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The message below is being sent to all Duke undergraduate students.

Wednesday, January 6, 2020
Dear undergraduate students,

We know many of you are watching breaking news out of Washington, D.C., right now from locations around the world. We are reaching out in this moment of national crisis to express our support for democracy, the peaceful transfer of power, and for each of you.  

As President Price noted, today’s events represent a fundamental violation of the principles that we all hold dear; in our democratic republic, we hold free and fair elections and respect their outcomes, irrespective of our personal preferences or partisan beliefs. 

The scenes from Washington are especially concerning because of the stark contrast between what we saw in today’s riot and the treatment of activists participating in #BlackLivesMatter and other peaceful protests over the past year. We know that this may be adding considerable pain to the experience of witnessing these events.

Times like these require us to employ strategies for coping with complex and prolonged distress. To that end, we encourage you to connect with friends (preferably voice-to-voice), trusted advisors, and loved ones. Consider limiting your consumption of social media if it becomes overwhelming in the hours ahead and spend moments in reflection on what is precious and important to you. 

Duke’s resources remain available over break, including Blue Devils Care, through which you can access an immediate source of support.

Know you are at the forefront of our thoughts. Please know that we recognize how unsettling this day is and that we are here for you.


John Blackshear
Dean of Students

Gary Bennett 
Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education 

Mary Pat McMahon
Vice Provost of Student Affairs