Black Students At Duke Protest Study

Some black students at Duke University are angry about a study by school researchers that says they and children of alumni are disproportionately more likely to switch to easier majors.

The Herald-Sun of Durham reported reported that about three dozen students from the Black Student Alliance held a silent protest Sunday outside Duke Chapel. They held signs about the issue as people left a speech that was part of Duke's annual Martin Luther King Jr. observance.

BSA vice president Marcus Benning says the students believe the study mischaracterizes black students as underperforming. The BSA is planning another event this week and hopes to get faculty involved.

The newspaper said the research is included in a brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court by opponents of affirmative action.


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  • by Settlement on Jan 22, 2012 at 10:23 PM
    The students were discriminated against, 1 billion settlement, sounds fair. That is the going rate!
  • by Bill Location: ENC on Jan 18, 2012 at 10:49 AM
    "The kicked dog barks"
  • by ace Location: j ville on Jan 18, 2012 at 05:12 AM
    The just published what a lot of people already know.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 17, 2012 at 12:39 PM
    nc department of transportation or any nc state job will hire a black person over a white person everytime.Reguardless if the white person is qualified and the black person is not.Why cause nc is worried about descrimination againct blacks what about the whites.arent they descriminated against. take notice too state employees that are blackandwhite you look at the percentage.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 17, 2012 at 08:42 AM
    I noticed a few errors in grammar too.
  • by greenville Location: greenville on Jan 17, 2012 at 08:19 AM
    where's the protests from the students of alumni who are statistically more likely to switch to an easy major? oh yeah... probably doing their schoolwork instead of wasting oxygen.
  • by ECU Student on Jan 17, 2012 at 06:51 AM
    It would be most interesting to see what the Institutional Review Board (IRB) has to say about approving this study. The point of the IRB is to ensure that no harm (physical or emotional) comes to those that participate in the study. If the records and procedures that were used to collect the data violate IRB standards and ethics, then I would like to know where the IRB stands on this topic now. Studying demographics that include minority samples are always at risk for stepping on someone's toes, but to be upset by what the data reveal is absurd. Data..is data...is data. If there is a trend, then so be it, but causation cannot be determined due to a correlation of demographics and switching to "easier" majors...which I would like to see defined in the study. Knowing what constitutes an "easier" major at Duke is amusing to ponder considering it is an ivy league institution. Subjective evaluations of "easier" are quite easily disputed and should be addressed appropriately in the Limitations of the study.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 17, 2012 at 09:28 AM in reply to ECU Student
      Really? What a load of gobbledegook. If you would have read the story and done any amount of research you would have noted that the study was performed using the technique "data mining" and that no causation was implied. Again, reading comprehension would have led you to note that the study says that "group A" is more likely to see "condition B". That is nothing more than the statistical analysis of the available data. Stop trying to stir the pot, and stop trying to sound like you know more than you do, especially when you didn't do the research necessary to pull it off.
  • by LEWIS Location: EDENTON on Jan 17, 2012 at 03:33 AM
    What is the point of the survey. If Duke is supposed to be such an elite school, with high standards, are they really any easy majors there?? Why not spend time on doing research on something that really matters in life. I now have second thoughts about Duke. Maybe it is just another ordinary school.
  • by Gregory on Jan 17, 2012 at 02:05 AM
    Those pesky facts just keep getting in the way!
  • by Durhamite on Jan 16, 2012 at 07:25 PM
    People automatically assume that we decided to protest simply because we are "Black" as defined by the socially constructed concept of race. However there were many issues with this research from its methods, to the fact that it was used as a amicus brief in a supreme court case even though it has not been peer reviewed therefore is not considered a "scholarly" article. The fact that outdated data is being used in the Supreme Court shows that this is not an institutional problem nor decision this will have an effect nationwide. Also there is question as to whether or not correct protocol was used with research subjects. Fallacies within this research goes on and on and with these fallacies come inherent dangers such as drawing conclusions that could possibly have an effect on minority and legacy students throughout the country even though the research was not done correctly. This point is only one of the reasons that we decided to publicly protest. Duke continues to try to sweep things such as this under the rug and not address it with students when we try to meet with administrators, even saying that they had "no idea" this research was taking place, which is interesting especially since Duke has its on IRB. My placement at Duke did not come by means of affirmative action, if you don't believe that look at my GPA....and I am not taking an "easy major" whatever that may mean.
    • reply
      by Durhamite on Jan 16, 2012 at 09:08 PM in reply to Durhamite
      Quite frankly as was put in a follow up article. If you read the research report, and have any type of knowledge in the area of social science and proper research methods you would see that the article simply lack academic rigor.
      • reply
        by voter on Jan 16, 2012 at 11:44 PM in reply to Durhamite
        very well articulated. clear, concise and insightful. thanks for the perspective.
      • reply
        by To Durhamite on Jan 17, 2012 at 07:36 AM in reply to Durhamite
        What kind of sentence is "Quite frankly as was put in a follow up article"? In the second sentence, "article" is a singular noun so "lack" should have been "lacks". Maybe this is your problem. You think you know it all but you do not show that you even know how to complete a basis sentence!
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jan 17, 2012 at 01:15 PM in reply to To Durhamite
          I assume you meant to use the word basic in your last sentence.
    • reply
      by Formerly O.L.I. on Jan 17, 2012 at 05:23 AM in reply to Durhamite
      Over-padded sentence structure, however...
      • reply
        by Durhamite on Jan 17, 2012 at 06:00 AM in reply to Formerly O.L.I.
        My apologies. When faced with constant competition among the top students, not only in the nation but in the world, when applying to universities for my undergraduate education, internships and fellowships, as well as law schools I find myself articulating my feelings in a manner that to some seem "over-padded".
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jan 17, 2012 at 09:34 AM in reply to Durhamite
          Actually, you could use a grammar and spellcheck as well, although I like the thought process and in general agree with what you say is your point. I also agree with your sentiments about peer review. If this paper hasn't been peer reviewed then it is nothing more than a good starting point for a real study, although it can and does put forward a good hypothesis. I strongly disagree that any study needs to consider how it might negatively affect a group of people though. The truth, if it is the truth, no matter how painful, is always what we need to hear, not platitudes.
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