Duke students take protest into administration building

Posted April 1, 2016

Duke students protesting the treatment of a parking attendant by a campus executive took their argument to his office Friday afternoon.

— Duke students protesting the treatment of a parking attendant by a campus executive took their argument to his office Friday afternoon. A handful of students told the Duke Chronicle that they planned to stay inside the Allen Building, home of Duke's central administration offices, until the university’s executive vice president Tallman Trask resigns.

It is not the first time students have raised concerns about an altercation between Trask and parking attendant Syliva Underwood. Students claim Trask hit Underwood with his car and called her a racial slur while she was directing traffic during a game in 2014.

Trask has said that Underwood refused to let him park in his usual spot and stepped in front of his car. He denies calling her a name and dismisses the entire thing as a misunderstanding.

Protestors have called for Trask’s resignation and demanded that he pay financial reparations to Underwood.

Sue Wasiolek, associate vice president for Student Affairs & Dean of Students (known to students as "Dean Sue), sat down with the protestors Friday in an Allen Building anteroom and warned them that if they left the building they would not be allowed back in.


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  • Chance Loria Apr 4, 2016
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    Oh, now they're demanding $15 per hour? Of course, it was just a matter of time before that happened since they saw it passed in California. What they fail to understand is CA cost of living is MUCH higher than NC. Real estate alone is easily 200-400% higher. A class in Economics would teach them this. Do any of these protesting students actually attend classes?!?

  • Chance Loria Apr 2, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    A sensible person, if hit by a car and called a racial slur, would report it to the police. Crying foul for two years without following proper legal channels will get you absolutely nowhere. Why wasn't this incident reported to the police when it happened?

  • Max Smirenny Apr 2, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    I do a lot of research at Duke.... so what in your opinion is the resolution? What is going to fix this? And what will it cost those involved? On a side note... I question those published "facts".

  • James Daniels Apr 1, 2016
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    It seems that most of you never attended Duke University and do not understand the dynamics of this situation. The parking attendant reported the incident when it happened. She was frustrated with the slow response by Duke administration. The Chronicle, Duke's campus newspaper, ran an article with the pertinent facts. The campus administration has yet to resolve the issue. Mr. Trask has admitted no wrongdoing but has not disputed the facts in the article. Sometimes, the only recourse at Duke is protests (I am a Duke grad).

  • John Wells Apr 1, 2016
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    Kick the "entitlement" miscreants out of Duke University. This "You owe us" generation needs to get the message: You can't blackmail a college or business anytime you don't get your way!

  • Kristin Byrne Apr 1, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    This has actually been going on for two years. It only came to light to everyone since the Duke Chronicle ran a 2 part article about it a couple weeks ago.

    I don't agree with the students, but this has been an ongoing fight. The complaint wasn't made out of the blue 2 years after the incident.

  • Max Smirenny Apr 1, 2016
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    Rebels without a clue... but lots of funds... being Duke and all.

  • Chance Loria Apr 1, 2016
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    Dear Students,

    You are a pathetic representation of a fine university. If the story you are taunting is correct, than it is a police matter or civil court matter. If Ms. Parking Attentendent feels she was wronged TWO YEARS AGO, then she should follow proper legal procedure. In the event your extremely expensive Duke education hasn't yet taught you this basic of life, let me fill you in ... Free of charge. You are not entitled to something just because you yell the loudest or because you're the most obnoxious. We have a legal system which is how adults settle these issues. I know Duke teaches this but maybe you've spent so much of your education doing stupid things like protesting you've actually missed this. If you want to help Ms. Parking Attendent then stop acting like immature children and assist her by guiding her through the proper legal channels. Grow Up and stop stomping your feet like little toddlers. It's embarrassing.

  • John Lobenstein Apr 1, 2016
    user avatar

    That was two years ago dude(s) and dudette(s).