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This message is being sent to all Duke undergraduate students.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Dear students, 
We are writing to make you aware of an incident on East Campus that is being investigated as a possible violation of the Duke Community Standard and the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination and Harassment.

Details of the incident: 
On Saturday, March 20, a first-year student found a flyer affixed to a Black History Month bulletin board. The flyer’s contents—which appeared to be a toxicology report from George Floyd’s autopsy—had handwritten remarks that commented on the May 2020 death of Mr. Floyd in Minneapolis. 

Next steps:
The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (OSCCS), Office for Institutional Equity, and DUPD are currently investigating this incident to determine if more can be learned about the circumstances surrounding this event. Anyone who has more information can report it here.  

Possible outcomes:
If Duke students are found to be responsible for this act, the Office of Conduct and Community Standards (OSCCS) will issue sanctions to the responsible student(s). Any incident that is motivated in whole or part by an individual's race, warrants "acceleration" or elevation of sanctioning due to the impact on the community. Any conduct outcomes will be confidential under FERPA, but OSCCS will report aggregate conduct outcomes for the 2020-21 academic year in August 2021. If the investigation does not identify a responsible student, we will inform the community of that outcome on or before April 15 as part of our monthly conduct update.  

We are also working closely with our Campus Life departments to provide direct outreach to Black-identified students. Additional support resources available to all students are included below the signature of this message.


This communication follows the recommendation of the Summer 2020 Hate and Bias Working Group to provide more transparency to the student community in cases of anonymous acts of bias. For more information about the committee and our policies, please see below the signature. 

Sincerely yours,
John Blackshear
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Jeanna McCullers
Senior Associate Dean & Director, Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards

BACKGROUND CONTEXT:
In June, VP of Student Affairs Mary Pat McMahon and VP of Undergraduate Education Gary Bennett charged a summer working group comprising students, faculty and staff to develop an undergraduate hate and bias policy as part of our commitment to supporting a more inclusive campus. We know that awareness of this policy and reporting process is not yet fully ingrained in student culture but we want to thank the students, faculty and staff who worked to ensure we have a mechanism to surface these incidents in a consistent and transparent fashion.  We are committed to shedding light on incidents that impact the sense of belonging and inclusion here at Duke, and to reaffirming our values of inclusion and respect.

The Hate and Bias Working Group from this past summer worked to create a definition of bias incidents: “A bias incident is an act or behavior motivated by the offender’s bias against the identity of an individual or community. Bias occurs whether the act is intentional or unintentional and may be directed toward an individual or group. A bias incident may take the form of a verbal interaction, cyber-interaction, physical interaction, or interaction with property.  Bias often contributes to or creates an unsafe/unwelcoming environment.”

RESOURCES FOR STUDENTs:

Blue Devils Care: 24/7 telemental-health support to all students at no cost, through immediate and scheduled appointments. Visit BlueDevilsCare.duke.edu and use code: DUKE2020.

CAPS: Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers many services to Duke students, including telemental-health appointments. Any student can call 919-660-1000 to speak with someone, or for assistance with referrals in your local community. 

DukeReach: DukeReach will help you identify support services from among the variety of resources across campus or in your local community. You can contact DukeReach at 919-681-2455 or by emailing dukereach@duke.edu

DuWell: DuWell engages students through a variety of wellness experiences across campus in an effort to manage stress and reduce anxiety while emphasizing self-care.  

“Two-Click to Connect” form: In just two clicks, you can select the category of person who will reach out to you within 24-48 hours, be it a trained Peer For You responder or a DukeReach staff member. These individuals are here to discuss whatever’s on your mind, help guide you through stressful times, and connect you to resources. Visit https://bit.ly/TwoClickSupport.
IDENTITY AND CULTURAL CENTERS: The Student Affairs Identity and Cultural Centers also serve as important resources and places of connection and support for many of our students. The centers are offering programming and support throughout the year, including summer. Our ICCs include: Center for Multicultural Affairs, Center for Muslim Life, Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, International House, Jewish Life at Duke, Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture, and the Women’s Center.  

RELIGIOUS LIFE AT DUKE: Religious Life at Duke offers a wide range of student supports, whether or not you are connected to a religious tradition at all. Visit their website to connect with leaders from any of Duke's diverse faith groups, all of whom are experienced in offering emotional and spiritual care, and a non-anxious presence with a humanistic listening ear, to college-age students. 

SA ON-CALL TEAM: Student Affairs has a 24/7 on-call team to support urgent student matters. For urgent concerns after business hours, you may contact the Dean on-Call (cell: 984-287-0300), or if you are living in residential spaces, you may connect with the Residence Coordinator On-Call by contacting your Residential Assistant On-Call or directly through Duke Police (919-684-2444).