She presents herself as the people’s choice, aiming to serve their needs instead of the interests of the corrupt political elite. Especially in light of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s victory in New York’s 14th congressional district, this platform might be of particular importance to New Yorkers dissatisfied with the establishment.
However, this race is not Teachout’s first. In 2014, she lost to incumbent New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic Party primary. Two years ago, she also made a bid for the House and lost in a tight race in the general election. And, just like her past races, Teachout’s path to attorney general won’t be easy. A new poll from Monday put Teachout in third with 18 percent of the vote behind Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) and New York City public advocate Letita James, who had 25 percent and 24 percent of the vote respectively. Raised by a constitutional law professor and a state court judge, her prospective career in See ALUM on Page 12
Courtesy of Flickr zephyr4ny Duke Law alum Zephyr Teachout is running for New York’s attorney general post.
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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2018 | 3
Professors join Dept. of Energy research center By Brian Guo Contributing Reporter
Michael Lee Contributing Reporter
Though solar power offers a promising future for sustainable energy, it remains relatively costly and impractical, something three three Duke professors hope to change. The faculty members, along with 13 researchers from other universities, have been selected to form the Center for Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Semiconductors for Energy. The group is a new Department of Energy initiative to study the potential of these semiconductors in sustainable energy and beyond. David Mitzi, the Simon Family Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science; Adrienne Stiff-Roberts, professor of electrical and computer engineering; and Volker Blum, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, are at the helm of studying the hybrid semiconductors, which are special for their unique composition of both organic and inorganic materials. “Our first and foremost goal is to understand the fundamental physics behind how these materials work, and the reason that’s important is because it can establish these types of hybrid materials as a new semiconductor technology,” StiffRoberts said. The scientists hope to fine-tune these
materials through their key properties of spin, charge and light, eventually creating powerful uses for LEDs and other electronics. “The primary goal that researchers are working towards is a practical alternative to traditional energy technologies,” Mitzi said. “The key thing people care about is cost per unit performance.” In search of more cost-efficient materials, Mitzi and his team have focused their efforts on understanding perovskites, which are small minerals made of calcium titanate. The hybrid semiconductor material “demonstrate[s] orders of magnitude better absorption characteristics” with less material and at a lower cost than silicon, the dominant material in solar energy technology today. Reflecting on her journey in the materials science field, Stiff-Roberts said that Duke’s interdisciplinary learning environment was key to her success. “The biggest thing about Duke that helped make this possible is just the ability to collaborate across different departments,” she said. “That atmosphere of collaboration and multidisciplinarity really planted the seed for this project moving forward.” For Mitzi, this project is the culmination of his lifelong dreams. “When I was in high school, the thing that really excited me, and the reason why I got into science in the first place, was the thought of designing new energy technologies that are clean and sustainable,” he said.
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4 | WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2018
Republican, Democratic congressmen discuss partisanship By Ben Leonard Managing Editor
Two congressmen from opposing parties, Dan Lipinski (DIL) and Tom Reed (R-NY), spoke Monday at a POLIS Event entitled “Bipartisan Collaboration in the U.S. Congress: Yes, It Really Happens.” Reed is the co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus, which is dedicated to building bipartisan support on a number of key issues. Lipinski is also one of the caucus’ 48 members. The Chronicle’s Ben Leonard sat down with Lipinski and Reed after the talk to discuss the institutional role of the president in bipartisan cooperation. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Neal Vaidya | Staff Photographer Both congressmen are members of the Problem Solvers Caucus.
The Chronicle: Given both of your roles in the Problem Solvers Caucus, what do you think is the institutional role
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of a president in gaining bipartisan support? Some will point to President Obama and say partisanship was strong then, as it is under President Trump. How important is the president’s position in that regard? Tom Reed: The more the president can engage with members and work across the aisle, the stronger the agenda is going to be. Historically, the fundamental reforms that have withstood the test of time have been bipartisan. You look at Social Security, you look at welfare reform, tax reform in the Reagan years, done in a bipartisan fashion. Those withstood decades worth of changes of administration and parties in the House and Senate. That’s one thing I give President Trump credit for. Dan talked about him welcoming members down to the White House to have meetings. That’s not a bad thing. Hopefully, the president is going to continue to reach out. When you talked to people on the Hill about President Obama, I thought it was just me. I wrote 16 letters to President [Obama], many of them hand-written, and didn’t even get a courtesy response from a staffer saying, “Thank you for your input, we’ll take it into consideration and get back to you.” I thought it was just me, but Democratic members were treated that way too. There’s a lot to be said about setting the tone. I hope this administration and future administrations learn those lessons, embrace the other side, engage the other side and try to find common ground. TC: In terms of setting the tone as you mentioned, one of the common critiques of President Trump from both sides of the aisle has been that he has politicized justice in some ways, with regard to the FBI and Robert Mueller’s investigation. What sort of precedent does that send and is that something a president should be doing? TR: The Twitter politics of the day, many of us expressed our disagreements with the President on that. The issues are deeper than 140 characters. I would hope the administration starts to appreciate that more going forward. When it comes to justice, this is the nature of the beast today. Justice is still made up of many fine men and women that are there for the right reasons. The institution itself is stronger than one person and will survive attacks because at its core, the institution is strong.
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Dan Lipinski: I have really serious concerns about what President Trump is doing in terms of attacking institutions. It didn’t start with him, but he’s carrying it to a further degree. He doesn’t understand the importance of these institutions. A lot of Americans don’t understand how important these institutions are to the functioning of our country. If you tear institutions down, if people don’t trust these institutions, it makes the whole system fall apart. That’s a real problem right now. I wish someone could rein in President Trump in and say, “you can’t do this for your own political purposes.” We understand what you are doing. Politically, it’s helpful to do this. But these are the Justice Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigations. These are important institutions people need to trust. If people don’t trust them, our country can’t function. But he sees everything as political. He’s willing, as many people are—some of the resistance to Trump has gone too far in saying anything is okay because we are fighting someone who is so bad. If there’s classified information that gets leaked, that’s fine if it hurts Trump. That again is destruction of institutions. It’s hard to defend because in politics, many people don’t talk about that. The general public doesn’t have an understanding of the importance of trust in institutions. If you don’t trust institutions, you can’t have a democratic system.
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Neal Vaidya | Staff Photographer The congressmen joined Fritz Mayer, professor of public policy, for a Monday talk.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2018 | 5
VOLUME 20, ISSUE 9 | SEPTEMBER 12, 2018
Tales of New York
Duke grad student publishes memoir, page 7
reflections on anxiety Blood Orange releases fourth album, ‘Negro Swan,’ page 6
coping with loss Student life editor Sydny Long reflects on ‘Spacebar,’ page 7
R 6 | WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2018
What are your hurricane plans? Christy Kuesel ...................wine night! Sarah Derris......................medicating Will Atkinson ............ curating playlists Nina Wilder .............jumping turnstiles Selena Qian ..........................sleeping Eva Hong........................Netflix & chill Alizeh Sheikh .....................homework Lexi Bateman ...................... shooters! Sydny Long ....................... meditating Jessica Williams ............. blacking out Bre Bradham................ live streaming
I’ve always been excited when it comes to my turn to write a staff note, for I see it as an opportunity to force myself to sort my thoughts and reflect on how I’ve grown over the semester. This cathartic space was especially helpful my freshman year, when I spent most of my time studying in the library, yelling at basketball games and learning about myself. I broke myself down into pieces, examined each one and reconstructed a self that I hoped would be more open, more confident and more compassionate. Words were easy to bring to my staff notes then, but this semester, they seem to be choked down by smokes of thoughts that are much more volatile and unruly. Thus, I only have some scattered notes that hopefully I can piece together into a coherent story in the end. About Water If I were to write a memoir, it would definitely begin by “I was born by water…” Indeed, there is so much water in my life, perhaps too much. My last name means “flood” in Chinese, while the middle character in my Chinese name refers to a famous traditional poem about a girl standing by the water. I was born by the morning sea and later moved to live by Lake Ontario. Even after coming to Duke, I still need to occasionally escape to Lake Juno or Myrtle Beach for a break and some comfort of familiarity. Since my life until now has been split between three different places, I sometimes feel rootless. But smelling the freshness and staleness of water in the wind, burying my feet deep in the rough sand to feel its tenderness and silently watching waves swim in the frozen frames of time can always remind me of home, no matter where I am. About Family But after all, home is about reuniting with family. In August before school started, we went on a family trip to Banff and had a spectacular time. Dad was driving, with Mom
sitting beside him, diligently reminding him to watch the speed and taking videos of the miracle-like scenery on Icefield Parkway. I was couching in the back, Nikon D3300 in my hands, and ready to move quickly to either the right or left window to capture “the moment.” Mom warned Dad about the speed again, this time in a louder voice. Dad’s eyes and mine met in the rear-view mirror – a small smirky squint was enough to let each other know that we only wanted the car to go faster. Feeling extremely secure and comforted in that car, I thought that the three of us could drive anywhere in the world just like that. But a year ago, I didn’t think that. I was a
staff note fledgling eager to fly away from my nest to see the bigger world and conquer the sky. When I did go home, I was impatient with and bored by the lack of academic challenges, exciting events and basketball games in my small, toopeaceful suburb. When I watched my parents pack up the car with extra luggage to bring home, when I waved goodbye to the car driving away from behind Baldwin Auditorium, when I turned around in my “Class of 2021” shirt to go back to O-Week functions, what I didn’t know then was how college would impact my relationship with the two people that I love the most in the world – how it would strictly limit when, how often and how long I could see them. And this feeling will likely get worse after graduation when I start working and
building a life of my own that will be more independent from theirs. This summer we met another Blue Devil family in Toronto, of which the father is a devoted Dukie and dresses their only daughter in Duke blue. But the mother is not so willing to send her daughter to pass on the legacy: “It’s too far. I don’t want my only child living that far from me,” she said. I would be worried like crazy. All mothers would.” I am an only child too. But only then did I realize what a courageous mother I have. About Friends When I am at Duke, my friends are my home base. I was extremely lucky to have had them stumbling through freshman year with me. But the transition from freshmen to upperclassmen and from East to West is a weird one. The tide of excitement has receded, but the urgency of graduation is not so pertinent yet. Suddenly we are inundated and perhaps a little paralyzed by the amount of life choices we have to make. It will be a difficult journey, but it will help us grow into better versions of ourselves. The only question is, will we gradually grow apart in this pursuit? About Future … So now it’s the end. Have I successfully pieced my scattered notes into a coherent story? I don’t know. Maybe. Can I successfully piece my scattered stories and decisions into a future that I want? Maybe. I can only find out as I start typing words onto MyFuture.docx. -Eva Hong
on the cover: Veggies at the Duke Farmer’s Market by Kerry Rork.
Blood Orange paints an intimate portrait of exclusion on ‘Negro Swan’ By Zoë McDonald Contributing writer
Black swans have long been used as a metaphor to characterize people whose significance is deemed unsuspecting due to societal biases associated with their appearance. They are outliers. In his fourth studio album as Blood Orange, British-born Devonté Hynes delves into what is is like to be a black swan in a society that continues to place outsider labels on people of colour, as well as those who are queer. “Negro Swan” is a candid and honest look at the various dimensions of Hynes’ anxiety, with accounts of personal experience and commentary from writer and transgender activist Janet Mock throughout. Mid-tempoed and with a steady beat, the opening track “Orlando” sets the tone for the album. Hynes’ soft vocals are the focus as he croons about being bullied and beat up at sixteen: “To feel so numb that it’s deafening, walls will give in”. It has the smooth groove of a Marvin Gaye song, but with added modernity from the synthy feel of the electric piano and twanging guitar. The beat feels familiar, reminiscent of “You’re Not Good Enough” the star track from Hynes’ 2013 album “Cupid Deluxe”. However, “Negro Swan” is lighter, more delicate and more personal than any of his preceding albums. It is a direct trip into Hynes’ somewhat-blurred and hazy mind, mapping out his struggles with anxiety and depression. “Hope”, the fourth of sixteen tracks, lays out the most explicit of some of Hynes’ uneasy thoughts. The track features Tei Shi, a CanadianColombian singer-songwriter, and a genuine
monologue from Puff Daddy, in which he questions, “You know, what is it going to take for me not to be afraid to be loved the way, like, I really wanna be loved?” The use of spoken word is strong and forms a connection with the listener. We do not have to rack our brains to pinpoint an exact instance when we have been consumed by similar, anxietyridden banter. In such manner, Hynes makes himself, and the album as a whole, relatable. The autobiographical nature of “Negro Swan” makes it difficult to place a label on the album; something Devonté Hynes may have done as an attempt to make categorizations indistinct. The album is not strictly one genre, but rather jumps around from synth-pop on “Saint” to hip-hop with the A$AP Rocky feature on “Chewing Gum” to gospel on “Holy Will.” The funky bass line on “Out of Your League”, featuring Steve Lacy of The Internet, seems like it was taken directly from “Hive Mind”, the Internet’s most recent 2018 album. Each song has a vibe different from the next, but Hynes’ impressive multi-instrumental talents are enough to give the album undeniable unity. Located exactly in the middle of the album, and co-written with Porches’ Aaron Maine, “Charcoal Baby” acts as the heart of “Negro Swan” and is a standout track. When it was pre-released, I was instantly captivated by the clear-cut beat and prominent guitar part, adding it to my library before even reaching the end. “No one wants to be the odd one out at times”, he sings on the chorus. “Can you break sometimes?” It is the height of Hynes’ vulnerability, with emotional specificity and a wistful groove similar to that of Frank
Ocean’s “Blonde”. The music video that goes along with “Charcoal Baby”, directed by Crack Stevens, is a depiction of a family gathering in which Hynes is performing. It provides spoton visuals for the spoken word that opens the track and is celebratory and uplifting, adding hope to the inherently raw lyrics. As a musical work and as a personal statement, “Negro Swan” is a success. Devonté Hynes’ production talents are evident in the way he has managed to pair intimate memories and thoughts with instrumentation that adds emphasis to their deeper meaning. The listener will not get lost in a flurry of notes and beats, but rather
feel the power of what Hynes has to say – something that is becoming increasingly rare in today’s pop-culture scene. Think back to some of the call-outs that Drake dishes out on “Scorpion” and to those from Pusha T on “DAYTONA,” both released early in the summer. “Negro Swan” is not just another addition to these diss tracks that seems to be dominating the hip-hop and rap industry. Rather, it is a refreshing and genuine work of self-expression. It is hard to imagine a listener who would not appreciate the polished and smooth, yet compelling melting pot of music that Blood Orange delivers on “Negro Swan.”
Image Courtesy of Flickr Blood Orange’s fourth studio album ‘Negro Swan,’ provides a candid look at the dimensions of his anxiety.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2018 | 7
Public policy student releases memoir on navigating New York City By Selena Qian Features Editor
Meg Fee graduated from Julliard’s actor training program in 2008. After a decade of living in New York City, she is pursuing a Master’s in Public Policy at Duke. And now she’s written a book. On Sept. 20 at 7 p.m., The Regulator Bookshop will host a reading and signing of Fee’s book, released in May: “Places I Stopped on the Way Home: A Memoir of Chaos and Grace.” The book chronicles Fee’s years in New York City trying to find her way. The memoir began as a collection of essays that Fee published about two years ago as an e-book, titled “Letters to Men I’m No Longer in Love With.” A representative from Icon Books then reached out to her following its release. Fee signed with the Diamond Kahn & Woods Literary Agency, changed the title of the book, and added more stories. Although much of the book is about the various men Fee had relationships with, the underlying thread is one of finding place, finding home and finding herself. She titles each chapter with its location — Lincoln Center, 118th Street, Manhattan Avenue — evoking a constant searching. Fee also shares the struggles of her eating disorder. She developed binge eating disorder in her senior year at Julliard in 2006, but was not diagnosed until 2008. At that time, it was called a “nonspecific eating disorder,” as binge eating disorder was not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders until 2013. “Part of why I started writing is that I felt like I was living a story that wasn’t mine,” Fee said. “For all intents and purposes, the eating disorder had co-opted my story.”
She now can speak about and write about the experience, but it was difficult then. Fee said her parents were very supportive of her throughout the recovery process. It was hard on all of them, though, because there were some things she had to deal with on her own. Writing allowed her to let them in — she was able to write about her experiences before she was ready to talk about them with anyone. “It is still, I think, an incredibly shameful story,” Fee said. “An incredibly shameful experience. And because of that, women, and men, don’t talk about it. And because they don’t talk about it, doctors don’t know as much about it as they could.” This health crisis is now one of Fee’s passions — notably, the de-stigmatization of weight, women’s health and mental health issues. Fee spent the past summer working for Cora, a subscription organic pad and tampon service that advocates and partners with women’s health, education and equality organizations in Kenya and India. She worked on a project in which she talked to 15 different women and asked them about when they felt valued. Every interview ended with the question, “Do you like being a woman?” Every woman Fee spoke to said yes. “I became really interested in [that] women feel this really inherent worth, they feel valuable, and yet a lot of the policies that we’re seeing don’t reflect that value that women feel they have,” Fee said. “And it sort of occurred to me — now it’s so obvious — of course those policies don’t exist because women aren’t at the policymaking table. Not in the same way that men are.” The numbers bear this out: 23 of 100 U.S. senators (23 percent) are women, while only 84 of 435 U.S. representatives (19.3 percent) are women. She decided to come back to school in the lead-up to the 2016 election and hopes to find ways
Selena Qian | Contributing Photographer Graduate student Meg Fee published her memoir “Places I Stopped on the Way Home” in May.
to bring more women to the policymaking table. At the time, Fee was working in a finance company, and to her it felt like she and her coworkers were “working really hard to no end.” She started to realize that to her, voting was not enough. “That shouldn’t be the first thing I do to exercise my democratic rights,” Fee said. “I should be participating in the democratic process far more often, far more frequently, and that when I choose to vote, that’s the last thing, that’s the last step.” Besides working for three different finance companies, Fee has also been a caller for the Metropolitan Opera, worked for a cosmetic company during special events and worked in two different restaurants. None of the jobs had much, if anything, to do with her skill set, but her 20s were still a period of “intense emotional personal growth and development.” Fee said the best thing she did in that decade was develop a value system.
“I look back now, and my value system is that I do not define myself in terms of how other people define me, least of all romantic partners,” Fee said. “The tension there was that I was living in a way that I was trying to please them, trying to make myself smaller, trying to do all these things that didn’t align with the person that I wanted to be.” She spent so much of her time looking for the right person, but Fee wishes she had spent more time and energy in other pursuits. She wishes she had taken more risks, submitted writing samples, applied to graduate school sooner. But she has learned from her experiences and hopes that other people will gain something from reading about her experiences as well. “Life and sadness and health, it’s all much more textured than we give it credit for,” Fee said. “Life is a complicated, nuanced experience, and that is the feature, not the bug.”
Coping with loss: ‘Spacebar’ and finding solace in creativity By Sydny Long Student Life Editor
When my best friend Gwen suddenly died just two months into our last semester of high school, I felt disconnected from everything. I was totally shattered, so completely broken by the loss that I was unable to engage meaningfully with anyone or even summon the energy to be mentally present in my own life. My mind felt like a shaken snow globe, my thoughts thrown into cloudy tumult. Nothing was able to slice through the haze. I didn’t write for months after her death. Being creative had always been an outlet for me, but without Gwen there to pry about my latest projects or talk short stories with me, there was just no urge to make anything. My early attempts at writing in the aftermath sounded so horrifically stiff and hollow, so indicative of how fragile I still was, that I shoved my passion aside and allowed myself to go without the very thing that probably would have helped me contextualize my experience. I was a creative void, I thought. All of the emotion and imagination had been scooped out of me. It was nearly a year later that I finally read something that made me feel like writing again. While I had made significant progress since losing Gwen, I was still in a daze and in need of something to imbue my shaken snow globe world with much-needed clarity. What finally allowed the dust to settle was a play. I hadn’t read a play since the obligatory Shakespeare readings in high school English and initially doubted I would have much interest in reading this one, even if it had been written by someone whose previous work I had admired.
But as soon as I opened my copy of “Spacebar: A Broadway Play by Kyle Sugarman” — written by Michael Mitnick, who has penned some other great plays and co-wrote one of my favorite musicals, “Fly By Night” — something inside of me snapped into place. I finally felt engaged. I was laughing out loud in places, tearing up in others, putting the play down for brief moments so that I could collect myself before moving on to the next line. It was the kind of deeply affecting, emotionally satisfying experience that had eluded me ever since Gwen’s death. My reaction to “Spacebar” transcended my mere enjoyment of it as an entertaining, excellently-written piece of drama. The play opens with a bleakly comedic scene in which protagonist Kyle, who is no more than four at the time, is told by his father that his sister has suddenly died. This moment struck me hard, so much so that I momentarily thought I wouldn’t be able to continue, but I kept reading and found myself immediately invested. As the play goes on, a now 16-year-old Kyle has written a 500 page play called “Spacebar.” Even though it is completely, logistically unfit for production, he sends it to Broadway anyway. His determination and ambition are instantly endearing, but what affected me so deeply was the circumstances under which Kyle wrote his play. He later explains that when his father left a few months ago, the only thing he could do was sit down and write this play. “It poured out of my heart,” he says in a line that emotionally eviscerated me during my first read. The idea of channeling complicated feelings into a creative work and that work
being treated as holding value spoke to me like nothing else had in the months following Gwen’s death. I had been so hesitant to write, to take that first vulnerable step and let something pour out of my heart, but after finishing “Spacebar” and setting it aside, I found myself reaching for my notebook. I felt like writing again. “Spacebar” is special not just because of what it did for me, but because of how it treats the art we make, especially when that art comes from a place of trauma and loss. Even though Kyle’s play is objectively insane, his passion is never ridiculed. In the end, he is rewarded for his hard work and enthusiasm. Working through painful feelings and using art to cope with them is by no means a novel concept, but
“Spacebar” makes it feel powerful through its sweet protagonist and thoroughly entertaining story. I always come away from rereading “Spacebar” wanting to create, embracing rather than fearing the strong emotions that will power the process. Losing Gwen was the worst thing ever to happen to me. Because of “Spacebar,” I am finally starting to translate those overwhelming feelings into writing — in fact, I’m even tackling a play of my own, centered around the special kind of loss that is losing a best friend. I love this play, but even more importantly, I love what this play has to say. And I will never be afraid of letting something pour out of my heart again.
Alexandra Bateman | Design Editor
“Spacebar” recounts Kyle Sugarman’s attempt at producing a Broadway play following his sister’s death.
Sports 8 | WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2018
THE BLUE ZONE
THE DEVIL’S IN THE DETAILS: DUKE LOSES dukechronicle.com
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2018
WILL DUKE SURVIVE WITHOUT JONES? No Jones, no problem When quarterback Daniel Jones, fresh off of the best half of football he has played in his tenure at Duke, walked to the locker room with his left arm motionless I sent my dad a simple text: “Duke’s season is over.” Jones’ injury came just an hour after perhaps the Blue Devils’ most talented player on the opposite side of the ball, Mark Gilbert, was helped off the field after a gruesome left hip injury. Immediately, it was easy to recognize the severity of the injuries of both Gilbert and Jones, and the team announced Sunday that the former will miss the rest of the season following hip surgery, while the latter is out indefinitely following clavicle surgery. Despite Duke holding on for an extremely impressive 21-7 road triumph over a Big Ten opponent over Northwestern, the only logical feeling to take away from Saturday for its fans is disappointment. Yet again, a Blue Devils football team, always the bridesmaid to the school’s more prestigious men’s basketball team, would toil away in the land of mediocrity. With no suitable replacement at quarterback and a depleted secondary, Duke seems doomed.
Hopes of a winning season went down with Jones
personal bests. The strong point of Duke’s 2018 group was always expected to be its defense, and this unit has been dominant thus far. Even though the Blue Devils matched up against two 10win opponents in its first two contests, they rank ninth in Division-I in points allowed per play. This is a defense that is capable of carrying Duke to success—Gilbert wasn’t the only blue-chipper, as Joe Giles-Harris and Ben Humphreys comprise one of the best
When Daniel Jones walked off the field with a left clavicle injury in Duke’s route against Northwestern just a week ago, the Blue Devils were watching more than just their star quarterback get sidelined indefinitely. They were watching any guarantee of a strong start to the season fade away. Although the Blue Devils took down the Wildcats with ease, it came at the cost of a starter on both ends of the ball— preseason All-ACC cornerback Mark Gilbert and Jones. Although Gilbert has been an integral portion of Duke’s secondary and one of the keys to the Blue Devils’ success in defending against explosive plays from the air, Duke’s depth at the corner will likely fill the gap. The part that the Blue Devils will be hardpressed to replace will be the field general, and I do not believe Duke’s other options at the position have the combination of experience and raw talent to carry the Blue Devils through the foreseeable future. With Jones in the locker room Saturday
See POSITIVE on Page 9
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Ian Jaffe | Special Projects Photography Editor
Daniel Jones led the Blue Devils to a 21-7 victory against Northwestern Saturday, but will be out indefinitely after undergoing surgery on a broken left clavicle. But I didn’t predict the squad to have one of its two best regular season finishes since 1941 without reason, although I may have been unabashedly optimistic. Yet, in spite of the Blue Devils losing arguably their two best players for an extended period of time, I still believe that this is a team that can make some noise in the ACC. The defense did not skip a beat without Gilbert, as his replacement at cornerback, sophomore Michael Carter II, had a career day against the Wildcats. The converted safety tallied eight tackles, three passes defended, and an interception, all
Can the Blue Devils prevent Baylor’s explosive plays? By Ben Feder Associate Sports Editor
A year ago, a ragtag Baylor squad came into Durham with a lot of inexperience after having dealt with the repercussions of the rampant sexual assault that previously plagued the program. Although talented, the Bears just made too many mistakes to stay in the game, as Duke used three rushing touchdowns of at least 30 yards to pull away in a 34-20 victory. But this year, the sense around Baylor is completely different. The Bears are ready to make their mark in head coach Matt Rhule’s second season at the helm. Having already doubled its win total from last season—albeit against inferior competition—Baylor has used transfers as well as an extra year of experience to its advantage in boasting a high-powered offense averaging 46 points per game this season. “Matt Rhule and his staff, they do a great
job coaching,” Blue Devil head coach David Cutcliffe said. “They’re physically better. You can tell it’s their team now, so that’s why they’re playing as well as they’re playing, so it’s a huge challenge.” Last time out, Rhule employed Zach Smith at quarterback, who has now transferred to Tulsa. When Smith got injured, Rhule wanted to see what he had in a talented freshman Charlie Brewer, and Brewer played so well he all but forced Smith out the door, especially with talented N.C. State transfer Jalan McClendon coming in as well. The Big 12 Co-Offensive Freshman of the Year—who mustered a 68.1 completion percentage and 11 touchdowns despite starting just four contests—has rode that momentum into his sophomore season, having taken the lion’s share of the repetitions from McClendon. Thus far, Brewer has thrown for three touchdowns and is averaging 251.5 yards per game as a dual-threat signal-caller. “Brewer’s all over the place. He’s a very
athletic quarterback,” Cutcliffe said. “He can run it [and] move the pocket, so pressuring the quarterback’s not easy, you’ve just got to battle.” Still, Baylor has utilized a second quarterback in McClendon, which speaks more to his talents than Brewer’s lack thereof. The 6-foot-5 graduate transfer has the size, pocket presence and arm that provide at the very least a change of pace from Brewer. Baylor has yet another element that it can add to its offense as well with both quarterbacks, who are both capable ball-carriers alongside running backs John Lovett and JaMycal Hasty. “What concerns me is their ability to throw run-pass options on a run game,” Cutcliffe said. On the other side of the ball, Baylor returns the majority of its playmakers, including junior linebacker Clay Johnston, who notched 13 tackles, three tackles for loss and one sack in last year’s game. It has been largely uneven, though, surrendering 47 combined points against Abilene Christian
and Texas-San Antonio. Despite the loss of starting quarterback Daniel Jones for the foreseeable future, the Blue Devils still may be able to compete with the Bears in a shootout with Quentin Harris under center. However, Baylor’s weapons have gotten even better since last year. Both starting wideouts Denzel Mims and Chris Platt—who combined for 216 yards and three touchdowns at Wallace Wade Stadium— are back, and they will be helped by former Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd, who has 12 receptions and two touchdowns already. With Hurd, Platt and Mims, the Bears have three guys who are dynamic in the open field, which may be an issue for a Duke defense having to compensate for preseason All-American cornerback Mark Gilbert’s season-ending hip injury last weekend against Northwestern. See SCOUTING on Page 9
NEGATIVE FROM PAGE 8 afternoon, Duke turned to redshirt junior Quentin Harris to lead the offense—with relatively middling results. Through one quarter of play, Harris threw for a paltry 12 total yards and rushed for 27. Although the Wilton, Conn., native was 2-for2 on passing attempts, that small of a sample size is far too small to draw any conclusions on Harris being a strong passing threat. In its final 15 minutes of play Duke essentially abandoned its passing game and instead focused almost exclusively on running the ball—a formula for stagnation at the hands of the Wildcats’ stout defense. I’ll admit, one quarter of running the offense while holding a 14-point lead is hardly enough time to post a verdict on how Harris will fill Jones’ shoes—however, the lack of real experience at playing long minutes is concerning, especially considering the caliber of defenses the Blue Devils will face in the coming weeks. There’s also the question of how well Harris will fit into Duke’s system. One of the keys to the Blue Devils’ success has been Jones’ ability on the ground—across Duke’s seven wins of 2017, the redshirt junior quarterback averaged over four yards per carry. Last weekend Harris averaged just 2.8 yards on the ground, even when the Blue Devils were going all-in on the rush. If Duke banks on Harris to run the offense, it will likely be missing a key component of its recent success. Other options Duke could turn to would be redshirt freshman Chris Katrenick or true freshman Gunnar Holmberg. While Harris has been classified as a pass-heavy quarterback, Holmberg has been billed as a physical rushoriented field general. Although Holmberg fits the mold for an offense designed around Jones,
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2018 | 9
his glaring lack of experience and development would ultimately prove to be a hinderance for the Blue Devils. With coming matchups against a Baylor squad shaking off a disastrous 2017 season and a Virginia Tech team boasting one of the toughest defenses in the ACC, Duke can’t afford to worry about ironing out the kinks in a young quarterback’s game. At the end of the day, the Blue Devils lost Jones when they need him most as Duke approaches a critical four game stretch. Against Baylor, the Blue Devils will need an efficient, high-scoring offense to outpace the Bears if their dangerous wide receiving corps cuts through Duke’s weakened secondary. Although N.C. Central will be a cupcake win, a game against No. 13 Virginia Tech followed by a road contest against Georgia Tech will require all hands on deck. With just two weeks to integrate relatively inexperienced and unproven quarterbacks into their system as well as suffering a tough loss on the defensive end, the Blue Devils will struggle mightily for the foreseeable future.
approach may not be easy for Duke, they should have the talent to do so. Cutcliffe has relied upon Deon Jackson and Brittain Brown to carry the running game. The sophomore duo has stalled a bit in the season’s early going, as they have combined for a subpar 3.8 yards per carry. However, Brown shone in his first season, and finished with 701 yards on a more respectable 5.4 yards per attempt. Of course, the ability to right the ship will boil down to just how long the injured clavicle keeps Jones out for. Harris should be able to lead the Blue Devils to its second straight 4-0 start, with matchups against a Baylor team that won just one game a season ago and a N.C. Central squad that Duke took care of 60-7 in their meeting. The real challenge will come when the Blue Devils enter conference play, which begins Sept. 29 against No. 13 Virginia Tech. Duke will then have their bye, before they travel to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech, a team that was easily squashed by the Blue Devils last year. By this time, Jones could be nearing a return and the hype surrounding the team going into this fall may return. Duke football fans, don’t panic just yet.
FROM PAGE 8 linebacker duos in the nation. Unfortunately, you still need to score points in order to win a football game. Quarterback is certainly a harder position to replace than cornerback, and head coach David Cutcliffe’s options to replace Jones are certainly less than ideal. Quentin Harris will slide into the starting role, and was ineffective in his work against Northwestern, as all three drives he led stalled and resulted in a punt. Yes, Harris lacks the playmaking abilities that Jones showcased so brilliantly in his work this season, but he is still a capable athlete and game manager. The Wilton, Conn. native displayed this athleticism in his third play after Jones left the game, as he decided to tuck the ball on a third-and-long situation, and scurried for 25 yards before being forced out of bounds well beyond the first down marker. Although transitioning into a groundand-pound offense from a more balanced
SCOUTING FROM PAGE 8
The Chronicle Hurricane shoots?:
Baylor’s speedy trio will face converted safety Michael Carter II and redshirt freshman Josh Blackwell, who will be making his first career start in an important nonconference matchup for both sides gearing up for ACC play. “Our biggest thing is staying physical and running with them step for step,” preseason All-American linebacker Joe Giles-Harris said. “We’ve got guys in our secondary who are the most athletic I’ve seen in a long time and they’re up for the challenge.”
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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
Delving into diversity
eginning this fall, the University of California, Los Angeles, will require applications for regular rank faculty positions to include an “EDI statement” that describes the candidates “past, present, and future contributions to equity, diversity, and inclusion.” This policy change resembles similar protocols being instituted at other universities, including five other UC schools. While this shift has been quietly accepted by the UCLA community, it has served as a flashpoint in the national argument against efforts toward equity in higher education. Those who feel that colleges have becomes sanctuaries for the hypersensitive—where honest conversations on race, gender, sexuality and identity have run rampant—strongly oppose UCLA’s initiative towards diversity. Heather Mac Donald, a conservative commentator, has been the most vocal opponent of the initiative. In an opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times, she decried UCLA’s“diversity obsession” and warned that it would dilute the academic and intellectual purpose of the institution. Mac Donald presents the exploration and understanding of one’s identity as being an irrelevant component to the role of college. Her arguments are based in a narrow, regressive vision of the purpose of universities and willfully ignorant of the racism and hate speech on UCLA’s campus. In both the past and the present, higher education in society exists as a gatekeeper to both knowledge and power. They limit access both directly and indirectly through admissions and relationships within circles defined by wealth, social capital and race. In the case
“Probably pretty easy for UNC to cancel classes!! Be Safe anyhow!!” —Christopher Duke Hicks responding to “Duke cancels classes as area braces for Hurricane Florence on Sep. 11, 2018 via Facebook
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of faculty diversity, the ability of a mentor to engage with and understand the experiences of their students is crucial in opening previously locked doors of opportunity. A student’s success in a given discipline is directly impacted by their ability to access that field, and that accessibility is directly related to identity, whether Mac Donald believes it or not. It is in part through this mechanism that black students made up only 5.2 percent of all doctorate recipients and only 1 percent of computer science doctorates nationwide in 2016. These statistics, which Mac Donald misinterpreted
Editorial Board as being representative of a demographic trend, are actually an indication that enormous pitfalls and barriers still exist in higher education to keep certain students out of these types of programs. However, the one positive quality of Mac Donald’s otherwise misinformed column was her criticism of the bureaucratic processes of diversity initiatives. One needs only to look to the vice chancellor of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at UCLA to begin to see the failings so common in neoliberal universities. The vice chancellor has a total pay of about $400,000, more than four times that of many faculty positions, particularly the lower income adjunct faculty positions that are disproportionately occupied by black professors. These types of institutional failings and short term plans are not at all dissimilar from the endless task forces and committees created to put out fires across Duke—which are staffed and led by administrators who have yet to acknowledge or reckon with their own complicity in lighting the matches. These administrative bodies and roles, at their heart, seek to artificially boost a university’s
image rather than work to improve it in meaningful ways. Asking applicants to fill out this EDI statement has the same effect as any other minute policy changes instituted for the purpose of progressive posturing: doing just enough assuage the concerns of wealthy donors and prospective students who want a school that exists on the bleeding edge of neoliberalism, while avoiding the larger issues. The true solutions to the problems of representation and inclusion exist in a place beyond the ultimately fruitless, unbridled idealism embodied by UCLA’s new policy, but also beyond the cynicism associated with calls to abandon a dream of racial diversity and equity in higher education. This initiative from UCLA should not be immediately discounted, but it must be accompanied with absolute clarity that these small changes do not absolve universities from the need for conversations about the underlying motivation behind their pushes for diversity. An exclusive system that is forced to accommodate others looks much different than one that actively seeks out their voices and changes the system to be better. To transition from the former to the latter, UCLA, Duke and every other university must understand the consequences of their continued complacency. Identity and equity serve not as a distraction from education, but as a critical component of its mission. However, the question of intent versus impact still remains: what does it mean for a university like UCLA or Duke to create policies that give off an air of equality without the intention of pursuing it? UCLA’s diversity statement provides a needed point for introspection on how each piece of academia’s machinery contributes to expanding opportunity, but without the proper implementation and intention, none of these policy changes will get to the roots of the issues that exist both on UCLA’s campus and ours.
A Ray of light
e are witnessing a moment in this country where people, young people in particular, are challenging the racial nostalgia of halls of higher learning. That is to say, as we raised our hands in classrooms, prodded projects further in study sessions and office hours, we at some point asked ourselves, who will we honor? Last Wednesday, students rallied to echo Duke history professors that Julian Carr, a pro-Confederate, should no longer be memorialized. It is with enthusiasm that I second the History faculty’s formal proposal to rename Carr Building after the late historian Raymond Gavins. Oftentimes, we remember a figure for a singular contribution. And yet, with Gavins, we have a litany of them. His record is public, so I won’t exhaust them, but I will cite a few. He was the first Black professor in Duke’s History
Antonio Lopez GUEST COLUMNIST Department, and the second Black professor in the entire school. He played a key role in forming the Department of History’s Oral History Program. He served as the director for “Behind the Veil,” a collection of over 1,200 interviews that illuminated the manifold ways black Southerners navigated the Jim Crow South. In the tradition of John Hope Franklin and Samuel DuBois Cook, Gavins was Duke’s living beacon of scholar-activism, one who tirelessly worked to undermine the legacy of white supremacists like Carr. But not only did Gavins make an indelible impact in his field; he also inspired and mentored hundreds of students, of whom I am one. I had the honor of being a student for two of his classes, “African-Americans since 1865,” and “Remembering Jim Crow.” His students were predominantly African-American. These were football players, student body presidents, African-American and African studies and history majors—all students who worked for the school more than it worked for them. We read Leon Litwack’s Trouble in Mind, and learned of the horror that blacks like tobacco farmer Charlie Holcombe faced. Holcombe was routinely cheated by his landlord, who overestimated the amount Holcombe owed him. His son, an alumnus of Greensboro’s Agricultural and Technical College, was murdered after trying to regain his father’s loads of tobacco. But for every atrocity, we’d read books like James Anderson’s The Education of Blacks in the South. I remember crying while reading how poor Blacks scrounged the little earnings they had to match the payments for Rosenwald Schools—the over five thousand schools, shops and teachers homes built primarily for the education of Black American
children in the South in the early 20th century. And so for all the cross-burnings, all the spitting at diner sit-ins, the acid thrown at Melba Pattillo Beats, one of the Little Rock Nine, by a white classmate who tried to blind her—for all the history of black struggle, Gavins kept teaching with a soft-spoken dignity that moved all of us. That moved me, a first-generation Mexican kid, to attend graduate school. And seeing him, I dissolved my fears that the academy is removed from people’s lives. For Gavins, this was his life’s work, to highlight not just black luminaries—the Franklins and Cooks—but lay folk, those citizens whose names are never plaqued, and yet whose oppressors remained engraved in university buildings: to mentor minority students, students who people like Carr saw only as labor. Perhaps the best eulogy we can offer someone is to live out the ideals they fought for. Gavins’ recent passing offers this opportunity to, as a collective body, begin the protracted struggle of memorializing champions of change. And I am confident that if he could preach to us today, he’d remind all of us that school reform doesn’t just occur in boardrooms. It needs oversight, accountability and input from constituents. Amidst student activism, administrators always urge patience. Gavins would readily cite Dr. King’s comments on the white moderate, “who constantly says ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;’ who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a ‘more convenient season.’” Or as Duke’s vice president for public affairs reworded the King’s letter from Birmingham, “It should not be easy, or quick, or simple to make these kinds of decisions because they are very complicated and they involve looking at the past.” I would respond to the vice president, the Board of Trustees and all administrators with this humble observation: it is a great disrespect to expect students to excel in virtually every subject and sport imaginable, and yet refrain they apply that very same critical thinking in the buildings that house their intellectual growth. Students should be encouraged to participate in their civic duty to reform, and if they aren’t, this is an unjust insulation of power. I implore students to create momentum for the History faculty’s request in as many ways possible: attend DSG meetings to propose legislation for more democratic processes of (re)naming buildings; spread the manifesto of Duke People’s State on Campus around campus and email administrators stating your support for the Gavins Building. In short, fight to make this cause an institutional priority. Fight for this as if were a burning bench. Fight for this Ray of light. Antonio Lopez is Trinity ‘16.
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Four things I learned from a week of consulting recruitment
wo hundred students eager for jobs. 10 shiny consultants and one recruiter. Only 30 minutes to impress them. Welcome to consulting recruitment. The past week has been a slew of information sessions, networking events and coffee chats with the world’s top three management consulting firms: McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), colloquially known as MBB. Hundreds of students—ranging from sophomores, juniors, seniors to graduate students—attend these on-campus recruitment events.
Alicia Sun COLUMNIST That’s because working as a business analyst for an MBB firm is one of the most coveted positions among Duke upperclassmen. For those with a bachelor’s degree fresh out of college, beginning salaries as a business analyst are extremely high, averaging $83,000 at McKinsey, $83,500 at Bain and $84,000 at BCG. As a public policy major with little interest in working in the public sector and no clear-cut career trajectory, I decided to join the masses and give consulting a shot. As much as I’d like to say otherwise, the experience thus far has been more or less what I expected: uncomfortable at times, weirdly artificial and pretty tedious. Although I’ve only experienced the tip of the iceberg in terms of the recruitment process, I have gone through the parts that require the most networking and mingling. So for all of my aspiring consultants, here are the four things I’ve learned thus far: ‘It’s not about what you know…’ I know it sounds obvious, but consulting recruitment cemented the idea that, when it comes to professional development, it really is about who you know. Information sessions are purportedly meant to provide students with more information about the company, but the main objective is to give you an opportunity to
network with consultants. Most of the students know what these companies do, and they don’t need much convincing to apply. At most of these information sessions, a senior consultant or manager explains why you should choose their company, then a Duke alum reiterates the same, and then it’s networking time. This is arguably the most important part in the beginning stages, because while being selected for an interview is technically based on your resume, many students have told me: “get them to remember you. That’s how you get an interview.” In the consulting recruitment process, good impressions and referrals can take you far. Make connections early. Otherwise it can be nearly impossible during recruiting events. It’s very difficult to get quality time with the consultants once they come to campus. And even if you do, whether it’s through a coffee chat or showing up for an event early, the odds that they will remember you amongst the 50 other students they will meet that week aren’t the greatest. What I’ve found is that reaching out at least a few weeks prior to on-campus visits, via phone, email or in person, is more effective. For one, it shows initiative and it makes it easier for them to remember you, so if they do happen to come on campus, you can spend less energy on making an impression amongst a sea of other students. Even if they don’t come to campus, maybe some of their coworkers will. Mentioning that you two have a mutual connection in the company helps to change up the dynamic of the conversation. Consulting recruitment bears a great resemblance to rush. If you’ve gone through Greek or SLG rush, I’d say you’ve already done 70 percent of the preparation. The rest is just doing your homework on the company. It’s a lot of exaggerated laughter, aggressive nodding in agreement, and knowing when to chime in— all things I’m not super great at. During a Women in McKinsey networking event, I managed to nudge my way into a circle of a dozen girls who were chatting with an associate consultant. I was a little thrown off by the way some of the girls would laugh so intensely at “funny” remarks the consultant made, or how they would try so eagerly to relate: “You’ve got to be joking, the same exact thing
happened to me!” I, on the other hand, stood there awkwardly as my main focus was keeping an interested expression on my face and maintaining eye contact with the consultant. Knowing how to network well definitely takes some practicing and getting used to. Some people clearly had a knack for it, but I think for a lot of others, like myself, it involves observing and a whole lot of trial and error. There’s a difference between what they present and what they think. Two consultants who I spoke with recently—one a Duke alum who works at Booz Allen Hamilton and the other a nonDuke consultant at Accenture—both shared with me their work experiences that painted different pictures than the ones recruiters did. While the Booz Allen consultant enjoyed the fast pace and dynamic nature of consulting, he also warned about the long hours. For him, hours could add up week after week, and he didn’t see it as a sustainable lifestyle once he settles down and starts a family. The Accenture employee found that, after a few months, the job wasn’t as stimulating as he thought it would be. He recommended that I keep exploring what I’m interested in and to not develop tunnel vision during the consulting process. I agree. At Duke, especially for those studying public policy and economics, it’s easy to get caught up in the obsession with consulting. The hype is only magnified at recruiting sessions, because you learn about the amazing perks of being a consultant (lavish off-site trainings in tropical paradise, luxury retreats, fun office events) and the recruiters know how to make you feel wanted. Getting a job at an MBB firm has also become a sign of prestige and a measure of success. But there are so many other career options that just aren’t as glamorized. That’s not to say that I no longer want to pursue consulting—I still think it would be a great opportunity—I just have to remember to keep the bigger picture, the end goal, in mind. For me, that’s doing something that I find fulfilling, meaningful, and sustainable, even if it’s not as glamorous and trendy as consulting. Alicia Sun is a Trinity junior. Her column runs on alternate Wednesdays.
Dear Noah: On a see-saw with a sumo wrestler
ear Noah, Mazel Tov! You’ve survived O-Week and your first two weeks of college! Who would’ve thought that you would come so far in such a short period of time? Now that you have successfully navigated finding your classes, locating the Duke Card office, and washing a pile of laundry the size of a human child, let’s get down to business and talk about Panera. Panera Bread is a magical place where you
Grant Besner COLUMNIST are just as likely to find a hipster with a face tattoo reading Karl Marx while sipping on a latte, as you are a gaggle of middle-aged women simultaneously playing mah-jong and hosting a biweekly book club meeting. It brings people from all different backgrounds together to collectively indulge in a delicious and nutritious assortment of soups, salads, and sandwiches. Spicy Thai Chicken Salad (510 calories)? Yes, please! Clam Chowder in a bread bowl (570 calories)…to die for! Apple, Roasted Turkey, and Cheddar nestled in betwixt two warm slices of Cranberry Walnut bread (710 calories)…give me a break! There is just so much to choose from. So, I’m sure it infuriates you, as it does me, that Panera only allows you to choose two items from its pantheon of delicacies as part of the “Pick Two” promotional deal. Can you get three? Nope. Sorry. Just two. Salad & soup OR soup & sandwich OR salad & sandwich OR some combination thereof. It’s the most trivial of first world problems, but still, I hope you can understand my outrage. Sadly, this curse is not unique to our friendly suburban eatery, but exists right here on campus as well. Soon after I arrived at Duke, a few upperclassmen, sharing the collective knowledge of generations of university students before them, told me what seemed like a fact of collegiate
life: that I had to choose between getting sleep, having a social life, and receiving good grades. “In college,” they said, “you can only pick two.” Suddenly, choosing between salad, soup and a sandwich didn’t seem like such a travesty. It’s much harder to decide how to spend your time than it is your money. Luckily, over the course of the last few years, I have discovered that the Pick Two myth is a load of poppycock! And here’s why: Lying underneath what we refer to as the three facets of college life, consisting of school, sleep and social engagement, are the three more intrinsic human facets of the self: the mind, the body and the soul. Each of them is essential to your personal growth. Without one, the other two suffer, and vice versa. Thus, life, especially your life in college, is all about finding balance between the three parts of your inner composition. This is all pretty
abstract right now, so I’m going to use an extended metaphor to better illustrate what I mean. Imagine a see-saw. You are on one side, and on the other, sits a 400-pound half-naked sumo wrestler wearing a mawashi. This sumo wrestler represents everything in life outside of your control. He’s this big, intimidating, massive dude who you really don’t want to mess with because a) he’s enormous and b) he’s wearing a diaper. Once he sits down on the see-saw, you can bet that you’re going to be suspended on the other side of the scale, five feet up in the air, feet dangling, butt hurting. If the wrestler pushes off the ground and starts jumping up and down, you have no choice but to be taken along for a joyride because he’s just so much bigger than you. Life can feel life this sometimes, especially as you find yourself in a new environment. Things outside of your control can throw you into a state of panic,
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
and it’s easy to feel like you are being taken for a joyride by a sumo-wrestler on a see-saw. That’s why it’s important to be grounded. Grounded, in this context, doesn’t necessarily mean humility, though humility is important too. What I mean is having your feet firmly planted on the ground so that when the winds of life try to blow you over, you’re able to resist those gusts and keep standing tall. Groundedness gives you the strength to be resilient and the courage to be kind. So, if we are going to keep up this metaphor, being grounded literally means getting larger until you can tip the scale of the see-saw and place your feet firmly on the ground. Once there, you’ll be able to handle whatever the sumo-wrestler throws your way because you’re no longer the child you once were. You’ve grown. A balanced life is that which gives you the optimal conditions to grow. Just like a farmer must give her crops attention and care so that they may sprout, so too, must you give yourself the ideal circumstances to prosper and become grounded. And in order to find balance in your life, you must devote time and energy to each of the three facets of yourself. In my next column, I’ll delve deeper into these areas of your life and talk about ways in which you can ensure you are giving each its due diligence. But for now, take solace in the fact that you are in a place where it is your full time job to grow. That’s all college really is when you strip away the pizza and parties and lectures and labs: an investment in yourself. And after it is all said and done, the see-saw will still go up and down, as the unpredictability of life will surely continue to ebb and flow. I hope that at the end of it, though, you’ll end up back on your feet, very much in control of that bowling ball of flesh and cloth your opposite. Your loving brother, Grant Grant Besner is a Trinity senior who one day aspires to operate his own alpaca farm. His column, “Dear Noah,” runs on alternate Mondays.
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FROM PAGE 1
FROM PAGE 1
In recent years, Duke has hovered safely inside of the top-10 bubble. Its highest ranking in the last five years was a tie with MIT in 2014 for seventh place. The rankings for the top-10 universities are somewhat stagnant from year to year. From 2013 to 2018, the same 12 schools—Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, University of Chicago, MIT, Stanford, Duke, Penn, Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins and CalTech—have floated in and out of the top-10 spots. This year, Northwestern entered the mix. For the last seven years, Princeton has held the top spot, beating out its repeated runner-up Harvard each year since the schools tied in 2013. Last week, the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education rankings Duke slipped to seventh place position for U.S. schools from fifth. The University maintained its tie in the WSJ rankings for first in graduate outcomes, tied with Harvard and Yale.
to flooding, do not drive on it,” the City of Raleigh’s emergency preparedness website recommended. Moneta also reminded students to take precautions against hydroplaning, the condition in which a car slides uncontrollably on a wet road. “Hydroplaning can occur when you least expect it!” Moneta wrote to students. The City of Raleigh’s website said that it takes about 18 inches of water to sweep a car downstream. “Once a vehicle becomes buoyant,
the water will easily push it sideways. Most vehicles will then tend to roll over, potentially trapping those inside,” said the website. Duke Parking and Transportation services have also begun preparing for the oncoming hurricane. The department has obtained additional fuel for its buses and is planning to rope off parking deck roofs Thursday evening, wrote Carl DePinto, director of Parking and Transportation Services, in an email to The Chronicle Tuesday. “Since this past weekend, Parking and Transportation Services has been working with Duke’s Emergency Management Team to prepare for any
ALUM FROM PAGE 3
CLASSES FROM PAGE 1 Early Monday afternoon, the Marine Lab announced its decision to cancel classes after noon on Tuesday and close to personnel Wednesday at noon. Students from the Marine Lab will be sent to Duke’s main campus for housing, according to the announcement. North Carolina State announced Monday afternoon that classes would be suspended from 5 p.m. Wednesday until 5 p.m. Sunday. Later Monday evening, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill canceled classes from 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday in preparation for the impending hurricane. This is the second time Duke has issued class cancellations this calendar year. Due to a January snow storm, students received some time off Wednesday and Thursday before returning to class 10 a.m. Friday.
impacts from Hurricane Florence later this week,” DePinto wrote. “We are expecting strong winds and heavy rain Thursday and Friday that could lead to downed trees and potential flooding in low-lying areas.” He added that changes to the bus routes or schedule resulting from Hurricane Florence would be conveyed to students “through Duke’s official channels.” The University announced Tuesday morning that classes would be canceled after 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and all athletic events for Thursday through Sunday are being canceled or postponed.
Neal Vaidya | Staff Photographer Duke’s Parking and Transportation department is stocking up on fuel for the buses in preparation for the impending storm.
the law was of little surprise. Teachout graduated summa cum laude from Duke Law and served as editor-in-chief of the Duke Law Journal. She also received a master of arts in political science from Duke Graduate School. “[Teachout] distinguished herself as one of the sharpest progressive minds in the Class of ‘99,” her classmate David Bowsher, J.D. ’99, wrote in an email. After Duke, Teachout went on to clerk for Chief Judge Edward Roy Becker of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Later, Teachout chose a path in academia. With the experience of being a former visiting professor of law at Duke and a former lecturer at the University of Vermont under her belt, she currently serves as a professor at Fordham Law School.
find housing at The Chronicle’s online guide to living near Duke.