October 22, 2013

Welcome! From Daniel

Hey everyone! I’m Daniel Kort, a sophomore majoring in psychology and neuroscience, and I’ll be president of Blue Devils United this year. I’m so excited for what’s bound to be a very special time for our organization. With the new Center for Sexual Diversity’s completion, this year marks a high point in the visibility of LGBT life at Duke. As president, I’m committed to ensuring that Duke remains a safe and awesome place for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender identity.  In order to accomplish this, I plan to focus on generating a strong bond among LGBT individuals, allies, and the rest of Duke’s campus. This blog will serve as an important component of that mission.
To all of the first-year students out there, welcome to Duke! It was just a year ago when I was in your shoes, scrutinizing the degree of acceptance on campus, hoping to find my niche as an out and proud individual. I can thank Blue Devils United for a great degree of my personal growth over the past year, as the community has fostered my development as an aspiring advocate and activist.
My first vivid memory of Duke’s strong affirmation of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities goes hand-in-hand with one of my very first memories of Duke itself. When I visited campus for the first time as an eager p-frosh on Blue Devil Days, the election for Amendment 1 (North Carolina’s gay marriage ban) was looming. Even though the amendment passed and I was deeply saddened like many others in the community here, the weeks that led up to the election that May featured an outpouring of support from students and faculty on campus. Here is a photograph that I took of Friedl Building on East Campus during Blue Devil Days in April 2012.
Thank you so much for reading. I’m looking forward to hearing from and meeting all of you! Join us at our general body meetings every other Wednesday, and don’t hesitate to shoot me an email if you’d like to grab lunch or coffee to hear more about Blue Devils United and LGBT life at Duke.

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