The mission of the Academic Guides program is to promote the academic excellence and well-being of undergraduates in the residence halls on West Campus by partnering with students, faculty and staff to:
- Facilitate collaborative and innovative student-centered activities,
- Provide accessible and individualized support, and
- Connect students with resources to enrich the academic, intellectual and residential experience.
Our aim is to foster a culture that values intellectual curiosity, community-based learning and the pursuit of meaning and purpose.
The Academic Guides Program is a part of the Office of Undergraduate Education and is funded by a grant from the Duke Endowment.
The Academic Guides program promotes the academic excellence and well-being of undergraduates in the residence halls on West Campus. Our larger aim is to foster a culture that values intellectual curiosity, community-based learning, and the pursuit of meaning and purpose. The creation of a safe and equitable environment for all students is central to this culture. We recognize, denounce, and condemn the ongoing and systematic oppression of people and communities of color, and we agree with the Office of Undergraduate Education in our belief that diversity and inclusion is not enough: we must commit to being actively anti-racist in our work.
We begin with a recognition that the university as an institution and educational environment both reflects and perpetuates the historical and ongoing racial injustices and inequities in our society. It does this through its institutional norms and practices in and out of the classroom and through the conscious and unconscious biases of individual members of the community.
Duke University as an institution has a history and legacy built upon and supported by the structure of white supremacy from its existence on stolen lands of the Shakori, Eno, and Tuscarora people, to its exclusion of African Americans until 1963, and to the continual struggle to provide equitable experiences to students of different backgrounds.
We recognize the different yet connected racialized historical and ongoing traumas of Black, Native/Indigenous, Asian, Hispanic/Latinx, Middle Eastern, and other communities of color. We also recognize the interconnectedness of race with other social identities (such as gender, class, and sexual orientation) creating overlapping and interdependent systems of marginalization. As such, we strive to view anti-racism work through an intersectional lens.
Racism experienced by BIPOC students, faculty, and staff creates barriers to the pursuit of academic excellence, opportunities, and overall well-being. As a part of the larger OUE commitment to antiracism, we challenge ourselves to make explicit the issues that create educational barriers for students of color. We will also work deliberately to create an intellectual and social environment that is hospitable and make university resources accessible to marginalized students.
The Academic Guides will demonstrate our commitment to anti-racism by:
- Continuing to educate ourselves, individually and collectively (inclusive of Peer Success Leaders) through trainings, readings, and participatory learning opportunities
- Forging individual partnership with at least one student and/or campus partner serving underrepresented students each academic year
- Reaching out directly to BIPOC student groups to offer our services and invite participation in our events
- Being race-conscious in data collection (and conscious of other and multiple identities) in order to assess the degree to which we are effectively reaching and serving BIPOC students
- Including BIPOC individuals and groups in social media, panels, programming
- Creating intentional and targeted initiatives to make explicit issues that create educational barriers for students of color. This may include programs, but will be sustained through the illumination of the “Hidden Curriculum” on our website. This initiative is an effort to identify and explain the cultural norms, discursive practices, and unspecified expectations of Duke undergraduate students in order to ensure equity of access to the full array of educational and social opportunities available to them
- Pursuing equitable practices when contracting with vendors
- Creating welcoming and inclusive office spaces that make our commitment visible and perceptible to the community