Visiting Student access to recreational facilities at Duke
Due to recent changes in Duke's policies, visiting students/scholars have been excluded from obtaining membership to all the recreational facilities on campus. These Duke community members are only allowed as paying guests accompanied by Duke's staff or students on tuition. Visiting students and scholars attend Duke on grants or on personal resources and in many cases are living on restrictive budgets. Off campus facilities are usually much more expensive and offer far less quality. These off campus facilities are also harder to reach using public transportation. It would be more convenient and safer to use on campus sites.
Even though visiting students and scholars don't pay tuition fees, they work hard at Duke and bring a lot to the table. These individuals provide Duke with knowledge and human resources and in return are invited to experience all the incredible opportunities Duke has to offer. As hard workers, they also need to have recreational activities that can relieve stress and help them stay healthy and they aren't able to do that here now.
Duke University should strive to provide the best in class experience for its hard working visitors. In other universities, such as Harvard, students in similar condition receive "Student" badges, not "Visitor" ones and have access to other important university services. In other words,visiting students are not treated differently. Visitor students/scholars want to fully participate in Duke culture and experiences. The recent policy change might cut financial expenses but at the cost of making Duke less attractive to students from all over the world by making it appear as though they aren't really welcome as full Duke community members. This is especially troubling since most Visitor students/scholars aren't american citizens.
Duke gym's website states that "The Department of Recreation and Physical Education offers affordable membership opportunities to the Duke University community" (http://recreation.duke.edu/facilities/membership-i...). Visiting students/scholars expect to live a complete "Duke Experience", which includes working at top research facilities alongside with some of the most qualified professionals in the world and enjoying Duke's amazing recreational centers and physical/sports training. The visiting students and scholars feel a part of the Duke community and are very disappointed that they are not seen or treated as such anymore and are not able to live a "Duke Experience" to its fullest.
If you agree that this new policy is misguided, please support this petition with your signature and help spread it to your contacts.