Saturday, February 23, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
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, www.dukelawsuit.com, 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
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.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
It is disappointing that these messages should require such extensive and creative explanation.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Still to come:
The Coleman Report and Dean Bryan's False Statistics
Duke's Illegal Efforts to Re-elect Nifong
Friday, February 15, 2008
To contact us, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Vulgarity as art (Larrey's letter, though not his title)
Dehumanizing sex workers
A voice misused
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
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:
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.
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 ethicalduke.blogspot.com, 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.
Monday, February 11, 2008
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
If you are curious what is going on in any of the pictures, have a look at our time-codes.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
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
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.
USAToday has now picked up the story as well.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
"Watch: The Strippers Are Back at Duke"
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
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.
Duke Students for an Ethical Duke
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
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
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
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.