Exuberant students donned T-shirts reading "Innocent", the three players whose charges were dismissed got a standing ovation at a nationally covered press conference, and the chair of Duke's board of trustees sent an E-mail to the entire campus, the Duke Chronicle reports. The last time he sent such an E-mail was in 2003, when he announced a new university president. "It is not common, but everything about this case was uncommon," a university administrator tells the Chronicle.
Will this be the last time the allegations bring unusual attention to Duke? More news could come with an investigation of the local district attorney's handling of the case and from an ongoing campus conversation about race, class, and culture sparked by the charges last spring. But one student called yesterday a healing moment. "The problem wasn't rape itself. [It was] the racial slurs [that] brought on the tension," he says. "Hopefully, [dropping the charges] will start to heal some of those things."