Friday, May 2, 2008

Kristin Butler Wins National Award

Kristin Butler recently became the top winner of The National Society of Newspaper Columnists Educational Foundation Scholarship contest, announced on April 24th. Editor and Publisher published an article about it. Surprisingly, the Chronicle opted not to report it in Monday's paper, though they were notified, but we are posting it here nonetheless.

Two of the judges had this to say about Butler and her work:

Goodman commented: “A good combination of reporting and opinion with a tough look at her own administration. Liked the variety as well, from health care to stripping!”

Suzette Martinez Standring, a preliminary judge, also commented on Butler. “Articulate and well-researched columns on social justice topics. Her Voice and point of view is one to be reckoned with.”

"I'm thrilled by the Society's decision, and grateful for the opportunity to visit New Orleans and interview Katrina victims this June," said Butler.

Her First Prize also comes with $1000. Kristin has not decided yet how to put that to use.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

DCU Sponsors David Horowitz's Islamo-Fascism Awareness Speech

David Horowitz's appearance at Duke prompted fierce opposition from the Chronicle. Such a stance seems to be an extraordinary step for the editorial board, as we cannot remember anything similar for other speakers brought to Duke. The editorial called him an "inflammatory demagogue" and then went on to take shots at the Duke Conservative Union claiming a "preference on the part of Duke Conservative Union for inciting belligerent dispute rather than encouraging intelligent discourse."

Aside from being high on inciting and accusatory language and low on substantiation or information of any sort for that matter, the little information the editorial did attempt to provide was quite inaccurate. It seems rather clear that the Chronicle horribly mischaracterized Horowitz's views on Academic Freedom and inaccurately claimed Horowitz has called for the removal of parts of the Koran.

No other examples come to mind of the Chronicle writing a staff editorial denouncing a campus speaker brought by a student group - or any other group - in such a fashion. It seems to be an infrequent occurrence at most. It is especially odd for the newspaper to dismiss Horowitz as an incendiary demagogue seeking shock value when the same newspaper gave a platform to Shadee Malaklou for an entire year. When asked how the Chronicle - a Duke sanctioned monopoly - could retain the services of such an uniformed and slanderous individual as Malaklou, one of the Chronicle's senior editors answered, "readership." People would read the Chronicle on the day of Malaklou's column simply to see what absurd and outrageous nonsense she had published.
One of Malaklou's surreal choice offerings:

A rape may not have occurred on March 13, but as a woman on Duke’s campus, as a Woman’s Studies major, and as activist for survivors of sexual assault, I assure Mr. Cheshire that these men are not innocent, nor are they upstanding citizens of Duke or Durham law….Nifong might not be in the right legally, but that doesn’t mean he's not doing the right thing.
Moreover, the Chronicle accused Horowitz as someone who seeks to obstruct free speech and censor college professors - which seems completely inaccurate from reading the Academic Bill of Rights - yet the Chronicle refused to print a paid advertisement in advance of Horowitz's speech calling for an end to genocide, calling it incendiary. It is tough to reconcile that stance with the Chronicle's assertion that "unlike the man himself, we trust students' ability to freely form opinions rather than be forced into them, despite the 'dangerous' ideas that we allow to be expressed on our campus."

Worst of all, it should be clear from the video below as it was at the event that it was nothing like the Chronicle's characterization whatsoever. It was informative and there was plenty of constructive dialog. A number of Muslim students showed up with tough questions and challenged Horowitz frequently. He answered them all. Several Muslim students congratulated Horowitz in person after the event and expressed their gratitude to him for coming. Two of them requested his autograph.

The Chronicle then ran a story to which Chronicle Chief Editor David Graham gave the title "Horowitz Sounds Off to Small Crowd." It should be noted that there were closer to 90-100 attendants, nearly double the 50 claimed by the Chronicle (the room held 180 and was at least half full). In fairness to the Duke Conservative Union, who sponsored the event, calling that a "small crowd" completely lacks perspective when it comes to speakers sponsored by student groups, especially around exam time. One cannot help but note the irony that the Chronicle mocks the speech for a low attendance (inaccurately) after publishing an editorial (whose two attempted facts were both dead wrong) ensuring that the entire campus should dismiss the speaker as an inflammatory bigot incapable of reasoned discussion.

DSEDuke was not involved in bringing Horowitz to Duke, but we have agreed to post the video online anyway so that all may judge for themselves whether Horowitz, his speech, or the DCU have been treated fairly by David Graham's Chronicle.

Use Internet Explorer. You cannot view this with Firefox.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Grace Wang Seeks to Set Record Straight

The New York Times and Washington Post have reported on the plight of Grace Wang, and the Times has provided the above photo depicting the viciousness of the confrontation faced by Wang. Attendants of the pro-Tibet vigil have reported to us that the rhetoric directed at her was largely unfit for print.

But Grace Wang's role in the conflicting demonstrations has been widely misunderstood, especially by those in the Chinese blogosphere that have demanded that her life be terminated by any number of creative or ancient means. She was not a party to either side. As she has explained and participants of the vigil have confirmed, she arrived at what had become a chaotic scene and sought to mediate between the two groups and encourage a more peaceful, understanding, and thoughtful demonstration.

She has repeatedly made clear that she does not advocate Tibetan independence to any who will listen. Unfortunately, the pro-China demonstrators seem to have had little interest and drown her out with chants and accusations. She does, however, advocate fair treatment and more freedom for Tibet, much as she advocates more freedom throughout China.

As her message is slowly getting out, Grace tells us that some of the thousands of emails she has received have been supportive - including emails from China - though that portion remains a minority.

[Update 5:49 pm 4/18/08]
WRAL also ran the story last night and have published an article on their website.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Targeted Chinese National Students' China Home Vandalized

Grace Wang, who has recently decided to identify herself publicly, was publicly outed recently by members of the Duke Chinese Scholars and Students Association on their website for attending a pro-Tibet vigil. Her name and her involvement in the vigil have exploded in the Chinese blogosphere and in internet forums, and she has received an onslaught of threatening and harassing phone calls, as have her parents in her home town of Qingdao, China. A video of Wang participating in the vigil was also posted on YouTube, and has received over 640,000 views and counting. The video has since been reposted by many others as well. From the reports we have heard from pro-Tibet participants, the treatment of Wang by the crowd of pro-China protesters consisted primarily of a barrage of profanity and insults.

More recently, as the Chronicle reports, Wang's parents' apartment in China has been vandalized with a bucket of feces poured in front of its door.

Wang has been participating in numerous interviews, one of which we have clipped for your convenience. Here is Wang on PRI's The World.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Motion Denied

Judge Beaty denied Duke's motion to eliminate the website maintained by Bob Bork's D.C. based public relations firm on behalf of the 38 families currently suing Duke University and Durham. Ray Gronberg of the Durham Herald Sun and Dan Galindo of the Winston-Salem Journal report.

This development comes as little surprise given what uninvolved lawyers have predicted, including Duke Law's own Thomas Metzloff. Metzloff has stated that he believes the motion is "future-oriented" to inform the judge of the publicity the case is likely to receive and to ensure that the website does not, at a future date, cross the line in terms of prejudicing a jury. Powerline's Paul Mirengoff noted that "setting up this kind of website, and indeed ones that are much more aggressive, is a common thing for plaintiffs to do these days."

A likely explanation for Duke's motion was offered by one of KC Johnson's more thoughtful commenters - a litigator himself - suggesting that the motion was likely an attempt to gauge the judge's receptiveness to the possibility of limiting discovery. Duke's lawyers may believe - or may know for a fact as Pam Bernard of Duke's General Counsel has been collecting the emails of all university employees involved since early last fall - that discovery in this affair has the potential to become very painful for the Duke University defendants in particular regardless of what it contributes to the legal case. The embarrassment of such publicity alone could potentially be a motivation for Duke to settle simply to keep such information out of the public eye.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Duke Chinese Scholars and Students Association Allegedly Incites Vicious Harassment of Tibet Supporter

The Chronicle published a brief report today, though we expect there is much more to come. We will keep you updated as we learn more. We understand that this young lady has been viciously threatened, as well as her family back home.

Friday, April 4, 2008

2008 Campus Outrage Award: Duke Wins Grand Prize

Duke recently won an unfortunate award for hosting the Sex Workers Art Show as the SWAS continues to make headlines. ISI awarded Duke University the Grand Prize for 2008 for what Larry Moneta apparently called “a hallmark of the intellectual environment [students] will experience at Duke.” The prize money of $1000 for the Grand Prize will go to the New Right Review for Angela Czahor's and David Bitner's pieces on the affair. Congratulations to all involved!

Congratulations go to the runner up, the University of Delaware, for a an extremely valiant effort to outrage every sane person in the nation with their absurd racial training program, which defined "a racist" as a term that "applies to all white people." It is tough to imagine a more worthy adversary.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fools Day Chronicle

The Chronicle front page today featured a number of April Fools Day stories. We aren't sure if they are available online, but one of them was quite well done and worth reprinting. Ken Larrey agrees they got his number. Here it is:
Man sues Duke for bracket loss
By Boobs Allison

John Matthews, Trinity '69, is suing the University for emotional damage and conspiracy after the men's basketball team's loss to West Virginia, putting him at the bottom of his NCAA bracket pool.
The suit was announced on in a thread entitled, "What does a bracket disaster look like?"
Readers rated the thread 88-percent juicy.
Suits were rumored last week when John Burnedout, vice president for government affairs and public relations, announced that the University had added literary attorney Atticus Finch to its legal team.
"A lot of people said it couldn't be done, because [Finch] is fictional. And over-qualified. It's really unprecedented," he said. "We're prepared to defend the University vigorously in this matter, by way of seances and memoranda."
Duke's attorneys filed a motion Friday saying that Mathews had broken state bar rules in publicizing his suit and called for JuicyCampus to be shut down.
Burnedout said the details of the University's legal strategy were a secret that many wouldn't understand.
Duke Students for a Moral Duke President Ben T. Jarry, a super-senior, said Duke's motion was actually a thinly-veiled aspect of Laurence "Of Arabia" Vendetta's "secret file" to have a post removed that criticized the West Campus Plaza and veganism.
"I have been told by a number of sources, including members of the Board of Trustees, that Duke is screwed," Jarry said. "Oh wait- can I go off the record? I'm not sure I can say that," he said.
Touche, Boobs Allison.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Response to Duke Motion Concerning Rule 3.6

Charles Cooper, attorney for the 38 lacrosse players, has filed a response to Duke's motion claiming a violation of Rule 3.6 by the plaintiffs' attorneys. has posted the response pointing out both the legal and logical absurdities of Duke's motion and much more credibly claiming ethical violations by Duke's lawyer Pam Bernard:
Duke’s motion is extraordinary. Duke not only acknowledges that the specific extrajudicial attorney statements it challenges either directly quote or closely paraphrase the allegations of Plaintiffs’ Complaint, it concedes that such statements are expressly authorized by Rule 3.6(b)(2)’s so-called “safe harbor” for attorney comments that relate “information in a public record.”


But Duke’s motion is even more remarkable for what it does not say. Nowhere does Duke cite a single case in which a court, state or federal, has imposed sanctions or otherwise enforced the attorney speech restrictions of Rule 3.6 in civil litigation, and our research has turned up no such case. Duke’s motion thus seeks a ruling from this Court that appears to be without precedent in American jurisprudence.


Nor does Duke, finally, even refer to, let alone cite any evidence for, this Court’s supposed “very strict practice forbidding lawyers from discussing their litigation with the press” in civil cases such as this. We assume that Duke’s counsel had a good faith basis for making this representation to Plaintiff’s counsel, notwithstanding their failure to provide any.


We note initially our disagreement with Duke’s claim that the passages from the press release excerpted in Duke’s brief are framed in “incendiary language”... indeed, even now we are hard pressed to see how we might edit the statements to make them less embarrassing to Duke. [emphasis added]


If Duke had not so callously and deliberately violated its contractual and legal duties to its innocent students, it would not now be facing these historically unprecedented legal actions by what effectively amounts to its entire 2006 lacrosse team.


Duke accuses Mr. Henkelman of speaking “in a manner calculated to engender sympathy,” Duke Br. 12, but no calculation or artifice is necessary to render sympathetic the prolonged anguish of a parent who has been forced to watch helplessly as his innocent child was falsely condemned by officials, professors, and students of the very institution that agreed to educate and care for him. Yes, Mr. Henkelman’s words were indeed poignant and moving, and it is not surprising that Duke cringes with embarrassment to hear them. But that is hardly a reason to silence him. [emphasis added]


Duke itself, of course, also has a very sophisticated website on which it provides links to news stories and posts its own frequent press releases, including those about the lacrosse incident. Duke includes one such press release as an exhibit to its submission here, in which Duke’s General Counsel, Pamela Bernard, openly violates the confidentiality of settlement negotiations by revealing what purport to be details of a settlement offer made by Duke to the Plaintiffs...In contrast, when asked about Ms. Bernard’s press statement during the Plaintiffs’ February 21 press conference, Mr. Cooper declined to discuss the substance of the parties’ confidential settlement discussions. [emphasis added]

Duke’s counsel represent to this Court that Ms. Bernard’s press release was issued only “[i]n the face of [plaintiffs’] publicity,” and out of Duke’s “belie[f] that a statement was required to protect the Duke Defendants from the substantial undue prejudicial effect of this publicity which was initiated by the Plaintiffs . . . .” Duke Br. 6. But Duke issued a materially indistinguishable press release on December 18, 2007, in response to the filing of a similar civil action in this Court by three other lacrosse players, a filing which was not accompanied by any press release or press conference. (link) And Ms. Bernard also issued a press release in response to the state court action filed against Duke by former lacrosse team coach Mike Pressler, although the filing of his suit was not accompanied by a press release or a press conference. (link) Perhaps Duke’s counsel will be able to explain the purpose of these unprovoked press releases in their reply brief. [emphasis added]

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Lawsuit Breakdown: The Coleman Report and Dean Bryan's False Statistics

[The series Lawsuit Breakdown will attempt to highlight the main points of the lawsuit filed on 12/18/07 by attorneys for Ryan McFayden, Matt Wilson and Breck Archer with a focus on Duke University's involvement in the scandal.]

In what is one of the more surprising revelations in this lawsuit, Ekstrand's lawsuit introduces allegations that the Lacrosse Ad Hoc Review Committee's report (Coleman report), long recognized as a "stunning vindication" (link) of the lacrosse team from every accusation of significance about the lacrosse team's culture, was based on deliberately fraudulent statistics. It should be noted that the lawsuit does not fault James Coleman or others on the committee for the conclusions of the report as the suit seems to believe the committee was mislead by Director of Judicial Affairs Stephen Bryan.

The significance of this allegation cannot be underestimated. Of all the assertions of horrific misbehavior - racism, violence, misogyny and of course rape - hurled at the lacrosse players publicly and privately by both faculty and administrators, the only accusations that have held any water amounted to minor, alcohol relate
d irresponsibility and inconsiderateness. These kinds of infractions were so insignificant that the University did not even keep statistics of them until October 2004. Now it seems even those allegations were exaggerated by Duke nearly to the point of fabrication.

This section of the lawsuit is highly intriguing and seems well substantiated. It is worth reading in full to view the entirety of Ekstrand's substantiation. In summary the most incriminating assertion of fact is that Dean Bryan provided to the committee phony data from before October 2004. In October 2004, "the University began systematically recording data of incidents of all alcohol policy violations involving students" (p. 254). Furthermore, "it was Bryan's arbitrary enforcement of the alcohol policy that prompted the Campus Committee's 2004 Initiative" (p. 254). Yet inexplicably "Bryan concealed the existence" (p. 255) of the data collected systematically after October 2004 and "provided the Committee with unreliable and grossly misleading data sets [from before Oct. 2004] in order to induce the Committee to conclude that the lacrosse team members' conduct was out of step with that of comparison groups" (p. 255).

As brief examples of their absurdity, Bryan's statistics, as reported by the Ad Hoc Committee, held lacrosse players accountable for "50% of noise violations and 33% of open container violations" (p. 256) based on single instances of such violations by lacrosse players. If the idea that there were fewer than 5 such violations combined by Duke students in any significant time frame isn't in itself preposterous, Ekstrand notes that the University was well aware of a well publicized incident in the fall of 2006 where 7 students were given 7 noise violations and 7 open container violations in one night alone.

The report was slanted by absurd statistics to begin with, but even more relevant is the overtly slanted way in which the report has been used by administrators. Though Ekstrand does not mention it in the lawsuit, Brodhead, speaking of the report on June 5, asserted, “though it did not confirm the worst allegations against this team, [it] documents a history of irresponsible conduct that this university cannot allow to continue” (Until Proven Innocent p. 237).

Perhaps most telling of all is that the report, which was scheduled ("forced," claims Ekstrand) to present one day before the primary election for Nifong, was given to Nifong in advance but not to the players or their counsel: "Defendant Burness delivered an advance copy of the Ad Hoc Committee Report to the City of Durham Defendants so they could prepare statements for the press conferences. Burness did not send a copy of the Ad Hoc Report - in advance or after its release - to the Plaintiffs, their teammates or their counsel" (p. 260). An oversight? Perhaps. The problem for Burness and the rest of the Duke Administration is that it fits into a rather telling pattern of efforts by Duke not only to aid Nifong in his attempts to railroad Duke Students, but to assist in his reelection. These efforts by the Duke Administration are continued in shocking fashion before the general election in the fall of 2006, explained in the next segment of Lawsuit Breakdown.

"The myth of the Plaintiffs and their teammates as out-of-control, aberrant, abusers of alcohol, with a history of 'deplorable' behavior persists up to the present day" (p. 260), incited and continuously perpetuated by Brodhead and other Duke administrators and faculty.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Download Indoctrinate U

[The following is a message from Indoctrinate U]

We're very happy to announce the arrival of the Indoctrinate U online store!

You can download the film today and watch it on your computer or TV.

The film is available as a high-quality MPEG-4 file or as a Virtual DVD, which allows you to burn your own DVD copy of "Indoctrinate U" and watch it on your TV. (The Virtual DVD is a standards-compliant ISO file.)

The MPEG-4 file and the Virtual DVD are compatible with Mac, Windows and Linux.


There are a number of new screenings that have been added to the schedule over the coming weeks:

Note: Physical DVDs are not yet available, and will not be available for a number of weeks. If you can't make it to a local screening, downloading the MPEG-4 file or the Virtual DVD is the only way to see the film soon.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Lawsuit Breakdown: Attempts to Establish Plausiblity of Potential Frame Victims

[The series Lawsuit Breakdown will attempt to highlight the main points of the lawsuit filed on 12/18/07 by attorneys for Ryan McFayden, Matt Wilson and Breck Archer with a focus on Duke University's involvement in the scandal.]

Ekstrand explains that before indicting Reade Seligmann and Colin Finnerty, Himan and Gottlieb not only had almost no evidence on which to indict the clearly innocent players, but also had "very little evidence that either Collin or Reade were present at the party at the relevant time" (p. 249). Fearing the possibility "one or both of those young men could immediately prove that they had no opportunity" (p. 249) to commit the alleged crime, "Himan and Gottlieb colluded with Duke Police officers to compel several team members to provide the information necessary to place Collin and Reade" (p. 250) at the party. As we now know, both Colin and Reade could prove they were miles away at the time of the alleged rape, and as Nifong and the officers had feared, Reade presented his impenetrable alibi one day after being indicted, making it clear that they had just indicted one - if not two - clearly innocent people.

The alleged conspiracy took form in two parts, both on April 13, 2006. First, on the morning of April 13, "conspirators whose identities are not as yet known to the plaintiffs sent an email through Breck Archer's '' email account. The email stated, 'I am going to go to the police tomorrow to tell them everything I know'" (p. 250). It seems Ekstrand is alleging that this email was created at the request or demand of Durham Police and may well have been facilitated by cooperation from the Duke Police and other Duke entities. If Ekstrand is correct, the purpose of the email would likely have been to stir up commotion on the team's email list that might have revealed information.

Second on the evening of April 13, Duke Police officers allowed Himan and Gottlieb into the Edens dorms "where most of the sophomore team members lived" (p. 250) in an effort to "develop evidence that Seligmann and Finnerty" (p. 250) were at the party (Reade and Colin were sophomores). The officers "cornered team members in their dorms" (p. 251), but instead of asking about the party, they "only asked who was (and was not) present at the party" (p. 251).

One player targeted by Gottlieb and Himan was Michael Young, who the investigators already knew had not attended the party. Furthermore, Himan "had specifically been told by Young's attorney that he was not to speak with his client" (p. 251). When asked, Young "guessed that Collin [sic] and Reade were both at the party because he did not see them in the dorms until after midnight" (p. 251).

All of this constitutes significant misconduct by the police that was aided and later condoned and justified by the Duke Police. When news broke of this police misconduct, Police Chief Graves publicly acknowledged the Duke Police's participation, condoned the misconduct and even left out the word "alleged" when referring to the rape.

Ekstrand characterizes these actions as a conspiracy "to force the waiver of plaintiffs' and their teammates' asserted constitutional rights" (p. 249).

Saturday, February 23, 2008

USA Radio Interviews DSEDuke President

On February 12, DSEDuke President Ken Larrey was awakened by a phone call from Charlie Butts with USA Radio and promptly agreed to a radio interview regarding the Sex Workers Art Show. Here is the audio clip.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cooper Lawsuit Takes Dead Aim at Brodhead

"The only wall of silence erected in this tragedy was Brodhead's."

Charles Cooper, lawyer for the 38 lacrosse players now collectively suing Duke University, held a press conference today to announce the filing of their lawsuit against both Duke and Durham. They have created a website,, to keep individuals informed about the status of the suit.

We will begin another series breaking down this 225 page lawsuit shortly, in addition to finishing up the Lawsuit Breakdown series on the Ekstrand Lawsuit.

There seem to already be clear differences between the two lawsuits. Ekstrand seems to have adopted a somewhat more aggressive strategy early on while Cooper seems to be approaching the suit a more cautiously. It will be interesting to see how these potentially complementary approaches play out. It is interesting that most of the significant facts alleged in each lawsuit are the same, corroborating each suit.

Also noteworthy is that Ekstrand's lawsuit carries an interesting focus on Chairman of the Board of Trustees Bob Steel and seems to place him as the lead decision maker. In contrast, Cooper's lawsuit places the blame primarily on the shoulders of President Richard Brodhead. Both suits, however, place heaping blame upon the duo for the suppression of evidence and other efforts to interfere with the team's pursuit of justice, so there is plenty to go around.

However, at this time, Bob Steel's name is noticeably absent from the list of defendants in the Cooper lawsuit.

The most significant difference between the Ekstrand and Cooper lawsuits consists not of factual assertions but of the allegations. Ekstrand repeatedly levels accusations of an active "conspiracy" involving Duke officials whereas Cooper's lawsuit is much more cautious in using that word. Perhaps time will show how these lawsuits evolve as they are modified and amended in the coming months.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Letter to the Editor: Response to Sex Show Article

The DSEDuke President wrote a letter to the Chronicle correcting their most recent mistake. The letter was published today:
I was disappointed the other day when a Chronicle article mistakenly asserted that I was "offended" by the Sex Workers' Art Show. That is precisely not the point of Duke Students for an Ethical Duke's efforts to bring national media attention to the matter, as we are not in the business of defining what is socially acceptable on this campus. We are, among other things, in the business of ensuring that Duke's own rules are created for and applied fairly to all students.

From reading The Chronicle, you might have thought that DSED and I want to keep similar shows out of Duke.

Quite the contrary, I encourage student groups to hire as many strippers as they like. I'm eager to see what happens when a fraternity sponsors an educational strip show intended "to get people talking about fraternity culture in a way that they never do normally." We'll see if Duke's opinion of stripping transforms from sexual expression and female liberation to exploitation and sexual gratification.

The show, of course, violated Duke's policy on strippers. Publicly, Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta has fiercely asserted that Duke's commitment to "free speech" and "academic freedom" permitted the recent sex show. In person, when I inquired about the policy conflict saying Duke can't have it both ways, Moneta responded, "I can." Why? Because "I can make the distinction" between personal gratification and education, he said.

So these distinctions are entrusted to Larry "Water Buffalo" Moneta, who classifies sticking a sparkler in one's anus as "speech" and finds bouncing breasts "academic." What might people have learned? "I have no response," Moneta wrote in an e-mail. Then how do you know the show was educational? "I'm done with this conversation," he said.

I may or may not personally agree with what you're doing, but the next time any student group wants to throw a stripper-fest on campus, I will defend to the death your apparent right to have strippers regardless of race, gender, class or ideology. In fact, we will even help ensure you get sponsorship from the University and Cultural Funds.

Topless car wash in the blue zone? Wet T-shirt contest in the Bryan Center? Call it the Larry Moneta Wet Water Buffalo Blast, call it artistic and educational and we'll see to it that you have your event.

Kenneth Larrey

Pratt '08

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Martha Brucato Explains Sex Workers Art Show

Martha Brucato, the HealthyDevils organizer of the Sex Workers Art Show, wrote a guest column in today's Duke Chronicle entitled "Returning Meaning to the Sex Workers Art Show," in which she attempts to explain some of the potential educational messages delivered by the show. DSEDuke will try to avoid evaluating gender studies rhetoric and leave it to the reader to evaluate her interpretations of the performers respective messages.

It is disappointing that these messages should require such extensive and creative explanation.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Lawsuit Cliff's Notes

We are simultaneously compiling the essentials of our series Lawsuit Breakdown on a separate blog for a concise and easy understanding of Duke's place in this lawsuit. We thank the fellows at Liestoppers for the image at left.

Still to come:
The Coleman Report and Dean Bryan's False Statistics
Duke's Illegal Efforts to Re-elect Nifong
...and more...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Welcome, News Media

For all that have received our press release, to follow along with the Duke Sex Show story, we suggest that you start reading at the bottom of the page and work your way up, as that is the order in which our pieces have been posted.

To contact us, email

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

N&O Publishes Four Sex Show Letters Today

Today the Raleigh News and Observer published four letters, including one by DSEDuke president Ken Larrey to the editor concerning the Sex Workers Art Show, Ruth Sheehan's Column on the SWAS, and Larry Moneta's response to Sheehan's column:

Vulgarity as art (Larrey's letter, though not his title)

Dehumanizing sex workers

A voice misused

Downhill Duke

Meanwhile, in the Chronicle, Duke Student Angela Czahor published a letter in the Chronicle making up for the paper's own lack of specifics in characterizing the Sex Workers Art Show. She managed to obtain an interview with Martha Brucato, the student most responsible for bringing the show to Duke.

Even the very liberal Independent Weekly's Marc Maximov, whom we met at the show, made it very clear that there was nothing educational about this performance, saying the show's multiple departmental sponsors "would seem to imply some sort of educational mission, but the acts were never didactic and didn't advocate an agenda. The main goal, it seemed, was to entertain."

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Duke Chronicle Hysterically Censors Message Board Regarding Sex Show

Duke Students for an Ethical Duke President Ken Larrey has at times been critical of the Duke Chronicle's coverage of certain issues and has at other times been critical of disturbingly overt attempts by the Chronicle to slander Duke Students for an Ethical Duke, at least one of which has been characterized as everything from "journalistic malpractice" to "an unwarranted cheap shot" by both experienced, internationally renowned columnists and other Duke Chronicle columnists.

For whatever reason, the Duke Chronicle seems to be making an especially frantic attempt to keep the Sex Show story under wraps. Ken Larrey posted two comments that were critical of yet another misrepresentation of Larrey's words and quotes. For this story, Larrey corresponded with the Chronicle by email this time to avoid any potential mistakes, yet somehow they managed to completely botch it all yet again while writing a flagrantly biased article. Having written two stories so far on the show, both heavily weighted with comments complimentary of the show, the Chronicle has yet to write a single news story mentioning anything significant that took place on stage at the Sex Workers Art Show of February 3rd, aside from this lone description from its Feb. 4 article:
"The remainder of the event featured political statements, musical theater, a mild dominatrix act, the elaborate removal of clothing and an anal sparkler for the grand finale. Audience member reactions ranged from rowdy cheers to awkward silences."
You be the judge. Compare it to the video. Does that sound like real reporting from the Chronicle? It's a good thing we still have Kristin Butler's exemplary work.

The two critical comments posted by Larrey were removed as soon as he informed Chronicle editor David Graham, as well as Tina Mao and Leslie Griffith of those two comments. The Chronicle has repeatedly removed those two comments from the message board all day long, though they have been reposted by others and Larrey himself. No other comments have been censored, and there is no vulgar or inappropriate language. This is the first time to our knowledge of the Chronicle ever doing something of this sort.

We may delve into possible reasons for the Chronicle's censorship later, but here are the original two comments:

Ken Larrey
posted 2/12/08 @ 12:47 PM EST
I regret that I am again disappointed with the Chronicle, but for crying out loud, please get my quotes right.

Senior Ken Larrey, founder of Duke Students for an Ethical Duke, said he takes offense at the show and that his organization has "gone to considerable efforts to publicize" the issue.

Nowhere in my email correspondence with Tina did I say that I was offended by the event, and that certainly does not have a darn thing to do with why Duke Students for an Ethical Duke has been publicizing the issue, as I made very, very clear. We are not in the business of establishing moral standards. We are pointing out the truly extraordinary sets of double standards Duke maintains and Duke's unwillingness to follow it's own rules when certain people or ideological agendas are concerned.

I could not have made that more clear, and I am very disappointed that you reduced our entire correspondence to this inaccurate clip.

Ken Larrey

Ken Larrey
posted 2/12/08 @ 12:59 PM EST
Additionally, I am astounded that this explanation by Annie Oakley was printed, unchallenged:

"'Sex workers hired by student and feminist organizations to tell their stories is vastly different than a drunk lacrosse team hiring strippers to perform as strippers.'"

Give me a break. "To tell their stories" is simply NOT a fair characterization of what happened, and it is certainly not the conduct at issue, so again, by all means, see for yourselves what the show was about at, where we have posted pictures and video.

It's astonishing that the Chronicle did not bother to even describe on its own any of the events that actually took place at this show. Nor did it quote anyone else describing any of the events. How can you possibly justify that?

The Chronicle's coverage is getting really, really ridiculous, and it is an extraordinary disservice to the Duke Community.

Ken Larrey

Monday, February 11, 2008

Stuart Taylor on Sex Show

We had been waiting for permission to post Stuart Taylor's National Journal article, but apparently Liestoppers found a copy already online, so here is Stuart Taylor's piece, "The University Has No Clothes." The title is especially interesting because the story of The Emperor's New Clothes fits events at Duke University of the last few years on so many levels. Congratulations to Stuart Taylor on yet another sharply insightful exposé.

Mr. Taylor lamented to us that he is kicking himself for accidentally removing the part about Brodhead not wanting to know about the event in his meeting with Ken Larrey. In fact, Brodhead refused to read the HealthyDevils' description of the event that Larrey had printed out for him, so Larrey simply read it to him.

[Edited: 9:26 PM 2/11/08]
The following screenshot of the Facebook event created by HealthyDevils contains that description.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Pictures from SWAS

To avoid cluttering the front page, we have posted 15 pictures extracted from the video footage on a post that we have moved to the back pages. Here is a link. Additionally, we moved it to a back page because they contain nudity that we have not blurred out, so be warned.

If you are curious what is going on in any of the pictures, have a look at our time-codes.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

O'reilly Factor's Laura Ingraham Hosts SWAS Organizer

The O'reilly Factor, with Laura Ingraham subbing for Bill O'reilly, did a short segment on the Sex Workers Art Show involving SWAS organizer Annie Oakley. Ingraham capably pointed out the absurdity of the show, but regrettably glossed over the astounding hypocrisy of having this event at Duke. As expected, Oakley managed to dig herself into some holes, and even lied about her own show claiming four of the eight performers did nothing but read from literature they had written. Only two did.

It sounds as though Oakley also said "it's not a transvestite" in reference to the last performer who held a lit sparkler in his bottom, as depicted in a previous post. We're simply not sure what to make of that claim.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Larry Moneta Responds to Sheehan on SWAS

Responding to Ruth Sheehan's Feb. 6 editorial on the Sex Workers Art Show at Duke with a letter to the Raleigh News and Observer, Larry Moneta explained, "the fact that [Duke] provides a venue for an event organized by students through well-established procedures does not mean the university endorses the views expressed." Moneta does not say whether the university endorses the body parts exposed, but regardless that is beside the point.

Moneta claims events like the Sex Workers Art Show "should be perceived as evidence that Duke continues to be a community filled with diverse people and opinions, and one committed to academic freedom and free speech." Again, Moneta completely misses the point. It is difficult to understand how Moneta can reconcile this show (he makes no effort to do so) with Duke's policy against strippers or with the administration's previous condemnation of the lacrosse party of March 2006. He especially avoids explaining how a burlesque dancer pulling a chain of money out her bottom with her backside raised to the audience constitutes "free speech" or "academic freedom," let alone anything remotely academic.

O'reilly Factor, USAToday Cover SWAS at Duke

The O'reilly Factor should be running a segment on the Sex Workers Art Show this evening at 8pm ET. DSEDuke President Ken Larrey, currently in Washington DC, was originally tapped to appear on the show, but was bumped in favor of Annie Oakley, the SWAS organizer, once O'reilly producers contacted her this afternoon. Laura Ingraham will be conducting the show this evening in place of Mr. O'reilly.

USAToday has now picked up the story as well.

Thursday, February 7, 2008 covers Sex Workers Art Show recently posted a video on their homepage about the Sex Workers Art Show at Duke. They interviewed several Duke students, including Martha Brucato, the HealthyDevils organizer of the event, as well as Larry Moneta.

"Watch: The Strippers Are Back at Duke"

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Letter to the Editor: Undergraduate Judicial Affairs Review Committee

Yesterday the Chronicle delivered the regrettable news that the Undergraduate Judicial Affairs Review Committee had been terminated at the request or suggestion of the General Counsel for Duke University. As even Dean Nowicki admits, this decision had much to do with limiting Duke's liability. Today, Ken Larrey penned and submitted a letter to the Chronicle regarding the termination of this committee. We hope to see it published in the next two days. The letter's current draft follows:

The Undergraduate Judicial Affairs Review Committee was one of the few positive responses of the Duke administration to issues publicized and revealed by the lacrosse affair. Yesterday was a sad day as Duke has yet again prioritized short-term liability over responsibility, continuing its pattern of indefensible, morally indifferent decision making that has put Duke in this rapidly expanding multimillion dollar hole with the cancellation of that committee.

The explanation that the review was ended because of fairness to the committee members who might be deposed is a preposterous joke. Here’s a solution: ask them if they’re ok with that, and if they aren’t, find others. This was a liability decision, and while Duke has lots of that, if we allow legal liability to freeze essential university processes like this review committee, it may not happen for another six years. If there are certain administrators or faculty who cannot perform their duties because of pending civil liability and theoretically even eventual criminal charges, then they should be at least temporarily replaced.

Now is a time when bodies like the Duke Student Government are most needed. DSG should demand that the committee go forward, one way or another. It is unacceptable to use these lawsuits as an excuse not to do what clearly must be done. Justice for Duke students should come first.

Most importantly, Duke representatives will inevitably attempt to blame the lacrosse players as they have in the past for this hold up for having the audacity to demand accountability and financial redress for the harm done to them by other Duke representatives. Don’t believe that load of horse manure. It is Duke’s own unwillingness to either act responsibly, ethically, legally, and probably constitutionally or to hold itself accountable that has caused this mess. These lawsuits are not bad for Duke. The people responsible for creating this liability are.

Ken Larrey

Duke Students for an Ethical Duke

Ruth Sheehan on Sex Workers Art Show

Ruth Sheehan wrote an editorial in today's News and Observer about the Sex Workers Art Show. She spoke with DSEDuke President Ken Larrey, whose only disagreement was Sheehan's gratuitous and presumptuous implication that he would describe all Women's Studies professors as "male bashers." It is unclear whether Sheehan attributes that description to both Larrey and Schalin or Schalin alone, but Larrey says he simply did not say that.*

Sheehan made a few other minor mistakes including attributing audio and photographs of the event to Larrey. We did not receive video, audio, or photographs from Larrey. Also, the performer that came on stage after the "infamous patriot act," The World Famous Bob (complete legal name), is a female, not a male.

[Edited 11:32 AM 2/06/08]
*Sheehan confirms that she was only attributing "male bashers" to Schalin.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Video Footage

We don't know why, but it just doesn't. Use Internet Explorer, and email us if you have any trouble.

Our source has sent us video footage of the second half of the show which we have posted online. It is somewhat limited as she did not fix the zoom until a little ways into the show - 6 minutes into the file. However, the audio is still accessible.

We now have video footage of the first half of the show as well.

We have also posted time-codes to help navigate the footage.

Use Internet Explorer to view the video. For some reason FireFox never works.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Jay Schalin on the Sex Workers Art Show

We obtained the following picture from an anonymous attendant of the Sex Workers Art Show. It depicts transvestite Krylon Superstar on his/her hands and knees with a sparkler inserted into his buttocks, and as seemed likely, his/her rectum. The words "F___ Bush" were taped onto his chest with red tape (not visible). This spectacle was the grand finale to end the show.

The Sex Workers Art Show was far, far more grotesque than we could have ever imagined. We can assure you our cartooning ways are not even close to finished. Jay Schalin of the John Williams Pope Center for Higher Education Policy wrote about the spectacle last night. Let us just say that Jay was censorious of the kind of utter vulgarity on display in an effort to protect his readers' sensibilities.

We understand that an anonymous person was successful at obtaining limited video footage of the event and complete audio coverage, which may be made available sooner or later. If we can get it, we will see if we can post it.

We also obtained interviews with Annie Oakley, the "brains" behind the operation and Martha Brucato, the student in Healthy Devils who brought the Sex Workers Art Show to Duke. We will write on those shortly.

It should also be noted that according to Annie, what we saw was the "PG-13 version."

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sex Workers Art Show

Here are some fliers that we have created for the Sex Workers Art Show. We thought we would help them out with advertising. They have been plastered all over West Campus. There will likely be more to come.




You don't have to approve, but you do have to admit it is very funny. We believe they are a tough but fair way to depict the hypocrisy of Duke's policy implementation.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Indoctrinate U Screening

Last night's screening of Indoctrinate U was fantastic! The film was insightful, provocative and often hilarious. The Duke Chronicle reported the event in today's issue, though with a few significant mistakes and a somewhat unfortunate title. DSEDuke sponsored the film, with contributions from the Program on Values and Ethics in the Marketplace and the Political Science department. A discussion afterwards was co-sponsored and promoted by the Duke Conservative Union, College Republicans, Duke Democrats, and the Center for Race Relations.

We promoted the event (albeit with late start) with an attempt to attract a diverse audience, both ethnically, ideologically and intellectually. We encouraged attendees to prepare to ask tough, penetrating questions during the Q&A with Thor and Evan. Evan and Thor were fantastic. With the exception of perhaps one question, we were somewhat disappointed that neither was ever really challenged. Thor in particular was remarkably insightful, animated and inspiring in his responses.

It was also wonderful to meet them in person. Evan and Thor both joined all of us for dinner afterwards at the Washington Duke Inn.

We are currently lobbying for them to create a documentary on the Duke Lacrosse Affair.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Another Judicial Hearing Account

[The following was posted as a comment on the Breck Archer post. We have not looked into the matter and cannot confirm or expand upon this account of events, but we thought we would share Judith's story. Judith, there is no need for trepidation on behalf of your remaining children if we may have anything to say about it.]

I have up-close and personal experience with the "fairness" of Dean Stephen Bryan. My son was accused of Lying by Kim Curtis (yes, that Kim Curtis) in the Spring of 2004.

She accused him of turning a paper in a day late in March 2004, and then lying about it. He was in Army ROTC and a student athlete.

Dean Bryan notified him of this charge AFTER classes and finals in the May of 2004, and his "Hearing" was held in early September, BEFORE classes even started.

The Judicial Advisor he was referred to during the summer was conveniently "on leave" and the second one had left the Advisor program. He finally met an available Judicial Advisor less than 24 hours before his hearing.

She told me that had she had the time, she would have researched all other cases of Lying, but she was not allowed to keep researching the files, because it was after 5 PM and Dean Bryan needed to leave.

After my son was found Guilty of Lying, and suspended for two semesters, he was given 48 hours to vacate his dorm room on Craven Quad. Dean Bryan considerately inactivated his DukeCard so that he could not even GET INTO HIS DORM to move out, or even buy a meal.

I have written about my son's situation before, on DIW and FODU, and I have trepidation now, because I still have two children who are students at Duke.

In our case, my son jumped through the appropriate hoops, was allowed back into Duke, and graduated. He has moved on, and we have moved on.

But I often wonder about students who have also been targeted by rogue faculty or administration, and who may not have the support and resources to return to Duke.

So I don't think that Duke's treatment of Breck Archer was unique. I think that the Judicial System has been used on occasion as a tool to punish students for not adhering to the agenda of certain members of the faculty and administration.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Lawsuit Breakdown: Duke's Treatment of Breck Archer

[The series Lawsuit Breakdown will attempt to highlight the main points of the lawsuit filed on 12/18/07 by attorneys for Ryan McFayden, Matt Wilson and Breck Archer with a focus on Duke University's involvement in the scandal.]

The section covering Duke's treatment of Breck Archer is concise enough that we have posted the entirety of it below. Though the incident predates the lacrosse affair, it is yet another example cited by Ekstrand of what he alleges are a long-standing dislike of and bias against the lacrosse team and lacrosse players by Dean Bryan. The section proceeds as follows from p. 221 of the lawsuit:

In the Summer of 2005, Breck Archer was called into Defendant Stephen Bryan’s office to answer to a charge that damage was done to his room during a party. The room was only technically Breck’s at the time of the party; he had not moved in, he did not have a key to it, and he was not present at the party.

Nevertheless, Bryan punished Breck with community service hours at the Duke Gardens. Breck completed the hours, notified Defendant Bryan of his completion, but did not submit a form Bryan expected to receive.

Based upon Beck’s failure to submit the form after completing all of his community service requirements, Defendant Bryan convened a Judicial Affairs panel of students and faculty hand-picked by Bryan. At the close of evidence, Defendant Bryan remained in the room with the panel for the deliberations. Upon information and belief, Bryan influenced the panel to vote to suspend Breck, in violation of the Student Code of Conduct and the Faculty Handbook.

The panel suspended Breck for the 2005 fall semester for “failure to comply.”

Upon information and belief, until Breck, no one in the history of Duke University has been suspended or otherwise separated from the University for a semester for failing to submit a form documenting work that was completed as required.

Defendant Bryan did not have a basis in the Student Code of Conduct to punish Breck for damage done at a party he did not attend, nor did Defendant Bryan have a basis in the Student Code of Conduct to suspend Breck for failing to turn in a form.

[Edited 11:36 PM 1/18/08]
Also unique to Breck Archer is that an email was sent from his account on April 13, 2006 by "conspirators whose identities are not yet known" (p. 250) stating "'I am going to go to the police tomorrow to tell them everything that I know'" (p. 250). Breck never sent this email, nor did he permit anyone to send it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Lawsuit Breakdown: Duke's Treatment of Matthew Wilson

[The series Lawsuit Breakdown will attempt to highlight the main points of the lawsuit filed on 12/18/07 by attorneys for Ryan McFayden, Matt Wilson and Breck Archer with a focus on Duke University's involvement in the scandal.]

Matthew Wilson was cited for Driving While Impaired in Chapel Hill in May of 2006, six days after David Evans was indicted. He accepted responsibility for his mistake and entered a guilty plea at his first court appearance. He sought counseling from Duke's Counseling And Psychological Services (CAPS), but was told that because he was not enrolled in the summer session, he was not eligible.

Matthew's DWI was discovered by Duke University when it became front page news and even national news after a reporter cross-referenced new court files against the CrimeStoppers Wanted poster. Ekstrand then notes that "Duke University unilaterally suspended Matthew from the lacrosse team indefinitely and made multiple public statements to representatives of the press to ensure the University's disciplinary action against Matthew was widely known" (p. 219). Next, "Defendant Bryan told Matthew and his father that he was referring Matthew to a Judicial Board hearing, in which he expressly stated that Matthew would be suspended for two semesters. Defendant Bryan falsely stated - repeatedly - that it was "the policy" to suspend for two semesters all students who are charged with Matthew's offense" (p. 219). Ekstrand also notes that it is also false that Bryan's office suspended for two semesters every student cited with that charge.

Fearing for the publicity generated by Matthew's citation and Duke's public announcements, Matthew's parents "asked Defendants Moneta and Bryan to allow Matthew to transfer in lieu of a judicial affairs hearing. Moneta and Bryan both claimed that there was a 'policy' forbidding that; he could transfer but not as a student in good standing" (p. 220). Ekstrand asserts that there neither was such a policy nor a precedent, as many students in the same position had been allowed to transfer in good standing.

From Ekstrand's account, both Moneta and Bryan had already determined the sentence and delivered it repeatedly to Wilson's family before there was ever a hearing. Moneta told Matthew's father that "he and Bryan had no choice 'because he's a lacrosse player,' rhetorically asking, "What would we say to people if we didn't suspend him?" (p. 220). Especially extraordinary is that Bryan "claimed that he had picked a sympathetic group who would look favorably on Matthew's extraordinary efforts in the summer" (p. 220), an odd offering of comfort considering Bryan had already determined the sentence. It becomes even more peculiar consolation noting that the panel hearing "was filled with questions - not about the driving incident - but about the events of March 13th-14th at the 610 Buchanan house" (p. 220).

Eventually, by the Appeals Board, the two semester suspension was modified to suspension for the summer session. However, "neither body addressed the fact that the Student Code of Conduct clearly does not authorize the Undergraduate Judicial Board to subject students to disciplinary proceedings for conduct that occurs off-campus, out of county, while not enrolled, and not even eligible for a 30 minute CAPS appointment" (p. 221).

Thus, if Ekstrand is correct, violating precedent and citing policy that did not exist, Bryan and Moneta prevented Matthew from transferring in good standing in order that, with no disciplinary authority, they could subject Matthew to a hearing to determine punishment after punishment had already been determined according to policies that do not exist, and then used this hearing to interrogate Matthew about the party at 610 Buchanan in spite of Duke University's public assertions that it cannot conduct its own investigations for fear of "witness tampering." All of this at a time long after DNA had already cleared every member of the team and long after it had become extremely obvious to anyone paying the slightest attention that three honorable and demonstrably innocent Duke students were being subjected to extraordinary violations of their constitutional rights.

Duke Students for an Ethical Duke agrees with KC Johnson that this is one of the more disturbing parts of the entire lawsuit. We intend to discuss advocating at least the temporary replacement of the administrators involved until student confidence can be restored in the Duke administration in these essential positions that require the utmost integrity and trust.

Lawsuit Breakdown: Duke's Treatment of Ryan McFadyen

[The series Lawsuit Breakdown will attempt to highlight the main points of the lawsuit filed on 12/18/07 by attorneys for Ryan McFayden, Matt Wilson and Breck Archer with a focus on Duke University's involvement in the scandal.]

On April 5, 2006, the false rape case against the lacrosse team had already unraveled substantially as the impossibility of the stories Durham Police were feeding to the media were becoming clearer and clearer. However, that day Judge Stephens unsealed a warrant to search the dorm room of lacrosse player Ryan McFadyen. The warrant included an excerpt from an email that McFadyen had sent to the rest of the team containing a crude parody of a passage from the novel American Psycho, a favorite among Duke students and required reading for three Duke courses. Though Nifong, Gottlieb, and Himan agreed to add a new charge of conspiracy to commit murder to the rape allegations, it was plainly obvious that the charges were beyond absurd, and that the email was clearly a joke, especially to anyone who knows the size of an Edens dorm room (lest anyone believe McFadyen actually intended to fit an entire lacrosse team into a 160-170 sq. ft. room along with two strippers).

When the news broke, "Defendants Moneta, Bryan and Wasiolek unilaterally suspended Ryan, without notice, hearing, or inquiry" (p. 213). Ekstrand alleges that Dean Wasiolek "searched frantically for Ryan demanding that Ryan come to her office to sign a waiver of his FERPA [Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act] rights" (p. 214). Ekstrand does not specifically say whether or not McFadyen ever actually signed this waiver, but he seems to imply that Ryan did not:
"That evening, believing that Ryan had waived his rights to privacy under FERPA, Defendant Brodhead [...] provided on the record comments in which he condemned Ryan, revealed that the University had suspended him under the 'safety of the community' provisions of the student code of conduct, [...] that he would be held to answer for his 'conduct' in the University's disciplinary proceedings, and claimed that he was free to say all of these things because Ryan had signed a waiver of his FERPA rights."
If it is correct that Ryan never actually signed a waiver, and yet his "punishment" was advertised to the world in this fashion, then this is clearly abhorrent behavior from the Duke administration, and Brodhead in particular, and yet another violation of federal law. Even if Ryan signed a waiver, it is nevertheless appalling that administrators would have gone to such effort to get him to sign a waiver for the sole purpose of being able to publicly assail him on clearly absurd grounds. On top of that, it is astounding that in spite of those efforts, no effort was made to ask Ryan about the nature of the email before publicly sliming him.

In case the despicable motives of the administration were not already apparent from their handling of the McFadyen email, Ekstrand contrasts this response to a clearly harmless email with the administration's response to "an actual email threat" in Chauncey Nartey's infamous email to Coach Pressler. Sue Pressler filed a police report with the Duke Police, who did nothing, and Mike Pressler met with Moneta, who "refused to take any action on Nartey's email, or submit the matter to the Undergraduate Judicial Board" (p. 216). Nartey was also the president of a fraternity that had recently lost its charter for hazing violations. Nevertheless, Nartey was "one of five students appointed to Defendant Brodhead's Campus Culture Initiative" (p. 216). On top of that, "Nartey was a recipient of the 2007 William J. Griffith University Service Award" (p. 216), an award "given to graduating students 'whose contributions to the Duke and larger community have significantly impacted University life. Students who demonstrate an understanding of the responsibilities of effective university, communal and global citizenship...'" (p. 216-217).

Ryan McFadyen was pilloried by Brodhead and the Duke administration for a clearly harmless, private email while Chauncey Nartey was not only given immunity from discipline but showered with honors by the Duke administration in spite of sending and email that would obviously be perceived as a severe threat to Coach Pressler's daughter at a time when threats of violence and drive-by shootings were abundant. Nartey even went to the trouble to look up his daughter's full name.

[Edited 12:14 AM 1/17/08]
Please take note of a thoughtful exchange between UNCW professor Chris Halkides and DSEDuke in the comments section of this post.

Monday, January 14, 2008

DVDs Available

We now have both KC Johnson's 9/11/07 speech Until Proven Innocent and Stuart Taylor's 11/2/07 speech on DVD. We are happy to mail them to you. Email us at if you would like a copy. Please write "DVD" in the subject line, to ensure that your request does not slip through the cracks.

We will likely respond to these requests periodically and in bulk, so it may take several days before you hear from us.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Lawsuit Breakdown: Q&A between DSEDuke and KC Johnson

[The series Lawsuit Breakdown will attempt to highlight the main points of the lawsuit filed on 12/18/07 by attorneys for Ryan McFayden, Matt Wilson and Breck Archer with a focus on Duke University's involvement in the scandal.]

The following questions were answered by KC Johnson, co-author of Until Proven Innocent and author of the Durham in Wonderland blog on 12/28/07.

1) How long do you expect these civil lawsuits to drag on? How would you project the timeline for each phase?

These could go on for some time. Take a look at the lawsuits filed by the three falsely accused players: none of the defendants has even filed a response yet, and yesterday Patrick Baker was granted another month (till mid-Feb.) to respond. So it could well be several months before the initial paperwork is complete.

All of the defendants, I suspect, will file motions to dismiss the suit. Assuming that (for most, anyway) this motion isn’t granted, the next step would be depositions and discovery, which would take another several months, at least.

2) The Ekstrand Lawsuit named nearly every top administrator at Duke. How do you think this lawsuit and ones to follow will affect those administrators’ abilities to perform in their duties until these matters are resolved, and what will it mean for Duke?

The lawsuit clearly isn’t good news for Duke: I can’t imagine there’s any university in the country that would like to be sued. And, of course, the lawsuit is just one of many—the Dowd suit, the three players’ suit, the Pressler suit—that Duke has either faced or settled before the lawsuits were filed.

The question, of course, is whether the Trustees and administration have engaged in any critical self-reflection as to what exactly the University did wrong in this affair, and what improvements can be made to ensure that such errors don’t recur in the future. In this respect, the litigation could represent an opportunity for the University to move forward.

We haven’t seen many signs of this process to date, but I continue to hold out hope.

3) The lacrosse season was cancelled because of the gravity of the allegations in question. Should someone like Dean Bryan, to name one, whose ability to perform his job depends upon his moral high ground, step down and be temporarily replaced until these matters are resolved?


The single most troubling item in the Ekstrand suit is the claim that the Bryan prosecution of Matt Wilson involved asking Wilson questions about the party—which, by Duke’s own standards, would have constituted the University obstructing justice. (Recall that throughout 2006, Brodhead repeatedly contended that any University inquiry would have opened up the school to obstruction of justice, and therefore Duke had no choice but to both defer to Nifong and remain silent about Nifong’s procedural abuses.)

In combination with the highly damning revelations in the Elliot Wolf series about Bryan, it seems to me that the dean should be reassigned until the questions about his performance have been answered.

[Note: one of our sources has asserted that the majority of the complaints Wolf has with the trend of judicial policy regard policies enacted by Bryan's predecessor, Kacie Wallace. In fairness to Bryan, we will try to look into this matter]

4) Did Brodhead’s condemnation of “ill-judged” statements from the faculty in his apology surprise you given his own conduct? Do you believe his own failings and resulting vulnerability (and those of other administrators) have played a significant role in Duke’s continuing unwillingness to condemn or address faculty behavior?

It did surprise me, in large part because in early 2007, he thrice issued public statements that interpreted the highest-profile of these “ill-judged and divisive” statements—that of the Group of 88—in a more benign fashion than that offered by many Group members. So his remarks represented a radical—and welcome—change of perspective.

As for why the administration has been so unwilling to address the inappropriate behavior of some professors, I suspect it’s a combination of two things. First, a fear of litigation—that any rebuke or disciplinary action would also constitute an admission of wrongdoing (essentially the same reason why Durham shut down the Whichard Committee to investigate the DPD). Second a fear of the Group of 88, who, as we’ve seen with their responses to Steve Baldwin and to the Ec professors, are more than willing, loudly and publicly, to brand as racists or sexists anyone who stands in their way. In today’s politically correct academic structure, any administrator (not just at Duke) fears few things more than being called a racist or a sexist by faculty “activists.”

5) You have said you believe the feds aren’t merely stalling but will never actually get involved. Regardless, how much of a setback will that be to a state investigation by Roy Cooper, and could there still be criminal charges against Duke employees or officials? If so, who would be prominent targets? Will they wait out the civil suits?

6) It is difficult to justify the feds’ unwillingness to investigate. Is it possible to appeal their decision? Are there any other recourses to get federal help in the investigation?

(Take 5 & 6 together). It’s not possible to appeal—except for to the AG’s boss, and somehow I doubt George W. Bush is going to intervene. The lack of federal intervention is very troubling; this is a case in which, from all appearances, a prosecutor, an investigator, at least one police officer, and a SANE nurse-in-training conspired over a months-long period to manufacture evidence that could send three innocent people to jail. It’s hard to imagine a more serious type of misconduct from criminal justice officials.

As to a state inquiry: as we’ve learned over the past year, the state’s powers in NC are very limited. Since the state doesn’t have authority to empanel investigative grand juries, it appears unlikely there will be any criminal investigation at all.

7) It is hard to imagine all of the Duke administrators and officials named in the suit retaining their positions through these civil actions if many of these allegations are demonstrated to be true. It is also difficult to imagine all of them being promptly dismissed. How would you evaluate each administrator’s chances of survival, and what factors will go into the decisions for each official from the following list?

Richard Brodhead, Peter Lange, Tallman Trask, Larry Moneta, Stephen Bryan, Suzanne Wasiolek, Kemel Dawkins, and Matthew Drummond.

It’s hard to me to imagine Bryan lasting. But, then again, it was hard for me to imagine Duke first hiring and then reappointing Larry Moneta—and yet the University did so.

8) In terms of a basis for civil action, you mention the case against DNASI and Meehan as a weak argument in the case. On a factual basis, what do you see as the weaker points of the suit? Where do you think Ekstrand might have overreached, or do you suspect he can confidently substantiate each of his accusations?

I don’t see any case against Peter Lange, who strikes me as someone who has repeatedly tried to do the right thing over the past 20 months.

The tactic in any lawsuit, however, is to be ambitious in initial filings.

9) Vindication or Reparations: if you accept the premise, which motive do you expect to prevail among the lacrosse families? How do you think the allegations already revealed in the Ekstrand lawsuit will affect Duke’s willingness to settle with the other families, or even the three families represented by Ekstrand?

I think that the lacrosse players have already been vindicated—except for the truest of true believers (for whom no evidence will ever sway their mind) no one any longer believes a crime occurred in this case, and there’s a widespread consensus that the administration and “activist” faculty rushed to judgment. So I don’t think they needed a lawsuit to achieve vindication.

As to Duke’s settlement strategy: I can’t imagine the University would want to allow this to go to the depositions/discovery phase. The administration’s strategy has been to “move on” with no inquiry into either its conduct or the faculty’s rush to judgment; such an approach would be impossible as long as previously unreleased material keeps dribbling out.

[by vindication we didn't mean from the crime of rape but from the notions that they are "hooligans" whether or not the rape occurred. We may ask KC about this again with the clarification and will then update his response]

10) How should student leaders at Duke respond to these revelations and allegations? What effects do you foresee, and how should student leaders mobilize to address them?

The passivity of Duke parents has surprised me. How can parents stand idly by knowing their sons or daughters could get wrapped up in—say—Stephen Bryan’s discipline system; or be the subjects of the next denunciatory ad that the remaining members of the Group of 88 throw together?

As for students: passivity implies acceptance. Students have a right to fair treatment by administrators, and the Duke Faculty Handbook (theoretically, at least) requires all Duke profs to treat all Duke students (regardless of their race, class, gender, or athletic status) with “respect” as “fellow members of the academic community.” If students don’t stand up and demand fair treatment, it’s unrealistic to expect that others will do it for them.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Lawsuit Breakdown: University's Effort to Force Waivers of 5th and 6th Ammendment Rights

[The series Lawsuit Breakdown will attempt to highlight the main points of the lawsuit filed on 12/18/07 by attorneys for Ryan McFayden, Matt Wilson and Breck Archer with a focus on Duke University's involvement in the scandal.]

Ekstrand alleges that after the failure of the plan to orchestrate the mass interrogations without council in which Duke Officials endeavored to deliver the lacrosse team into the trap set by Durham Police, Executive Vice President Tallman Trask then "immediately demanded meetings with team members for the purpose of forcing them to effectively waiver their First, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights" (p. 155). In the meeting, attended by Trask and other Duke Administrators as well, Trask demanded, "'tell us what happened'" (p. 156). After the team members declined as they had been advised to do by their legal counsel, Trask falsely told them that the conversation was protected from disclosure by a student-educator privilege that does not exist.

Ekstrand then explains that, "fearing their status as students was in jeopardy" (p. 156), the students were compelled to tell Trask what happened and emphatically denied the allegations. By demanding the full story, Trask and other administrators were leveraging the University's disciplinary power over the lacrosse players "to coerce what was effectively the waiver of their asserted First, Fifth, and Fourteenth amendment rights" (p. 156). Moreover, Trask and the other CMT members also intentionally "subverted their right to counsel by insisting the team members speak in the absence of counsel" (p. 156).

As we already know, soon after falsely telling the students the discussion was protected, Trask, Brodhead and several other administrators were brought in (to avoid subpoena) to testify to Durham Police about their discussions with the players, as the lawsuit mentions. To our knowledge, they all brought lawyers with them.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

More Pics from SWAS

Keva I. Lee

Erin Markey

The World Famous Bob
[Note: the first few pictures show Bob after picking up the, shall we say, "funny money" left on stage by Dirty Martini after Dirty pulled it out of her bum. Bob picked up the chain of money, ran it under her nose, and threw it to the crowd.]

Dirty Martini walking off stage