Duke Activists Want ‘Consequences’ for Acts of Hate, Bias


By Adam Sabes

Following two racially charged incidents, students are now calling on Duke University to “create and enforce a standardized set of consequences for acts of hate & bias on campus.”

Some undergraduate students are even threatening to withhold donations until the school adopts a policy that satisfies their expectations, which were recently dashed when Vice President of Student Affairs Larry Moneta announced that Duke would not punish a student for an “offensive and racist” social media post because it did not violate school policy.

“Freedom of expression protects the oppressed far more than the oppressors,” Moneta later tweeted, further incensing the protesters.

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A group calling itself the “People’s State of the University” delivered a petition Monday to Moneta and President Vincent Price, which outlines what the “standardized sets of consequences” would look like.

“The Duke Community Standard should be expanded to include provisions on what is ideal and acceptable behavior in the Duke community, specifically regarding cases of hate and bias,” the petition states, suggesting that the consequences should be similar to those for consuming alcohol, academic dishonesty, and drug use.

According to the Duke Community Standard, punishments for academic dishonesty, at the most severe extent, can lead to suspension and expulsion.

“These incidents CANNOT continue to happen, threatening the safety and livelihood of black students and students of color on our campus,” reads the petition.

The authors of the document also argue that “hate and bias incidents are interwoven in the fabric of Duke University,” and that talks on “Civil Discourse at the University,” result in accusations that “minority groups are…‘uncivil’ when the reality is that they continue to be unsafe.”

One student organizer told WRAL that the petition was drafted in the wake of two controversial incidents, including a picture with a racist caption that was posted on snapchat, and the discovery of a racially charged message that was written on a dorm room door.

As previously reported by Campus Reform, Duke students stormed the stage during an alumni weekend speech delivered by the university president last month, issuing a list of demands that included a $15 hourly wage for all Duke employees, loan-free financial aid, and more.

In addition to demands regarding hate and bias, some students and alumni are also pledging that they will make no donations to the university until a “standardized policy on hate speech is created.”

According to WRAL, the petition had 700 signatures when it was delivered to administration on Monday.

Campus Reform reached out to Duke, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @asabes10

First published at Campus Reform

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

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