Feb 272007
Authors: Erin Aggler

RALEIGH, N.C. – Duke University needs to become more diverse, inclusive and engaged, a committee concluded Tuesday in its evaluation of campus culture following rape allegations involving the lacrosse team.

The committee called for new course requirement for undergraduates focusing on racial and class differences in the United States, and increasing admission standards at the elite, private university in Durham. University officials said they look forward to discussing the recommendations.

The report barely mentions the March 13 party thrown by the school’s lacrosse team, where a woman hired to perform as a stripper told police she was attacked by three men in a bathroom. The local district attorney dropped rape charges against three indicted players late last year, and later turned over the case to state prosecutors after he was charged by the state bar with several ethics violations.

The players, who have steadfastly maintained their innocence, still face charges of sexual offense and kidnapping. The new prosecutors have not said whether they plan to bring the case to trial.

The “Campus Culture Initiative” was formed last year after university president Richard Brodhead canceled the lacrosse team’s 2006 season, and was one of several committees created to examine issues raised by the incident.

The team returned to action for the first time since last March with a 17-11 win over Dartmouth Saturday.

Also Tuesday, lawyers for the indicted players filed an updated request for more information about DNA testing conducted at a private lab hired by Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong.

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