Duke: 'We will not let the safety ... be jeopardized'

April 29, 2006 

This is the text of an e-mail message from Duke University President Richard H. Brodhead that went to all Duke students Friday. According to Duke's news office, the e-mail also went to faculty, staff and the parents of undergraduates:

"As you may know, we learned from reports in the news media last evening that an organization known as the New Black Panther Party had announced that it plans to hold a demonstration at the Chapel Drive entrance to West Campus on Monday morning, May 1. These reports indicated the group intended to enter the campus and that they may be carrying guns. Guns are not permitted on Duke's campus.

"This afternoon, Duke Police were in contact with representatives of that organization. Duke Police were told that the group plans to hold a press conference/demonstration on Durham city property outside West Campus on Monday at 10:00 a.m. They informed Duke Police that they have no intention of entering the campus to be disruptive in any way. They also assured us they will not have guns.

"Durham Police will require that any demonstrations on city property near our campus will abide by all appropriate state and local laws.

"Exams Week begins on Monday. This is a period of considerable stress for our students, especially following the already stressful events of the past several weeks. We will not let the safety of our campus be jeopardized, nor will we allow our students' lives to be disrupted.

"Duke University will have additional officers assigned. Any attempted access by this group to our campus will be tightly restricted and no disruption of the university will be permitted. This information has been conveyed to the representatives of the New Black Panther Party. Again, they have assured Duke Police that they plan to peacefully assemble off of our campus and do not intend to enter university property.

"Duke has gone through a difficult period. I am proud of the way this campus community has responded to the many tensions and pressures we have been facing. I wish our students well on their exams. All university activities will go on as scheduled on Monday. Duke Police is taking all necessary precautions to ensure that this is the case."

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