Content warning: Discussions of death, violence, and police brutality.
Content warning: Discussions of death, violence, and police brutality.

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February 2, 2023
Content warning: Discussions of death, violence, and police brutality.
Dear students,
As the spring semester is underway in earnest here on campus, we want to take a moment to recognize that 2023 has also been marked by events that have impacted many members of our community. Our student body includes classmates whose home cities and home countries are impacted by police violence, terrorism, mass shooters, and war.
Indeed, over the past week, videos were released showing Tyre Nichols’ killing by police in early January in Memphis. Multiple mass shootings occurred in California. Incidents of violence have increased in Israel, Palestine, and Pakistan. These tragedies and others cause profound concern for those whose lives have been lost and for those who have lost loved ones. We carry the moral injury of these events along with you.
We also know that many students are impacted by the underlying histories, systems, and policies that lead to these events happening. Underrepresented populations and communities of color are more significantly impacted in all these examples. We share in this concern as well, and we recognize that members of our student body are experiencing these tragedies in very personal ways.
Horrific acts of violence and dehumanization of communities occur at such a regular clip; in some cases, violence seems like a feature rather than bug, but we will not become indifferent to these events, despite their regularity.
Our teams have been reaching out to students with home addresses closely associated with many of these incidents, and we have been partnering with student leaders to create spaces to stand in solidarity or show support for impacted communities.
You’ll find a complete list of campus resources below. While we often share this information, we know that getting timely resources to people at the time they are most needed requires some repetition, and so we include them here again.
Please reach out if there’s anything we can do to help – whether that’s listening, talking, connecting you to spaces where you can access specific kinds of trained support and care, or finding ways to support programmatic initiatives to engage around these issues.
John Blackshear
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Candis Watts Smith
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
Mary Pat McMahon
Vice President/Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Resources for Students

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 confidentially, or to request 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
DUKELINE: DukeLine is a student-run text line, where you can chat anonymously with trained Peer Coaches about anxiety, depression, relationships, or other issues. Text 984-230-4888 to learn more. Open daily, from 5:00–11:00 p.m.
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 AffairsCenter for Muslim LifeCenter for Sexual and Gender Diversity, Duke International Student CenterJewish Life at DukeMary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture, and the Women’s Center.
ACADEMIC DEAN: Your Academic Dean is a key resource when navigating the university. Contact your Academic Dean if you need support with an absence, missed work, or issues such as academic planning, course withdrawals, and leaves of absence as needed. Note that there are separate academic deans for Trinity and Pratt.
DUKE CHAPEL AND RELIGIOUS LIFE AT DUKE: Duke Chapel and 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).
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