The March/April issue of Duke magazine carries a letter on the Forum page signed by Carol W. Waldenburg, M.Div. ’98, of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Ms. Waldenburg takes issue with Duke students who participated in an Occupy event, as profiled by the magazine in its November/December 2011 issue.

The text of the letter is below. I’m posting it because I am always frustrated by college students who fail to understand the contributions of the so-called “rich” to society, and the wondrous nature of the free market and the role it plays in lifting millions out of poverty. They should know better than to fall for the Occupy  whine about big, bad business and the big, bad rich.

I am very concerned for, confused by, and angry with the students (few, though they were) who took part in “Duke Occupied” [Gazette, November-December 2011]. How is it that they are at one of the best educational institutions in the world, with the opportunity to travel their own country and the world to study, and are protesting the wealth gap in the U.S.? If they are truly concerned about such a thing, why are they wasting their parents’ money or scholarship privileges living in such a manner? 

This makes a mockery of the true Occupiers and is a waste of Duke’s time as a university that has the mission of educating those who accept enrollment. If [they] cannot find, or have not found, where substantive conversation and debate exists on campus about any topic, then they have failed Duke.