Andrew Gerst is a current student at Duke, and current managing editor of Towerview. The opinions expressed here are his own.
I just wanted to take a few moments to respond to the outrageous
has adopted in covering the Duke lacrosse scandal.
Judging from Greg Garber's "Turbulent times for Duke and Durham"
2006), it seems clear that ESPN has a single goal: to paint a very
complicated criminal allegation into a cartoonish war between a
university and a suffering town. This caricature is unfair and
Rather than repeat the preponderance of jaded, almost delusional,
on Duke-Durham relations which Garber passes along as "reasonable"
would like instead to offer a more complete picture of the
- On February 22, Duke pledged $925,000 to assist Durham Public
through scholarships to Duke's master of arts in teaching degree
current DPS teachers.
- On February 18, the Emily Krzyzewski Family Life Center-founded
men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski-had its grand opening,
29,000-square-foot community center for at-risk Durham youth.
- On October 7, 2005, Cynthia Brodhead, wife of Duke president
Brodhead, was named a co-chair of the "8 Bonds for a Better
campaign, a group advocating for passage of Durham's $110 million
- Since its inception in 1996, the Duke-Durham Neighborhood
Partnership-founded by former Duke president Nan Keohane-has
million to improve partner neighborhoods in Durham.
- Meanwhile, in fiscal year 2005, the Duke University Health
62,395 admissions and 1,297,618 outpatient visits. Duke doctors
thousands of these patients' lives, performing 74,777 surgical
during that time. Many of these people-perhaps most-live in
many of them do not have full insurance or complete immigration
- The Duke Community Service Center works in partnership with 31
organizations which, among many other things, help teach English
Hispanic immigrants, build new homes for poor Durham citizens, aid
food shelters, mentor African-American girls living in Durham, and
children with serious illnesses in Durham's Ronald McDonald House.
addition, all fraternities and other living groups at Duke must
community service (almost always in Durham) to receive university
- The Chronicle, Duke's daily student newspaper, retains an entire
department devoted to issues in Durham and North Carolina. This
provides articles almost every week generating awareness on Duke's
relationship with the surrounding community.
The list just goes on and on-and this isn't even taking into
the hundreds of professors who order textbooks at local stores
through the campus book store; the professors and graduate
students in local
activism groups like the Durham Congregations, Associations and
Neighborhoods; the Halloween carnival Duke puts on for Durham
still remember from my freshman year, when a terrible ice storm
the power across the city, Duke (which ran on backup power at its
expense) opened its doors to Durham residents, who flooded into
East Campus cafeteria.
What the lacrosse players are accused of-actions which have so far
criminal charges and which the team captains vehemently deny-are
despicable actions. But they are also the actions of three
despised and reviled by the rest of the community, which includes
27,000 employees, 12,000 students, and 2,500 professors.
My fellow classmates and I-along with administrators, professors,
employees- have worked hard to help bring happiness, safety, and
our Durham neighbors. It is personally painful for me to read
failing to provide a greater context and casually passing off
outlandish quotations from people who cannot, or will not, realize
vast majority of people at this university care deeply about