Duke students protest at new arts center: ‘We are watching, and we have not forgotten’

Duke students protest at new arts center: ‘We are watching, and we have not forgotten’

Student protesters hung two banners from Duke’s new Rubenstein Arts Center early Friday morning. “We reject Rubenstein’s profiteering” was painted on one banner. The second said, “Fight On: Dismantle Duke plantation.” Both banners were removed from the building before noon. David Rubenstein is one of Duke’s largest donors and has multiple buildings named after him

Student protesters hung two banners from Duke’s new Rubenstein Arts Center early Friday morning.

“We reject Rubenstein’s profiteering” was painted on one banner. The second said, “Fight On: Dismantle Duke plantation.”

Both banners were removed from the building before noon.

David Rubenstein is one of Duke’s largest donors and has multiple buildings named after him on campus, including the new arts center – “the Ruby” – and Rubenstein Hall. There is also a scholarship program for undergraduates.

In a list of demands sent to a College Town reporter, the protesters said they are “a group of students holding this university accountable for its immense wealth and contributions to the global systems of inequality.”

The demands also called for a $15 minimum wage for all workers on Duke’s campus, the removal of Executive Vice President Tallman Trask, who hit a parking attendant with his car and allegedly used a racial slur in 2014, and an investigation into the treatment of workers in the university’s Parking & Transportation Services.

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Julia Donheiser
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