GATOR CHAMPS: DR. KRISTIN DUKES
Updated: Jul 19
Through these uncertain times I have witnessed what the spirit of the Allegheny community truly means. At the beginning of this quarantine, when we realized that nothing would be ‘normal’ again, there were 300-500 students on campus or requesting to remain on campus, and only four days to get them off campus. How were we supposed to get all of these students safely off campus in four days?
Travel options were starting to shut down and we began to realize that if we didn’t move fast, the students might be stuck on campus for a long time. Watching the intense dedication of the Allegheny faculty and staff at this time was inspiring.
Since we are considered a non-essential institution, the college had to temporarily shut down. About two dozen college employees risked their safety every day to come in and help the students on campus make arrangements to get to their various destinations. President Link, Allegheny College staff, and other administrators personally went around to every single dorm room and house to talk to the occupants and make sure they were doing okay. The hardest part was looking into the eyes of terrified students and telling them that they really had to leave the campus, which had been their safe space until then.
Allegheny College is my home and I know I am not alone in feeling this way. During this time, a lot of people feel alone. I know I do! I live on my own with my Beta fish Luther who has recently gotten sick. Social distancing in my house with my sick fish, while the whole world is shut down, has made me realize how fragile life is. I wish we could all be back on campus, but under these extreme conditions, it is safest to be elsewhere.
It is important to remember that we are all in this storm together, but the storm is weathered differently. For some people it is a light drizzle, while others are experiencing a hurricane.
~~ Dr. Kristin Dukes, Dean for Institutional Diversity at Allegheny College. Interviewed by Ivory Marcucci (Class of '22, Environmental Science Major, Communication Arts & Studio Art Double Minor)
IT'S EASY TO TAKE OUR SAFE SPACES FOR GRANTED. FOR MANY GATORS, HOME IS NOT A GIVEN. PLEASE DONATE SO WE CAN SHELTER OUR STUDENTS IN NEED. THANK YOU.