If You’re Thinking of Applying to Duke University, Don’t

K.C. Johnson, at Durham in Wonderland, is still following up on the Duke Lacrosse Rape case, and posts this amazing bit of information.

On September 12, Captain Ed Sarvis of the Durham Police Department admitted that the Durham Police had an official policy of meting out disproportionate punishment Duke students, as a class, for alcohol- and noise-related offenses. When confronted with police records showing that Sgt. Mark Gottlieb had arrested 10 times as many Duke students as the other three District Two supervisors combined, Sarvis replied that the sergeant “was doing his job, and doing what I asked him to do.” The implication? The sergeants who didn’t handcuff and arrest Duke students (and only Duke students) for minor alcohol-related offenses weren’t doing their job.

In other words, it appears to have been official policy at the Durham Police Department to target Duke students for special treatment. And the universities response has to date been literally nothing. Which isn’t a surprise given how the university abandoned not only the three men falsely accused of rape, but also the entire Lacrosse team. And if you think it is just the athletes who get the special treatment think again.

In late March, outgoing DSG president Elliot Wolf penned a memorandum expressing concern that the Office of Judicial Affairs, led by Associate Dean of Students and Director of Judicial Affairs Stephen Bryan, had chosen to “pursue judicial action against a student based on evidence collected by law enforcement officers that was illegally obtained or otherwise insufficient to serve as the basis for criminal prosecution.” In other words, Bryan was intending to use evidence that even Durham’s blatantly pro-prosecution judges viewed as suspect.

Dean Bryan’s response can be summed up as an admission that indeed Duke University does use this rather dubious evidence to prosecute its own students.

Bottomline is that if you go to Duke University as a student you will be on your own, and can count on no help whatsoever from the University, and you’ll pay well over $40,000 a year too. I’m thinking you can find a better university to attend.

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Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.


  1. Eneils Bailey says:

    Being a Southerner, and having spent the majority of my life in southern hick towns that profiteered on out-of-state motorists, this one hits close to home.

    You have a corresponding situation here; how many times did they ignore the happenings at North Carolina Central University, then go after those rich white students to curry political favor with a substantial bloc of the Durham voters. This local government and enforcement of its laws, was very selective. Not as a matter of ensuring public safety, but as a matter of political correctness.
    I have relatives in the area, and my son also graduated from UNC at Chapel Hill,(just a rock’s throw away, but if you ducked, you would not get hit) he rarely ventured into the Durham County while attending, the locale was known as a third-rate speed trap and money-grubbing citations generator.

    Duke University, in conjunction with the local Gestapo allowed the situation to persist for years.

    The local government officials and the Duke University administration should be held accountable and examine themselves to see if they have enough personal integrity and citizen support to at least be honest.

  2. Is this true only for white students? Is it possible Duke will become, effectively, a black college?

  3. Eneils Bailey says:


    “Is it possible Duke will become, effectively, a black college?”

    IMO, No, it is a terribly expensive place to go, attend, and receive a degree in political correctness.

    Durham is a scaled-down version of New York City, Washington, or San Francisco. A ruling hard-core liberal political base trying to pretend they care, while placating a substantial minority population.

    Only a matter of time time before the two tigers look each other in the eye.