Local News

Duke Student Causes International Controversy

Posted April 17, 2008

— A Duke student’s actions at a pro-Tibet vigil last week have ignited an international controversy, even prompting death threats, the student said Thursday.

Freshman Grace Wang, 20, intervened last Wednesday night when a pro-Tibet vigil was met with a counter-protest on the college campus. Wang stepped in, trying to make the two sides talk.

“I want to help them make two into one. Maybe instead of pro-Tibet, pro-China, we can just have pro-human rights in Tibet,” Wang said.

The day after the protest, Wang discovered pictures of herself online. She said she was being called a traitor and receiving death threats.

Wang claims her personal information and information about her family in China were also released online. Now her family has moved into hiding.

Wang’s personal information was released on an e-mail list affiliated with the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, a Duke student organization. The group stresses the list is open to the public and has more than 900 members. The group said it condemns the behavior of a few anonymous subscribers.

Duke's vice president for student affairs, Larry Moneta, said there is no way to know if the person who posted Wang’s information is affiliated with the university because the list is public.

Wang is consulting with a lawyer to see if the information can be traced.

Since last week, Wang has made international headlines. She was featured on the front page of The New York Times.

Wang said recent support has eased her fears.

“It made me stronger. It made me stronger. It gave me more hope than before,” Wang said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • inquistitor Apr 18, 2008

    Enigma...at least she is doing something, unlike the generally apathetic american population that stands by and says "gosh someone should do something about it".

  • enigma1469 Apr 18, 2008

    who really cares? oh wait she does. Wow!
    I bet she is going to frre Tibet by herself.

  • charlesboyer Apr 18, 2008

    GetaLIFE is right and cheers to this young woman for advancing the cause of peace.

  • wrx44 Apr 18, 2008

    China is a communist state that crushes freedom...period. There is no debate on that. The government is all powerful.

    GetaLIFE....yeah, the tanks spared that one guy, but they ran over many more in Tiannamen square.

    Tibet should be free...and China should be recognized for what it is, and that is a totalitarian communist state where freedom of speech and religion do not exist.

  • Dark_Horse Apr 18, 2008

    China will take over this country without firing one bullet.
    We hate communist Cuba but fall all over ourselves to take money from communist China? Doesnt make sense.


  • GetaLIFE Apr 18, 2008

    ridgerunner, you need to restudy history. The first tank finally cut it's motor off when the guy would not move and the guy climbs on the tank to say something to the driver and then gets down and disappears into the crowd. Go to this link and scroll down to June 5.


    Yes, you stand corrected.

  • MadBiker Apr 18, 2008

    I think shes both corageous and foolish at the same time. Didn't it occur to her that her comments could place her family back home in China in peril??

  • likemenow Apr 18, 2008

    She should be portayed as a hero to the cause of peace.

  • ridgerunner Apr 18, 2008

    Dukemoney you should study history, the guy in front of the tank was run over. so much for Chinese civil rights.

  • thinkfirsttypelater Apr 18, 2008

    At least the posters from China haven't found this article yet. The article in the Duke Chronicle had over 500 comments, mostly hateful and in broken english from overseas. It was quite a spectacle...