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

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Duke Student Affairs

February 23, 2021

Can you believe that we're nearing the end of February? We want to say THANK YOU to everyone who is doing their part to keep our community safer this semester—limiting social gatherings, hanging with friends outside, facing away from each other while eating (and staying 6 ft. apart!), wearing your mask while running. 
We continue to be very cautiously optimistic about Duke's testing numbers, but we have had some incidents of concern recently as well. Please stay smart and stay safe, and remember that the actions we all take each day have a direct impact on the health and safety of those around you. 
Go Duke, 
Mary Pat McMahon, Vice Provost of Student Affairs 
Gary Bennett, Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education   

COVID updates

As you may have seen in the message from Dean Blackshear and others on Saturday, there were reports of off-campus gatherings in violation of COVID policies this past weekend, leading to conduct referrals. This could have been prevented, friends! We know you've made sacrifices over the past year. We do. Not only are these gatherings risking the health safety of your friends and our community, but they also violate city and state-wide regulations. Being complacent about this pandemic is not the way to go.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control issued guidance to improve mask fit in an effort to reduce the potential transmission of and exposure to COVID-19 as potentially more contagious variants continue to circulate. Read more on Duke Today
And, check out this video from Graduate Resident Katie Distefano sharing advice on mask-wearing.

More indoor dining surfaces available

You may have noticed a few more tables out in Brodhead Center, Bryan Center, Trinity Café, and East Campus Marketplace this week! These tables are standing tables, with capacity for one.
Please respect all occupancy limits and safety guidelines, and remember to dine safely: only remove your mask while actively eating, and if you're eating around others, continue to remain at least 6 feet apart and face away from those near you. 
We will continue working to add back in more seating and furniture options in these as safety conditions allow. 
photo of smiling black male with beard and glasses and hands crossed wearing blue blazer

Coverage at the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture

What's new at the Mary Lou? A lot! The Mary Lou has gone through a fair amount of transformative change recently. Read what's new at the Mary Lou, shared by Interim Director, Quinton "Q." Smith. Q is at the helm of the Mary Lou this spring semester, supported by a team comprising Ann El, staff assistant from HRL, three undergraduate assistants (Cartier Robinson '21, Johnna Lambert '21, and Jada Purkett '24), as well as one graduate assistant (Parker Martin, MPP '21).
This semester, the new Team Mary Lou will be curating a number of campus events for Black History Month, planning staple programs like BSAI and Final Honors, and looking at ways to address the importance of Black mental health, connect and partner with more student groups, and build even strong relationships with centers, departments, administrators, and faculty members across campus. 

Tip of the Week: Essential travel ONLY

Daydreaming about places sunny and warm and simply... not here? We get it. So do we. 
While we are getting closer to being able to travel at our leisure again, we're not quite there yet. 

Please remember, only travel away from Duke/Durham if ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL—not just because you have a day without class, or just the urge to do something different.

Let's stay in the game just a little while longer, and keep each other safe, and we're sure we'll be able to crowd in a van and take off into the sunset again soon. Hang in there. You can do this. We know you can.
If you do have an essential travel request, please fill out the Notification to Leave Campus form.

DukeEngage 2021

Summer 2021 DukeEngage programs and opportunities have just been announced! All DukeEngage programs will once again be virtual. View all 2021 programs and application, or participate in info sessions this week to learn more. Questions? Email the DukeEngage team.

ICYMI: #findsanctuary

Duke Chapel has resumed their #findsanctuary program from last semester, allowing students and employees to sign up to spend time in the Chapel. 
Sign up for a time to meditate, reflect, pray, or simply

Duke Global Fellows program accepting applications for its first cohort

Adapted from the Global Engagement Program, the Global Fellows program provides leadership training and learning opportunites to develop global competencies. Throughout the year, a cohort of 8-12 undergrads will attend monthly training sessions, attend relevent globally focused events on campus and sharpen communication skills. In addition, fellows may be called upon to represent Duke as they develop leadership and diplomatic skills.
Attend a virtual info session Tuesday, March 2: registration required.
Learn more:
fall leaves over blurred background with duke office of the provost logo

Nominate a senior, staff member, or grad student

Nominations for the prestigious Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award are due Tuesday, March 2. Awards will be presented to a graduating senior, and to a Duke faculty member, staff person, or graduate/professional student who exhibits selflessness, generosity of service, nobility of character, integrity, and spirituality. 
Nominations can be submitted here. Recipients will be notified in early April 2021.

Resource Highlight: Two-Click to Connect

DSG's "Two-Click to Connect" program is still going strong. In just two clicks, you can select the category of person who will reach out to you, be it a trained Peer For You responder or a DukeReach staff member. Take this opportunity to connect with someone and discuss whatever is on your mind. It takes less than 30 seconds to submit the form and someone will follow up ASAP!

We are here for you. 

photo of students and staff picking up shabbat meals outside freeman center for jewish life

Spotted: socially distant Shabbat 

Did you know that the Freeman Center for Jewish Life offers a free kosher Shabbat boxed dinner every Friday? They've been doing this all semester in a safe way, and we applaud their amazing effort for helping keep our community safe and connected at the same time!
Want to register for your own Shabbat dinner? Learn more at and sign up by Wednesday at noon each week.