October 3rd, 2019

“She’s wrong.”
Reiss Becker’s response to Sophie Laettner’s opinion column calling on the Christian church to respond to Christianist violence in America.

Some Controversy to Spice up Your Thursday 
Don’t hold your breath, this is a long one. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Education released a letter accusing the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies of misusing federal Title VI funds, which are given to support international studies and programs at universities across the country. Among other criticisms, the letter bashes the center for focusing too much on the positive aspects of Islam and not enough on the positive aspects of Christianity, Judaism and other religious minorities in the Middle East. Another issue? The program doesn't meet the Title VI grant’s foreign language requirements. As expected, people at Duke and UNC were pissed. First, Duke DSG passed a resolution condemning the U.S. Department of Education for Islamophobia. Then, Duke released a statement on Duke Today highlighting the importance of protecting Duke’s academic freedom. The statement did emphasize, however, Duke's requirement to abide by federal requirements if it wants to receive funding. didn't actually say much. To top it all off (yes, there’s more), amidst all this controversy, the U.S. Department of Education just granted the Consortium Title VI funding for this school year. Make up your mind, people! Are you giving us money or not?! Apparently, as long as the Consortium sends the Department a schedule for the upcoming year proving it will abide by all Title IV’s standards, it will still receive funding. There, now you’re all caught up. You’re welcome. 

No Mo Smoke Show
We’re not talking about pretty girls. As you may now, Duke’s campus is going smoke-free by 2020 in an effort to improve the community’s health. There are no exceptions: the ban applies to any students, staff, faculty, visitors, contractors and volunteers on Duke property. We know what you’re wondering. Even though most students quit the Juul after reading endless scary Daily Mail articles (RIP mango pods), what will long-time smokers do? The Duke Center for Smoking Cessation (yes, we have one of those) is on the case. The center will be pairing with Student Health and Employee Occupational Health & Wellness to help any community members that are having difficulty giving up nicotine through personalized treatment plans. The treatments could include medication, mindfulness training, or cellular support and counseling. 
Coach Grandpa 
That’s what a new member of the Duke men’s basketball team will be calling Coach K. That’s right. Coach K’s grandson, Michael Savarino, is the newest addition to the team as a walk-on. Despite his close connection to Coach K, who he grew up calling Poppy (can we call Coach K Poppy?), Savarino never talked much about basketball with his grandfather. Let’s just say “Poppy” was a liiittle intimidating when it came to the topic. All of that changed when Coach K brought up the option of Savarino trying to walk onto Duke’s team when Savarino was in sixth grade. And would you look at that…six years later, he did it! We know what you’re thinking…if he wasn’t Coach K’s namesake, would Savarino have made the team? According to Coach K, there was no favoritism involved. Although we’re sure some of the players who were cut will probably never let it go. Listen to Elsa, boys….let it go.

How to Get Your Zion Fix…
…Without stalking Zion at Shooters when he visits. Watch Cassius Stanley. Who? Stanley is a freshman guard whose slam dunks may prove to match Williamson's from last season. Earlier this week, the Duke men’s basketball Instagram account showcased Stanley’s slam dunk skills in an Insta Story…and people were freakin’ out. His supernatural flying powers don’t come as a surprise to fans who have been following him long term, given last month he broke Williamson's Duke record for maximum vertical leap. Imagine getting the call the your leaping record was broken. Immediate heartbreak. 

Another Way to Get Your Zion Fix
Check him out on the ESPN top 100 NBA player rankings. Williamson was ranked No. 42, making him the highest-ranked rookie since ESPN began ranking players nine years ago. Some people were not too pleased with all the credit ESPN's giving Williamson, since they ranked him above Klay Thompson, DeMar DeRozan, and Kevin Love before he's even played in an NBA game. Dramaaaaaa! Hate all you want, but you’re sitting on your couch scrolling through ESPN updates while a teenager has already signed multi-million-dollar deals with Jordan AND Gatorade. Boom, roasted.
In the Words of Mr. Krabs
Money, money, money, money! Duke’s endowment has officially hit another record high valuation of $8.6 billion after seeing a 6.9% annual return. In the last fiscal year, Duke spent $647 million of the endowment on financial aid, faculty salaries, facilities, athletics and more. Can we make a suggestion for the "more" category? Like maybe free water cups in West Union, or tampons in all the classroom buildings, or less parking tickets? Maybeeee? Apparently, fiscal year 2019 was a toughie for universities across the nation due to economic trends in the past two or three years. Despite being at a record high, Duke is facing that same struggle, with board members insisting the necessity to grow Duke’s endowment more. Going forward, Duke is hoping to launch a capital campaign focusing on Duke’s highest priority needs for funding, including financial aid and improvement in STEM fields. Duke is also pushing to keep up the philanthropy levels from its last campaign, which raised $2.85 billion dollars in seven years.

Karsh Alumni and Visitors Castle
Okay, technically it’s called the Karsh Alumni and Visitor Center, but seriously, look at this thing. That’s a castle if we’ve ever seen one. The new $32 million building will serve as the beginning spot for prospective-student tours, which is certainly an upgrade from wandering lost around West Campus with your parents at 17 years old trying to find the Visitor’s Center that’s in the middle of nowhere. Triggering memory, we know. The castle…excuse us—the center will also be used for events, meetings, and networking for alumni and other campus visitors. Spanning 47,000 square feet, the center includes a study space, market, reception area, boardroom, library, courtyard and “Virtual Duke” interactive screen. Weird brag: at 159-square-feet, the screen is the largest of its kind in North Carolina.

Rubio Bashes the Nasher 
Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott recently wrote a letter to request a federal agency’s review of the federal funds that went into the McNay Art Museum’s exhibition of Pop América in San Antonio, TX. What does this have to do with Duke, you may ask? Two things. First, the Nasher displayed the same exhibit last year. Second, Rubio used language from the Nasher website in his written argument. Ohhh, snap. So, what’s up with Rubio? He claims that in its description of the exhibit, the Nasher website describes the works as “bold contributions” of protests for social justice and freedom, which he scorns given the exhibit’s inclusion of Ché Guevara, who played a controversial role in the Cuban Revolution. Director of Engagement and Marketing at the Nasher Wendy Hower says Rubio's wrong. According to her, Rubio “misquoted’ the website, as apparently the description referred to the artist whose work was displayed, not the figures in the art itself.  
Paninis from Toast hit DIFFERENT!
  1. JSU First Thursday at Ponysaurus: Come out to Ponysaurus Brewing tonight at 9 for JSU’s second Bar Night. It’s a great chance to connect with the Jewish community at Duke and check out one of the best bars in Durham. 
  2. Duke DEMAN 101—Prepare for DEMAN Weekend: Come to the Ruby October 16th for a hands-on workshop to prepare for DEMAN Weekend 2019. If you’re interested in creative industries, you’ll want to brush up on the alums who are visiting and get tips on how to make the most of the weekend. 
  3. Duke’s DEMAN & Donuts: Next Friday at the Ruby from 2:30pm-4:00pm, Wenny Katzenstein (BA ’03), the head of Marketing Strategy & Analytics at Universal Studios Hollywood, will be hosting an informal chat about her career over MONUTS!! 
  4.  World Beer Festival Durham: Yes please! October 19th come out to Durham Bulls Athletic park to sample beer from national and local breweries. There will also be food, music, and more! 
  5. Pitchforks 40thAnniversary Reunion Concert: Come out to Page next Saturday, October 12th to see old and new Pitchforks members reunite for a free concert. You won’t want to miss it! 
  6. Public Lecture: Patricia Morton: "Digital Architectural and Art History: A View from the Field": October 17th at 5pm. 

The Dirt
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