The new biweekly newsletter from SA + OUE
The new biweekly newsletter from SA + OUE

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Duke Student Affairs

September 10, 2020

A dual portrait of Mary Pat McMahon (left), and Gary Bennett (right) on a white and gray background.
Greetings, undergraduates!
We hope you have had a great first few weeks of classes, whether you are here in Durham or engaging remotely this semester.
We are so glad to have had the opportunity to connect with many of you directly during this time, hearing how things have been going for you so far, and sharing in your excitement for both your coursework and all the other experiences that make your Duke time so special.  
We also want to continue to hear from you about how we, along our teams in Student Affairs and the Office of Undergraduate Education, can continue to support you this semester. 
You'll see updates from us in this format every other week, and in the meantime, we look forward to continuing the conversation with you, whether through office hours, connections with student organizations, or individual conversations—either physically distanced on the plaza or over Zoom. 
Go Duke, 
Mary Pat McMahon
Vice Provost of Student Affairs
Gary Bennett
Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education 

COVID updates

Keep it under ten (yes, still)
The state of North Carolina announced last week a move to Safer at Home: Phase 2.5. Friendly reminder that Duke's limit on group sizes remains 10 people or less for gatherings, both inside and outside. Thanks for keeping groups small! 
Sometimes, the max is less than 10; please make sure to observe all posted room occupancy limit signs. In residence halls, the current limit is 3 people per individual room, and 8 per suite or apartment. These numbers are totals, including residents plus guests! 
COMING SOON: pop-up activities!
As of now, the vast majority of student events remain virtual. But, keep your eyes open: as we continue to monitor the situation, we are working to start offering some small-scale, outdoor pop-up activities—with proper physical distancing and face coverings, of course! Keeping our community safe is always our first priority, but finding safe ways to socialize remains an important part of the Duke experience. Stay tuned for more over the coming weeks! 

Tip of the week:

Wearing a face covering alone isn’t enough. Social distancing is also key!

In these first couple of weeks, we’ve seen great compliance with wearing face coverings. Keep it up! We have also seen that it is a challenge for students to maintain social distance of 6 feet and to remember to gather in groups of less than ten people. Spreading out and reducing the total size of groups is absolutely critical to our community safety efforts. Wearing a face covering alone isn’t enough. Make sure to spread out too!
🔥 Hot tip 🔥 6 feet = two Nuggets apart.  

Resource highlight: Blue Devils Care

Don't forget that all Duke students are eligible to utilize the Blue Devils Care resource. Blue Devils Care offers 24/7 mental telehealth support to all students at no cost.
If you're feeling overwhelmed, you will be able to talk to a licensed mental health provider from your device. This service provides on-demand mental health support and gives students a safe space to talk about anything at any time including anxiety, relationships, sadness, isolation and loneliness, and more.
To get started, visit Register once using your email address and Service Key DUKE2020, then you’ll be ready to use the service whenever you need it.

Voting information

The 2020 national election is getting close—November 3, 2020. That may sound like a long way off, but in these uncertain times, it is as important as ever to plan ahead for how and when you are going to vote. Duke University encourages and urges all those who are eligible to register and exercise their right to vote. Find more information on how to register, voting locations and more from Duke Votes
A graphic with a purple background and the words

ICYMI: A chance to get involved 

As you saw in yesterday's message from VP McMahon and VP Kimberly Hewitt, we are looking for students to join the  Student Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Committee, a group that advises our teams and coordinates prevention and response efforts across the graduate, professional and undergraduate communities.
If you would like to get involved, please contact Sophie Rose,, in the Office of the VP of Student Affairs for more information about our committee meetings and focus areas for 2020-2021. The first committee meeting will be Monday, September 28.
A graphic with a blue background and the words

Remote student spotlight:  

Show us your study space! 

Are you studying somewhere other than campus this fall? We want to see your study space!
Show us your set up—bonus points if you include furry (or scaly or feathered) friends. Email your photos to, or tag @dukestudentaffairs on Instagram, and we'll share a roundup in a future newsletter.
Two students practicing proper physical distancing while eating a meal together.

Spotted: Keeping the community safe 

Shout out to the two Duke women's lacrosse players spotted on campus doing it right with a physically distanced lunch hang out! 
Thanks for keeping our community safe!