The Duke University Student Government (DSG) on Wednesday allocated more than half its “emergency fund” to bail-out a “diversity immersion retreat” to be put on by the school’s Center for Race Relations.
The legislation allocates $2,254 of the $5,000 emergency fund for the retreat titled “Common Ground,” which the school’s blog describes as a “student-led diversity immersion retreat program dedicated to exploring human relations in personal and profound ways.”
A flyer for an earlier iteration of the retreat, held on October 21, describes it as “free” and a place to “discuss race, gender, sexuality, and socioeconomic status.”
The funding emergency for the Feb. 28—March 3 retreat apparently arose from a “miscommunication” with the college’s Center for Multicultural Affairs, according to a Jan. 31 article in The Duke Chronicle.
Funding for these types of programs generally comes out of DSG’s $70,000 surplus, junior Marcus Benning, a senator for Durham and regional affairs, told the Chronicle. But that takes at least a week—a delay that could postpone, limit, or rush planning for the camp.
Benning, however, argued that the lack of funding for the diversity camp did not justify use of the student’ government’s emergency fund.
[Editor's Note: Racial tension at Duke has heightened since a fraternity threw an Asian-themed party.]