30 students from Occupy Duke set up tents and banners in front of Duke Chapel
Saturday afternoon, seeking to promote campus conversation about economic
disparity and related issues.
times we say 'work hard, play hard,' but we don't really have time to think.
This is a time for us to think about broad issues facing the Duke community and
the nation," said Shreyan Sen, one of the student organizers, as the group
sat in a circle on the grass shortly before the nearby walkway filled with fans
returning from Duke's football game with Wake Forest.
think at Duke we sometimes live in a bubble. We want to have a substantive
conversation and create debate on campus about difficult issues," said Casey
Williams, another student in the circle, leading others to wiggle their upraised
fingers in silent agreement.
students said they expect Duke faculty members, staff and others to join them
for informal classes and discussions. They also hope to engage others in
conversations about economic justice. Like their counterparts near Wall Street
and elsewhere around the country, they said they will resist electing leaders
or endorsing specific policies.
a meeting with Duke officials Friday, the students said they will keep their
site tidy and not interfere with campus activities near their site, which is
open to the public but limited to members of the Duke community at night. They
also have created a Facebook site
to promote online discussion.
going to try to make this an atmosphere on campus where these kinds of issues
can be discussed," said Anastasia Karklina, a Duke student from Latvia.
people walking by Saturday stopped to talk with those at the site, while others
ignored it, such as one student who said, "I live here. I don't need to
occupy it." Another paused for a few minutes, saying, "I'm not sure
about this but I'm checking it out."
Story by David Jarmul.
Photo by Jared Lazarus