Housing, Dining & Residence Life (HDRL)

First-Year Residential Experience

Welcome home to East Campus and Duke’s First-Year Experience!

All first-year Duke undergraduates live together on historic East Campus, a residential approach that fosters a close-knit community. You may arrive not knowing anyone, but you will quickly meet classmates and start building friendships that will grow throughout your time at Duke and beyond.

The First-Year experience introduces you to the Duke focus of growing and learning in both formal and impromptu situations from peers as well as professors. You’ll meet people from diverse backgrounds and explore new interests and possibilities. From your home on East Campus, you’ll quickly discover Durham’s restaurants, shops and arts destinations that begin on the neighboring blocks, and you’ll explore the rest of Duke, which is an easy walk, bike or bus ride away along Campus Drive.

Activities

A variety of activities have been developed by students, faculty and staff to provide first-year students opportunities for great both social and intellectual experiences on and off campus. Explore these events with friends. Meet new people. Join faculty on trips both local and regional.

There's much to do, so explore!

East Campus Housing

East Campus at Duke University includes fourteen residence halls of varying size and architecture where all first year students reside. East Campus has a unique historical role, as it was once the site of the former Trinity College and the Woman’s College from 1930-1972. Until 1995, East Campus housed both male and female and first year and upperclassmen students. The residence halls on East Campus are grouped into four “neighborhoods” based on their location and proximity to each other.

First-Year FAQs

Finding all the answer to your questions can be daunting. If you are having trouble finding the information you need, please read these Frequently Asked Questions, or contact HDRL.

I didn't receive a housing assignment - why not?A small number of students were not sent a housing assignment during the initial assignment process.  These students either did not complete any of the housing application or they did not select "yes" on question #13 to agree to the terms of the housing license.

We need a completed application with accurate roommate matching information and preferences for the best assignment possible.

All students must agree to the terms of the housing license.

Does this mean I get the worst room?  Actually, no!  Students who are currently unassigned will be placed in available spaces in a few weeks as we finalize assignments.  Spaces are available in most buildings and room types Your assignment will be available on July 23, when move-in parking passes become available for all incoming students.

Focus Community Questions

  • Joining Focus late? We try to place students who accept late placement in Focus clusters in the building with your cluster.  We do a second round of assignments in July where we will move you if space is available.  We appreciate your understanding that it is not always possible to relocate a student once the majority of assignments are complete.
  • Declining Focus? If you had previously accepted assignment in a cluster, your housing assignment will be with your cluster.  If you decline Focus after assignments are made, it is unlikely you will be moved from your original assignment.  You may request to move or we may move you if a student joining the cluster late needs placement with the cluster.  You will be contacted in July if you are relocated.

Substance Free Community Questions

  • Where is it?  The Substance Free Community is in Jarvis Hall.
  • Can I still live in Substance Free? Currently there are a small number of spaces open for students who have recently decided that they would prefer this community. Please submit a reassignment request by July 8, 2013 if you would like to be considered for one of these spaces.

  • I was placed in Substance Free but would prefer to live elsewhere. Students who have changed their minds about living in Substance Free may request reassignment. We will reassign you if space is available elsewhere. Reassignment requests are due by July 8, 2013.
  • I requested Substance Free but was not placed there - why not?  Students in Focus programs were placed in the building assigned to their program and could not be placed in the Substance Free Community.  We did our best to match you with a compatible roommate.  We recommend communicating with your new roommate about your original preference for Substance Free – you may be surprised and pleased to find that he or she is supportive of your preferences.
  • Some students listed a preferred roommate who did not request Substance Free, so your pair was not placed in the community. You may still request reassignment to Substance. Reassignment requests are due by July 8, 2013.
  • Can I still participate in events in the Substance Free Community, even if I don't live there?  Yes.

Performing Arts Community Questions

  • Where is it? The Performing Arts community is located in Pegram Hall.
  • Can I still live in Performing Arts? The majority of space in Pegram is full, but students who wish to live there may request reassignment.  We will review requests and move students as space becomes available.  Please submit a reassignment request by July 6, 2012 if you would like to be considered for one of these spaces.
  • I don't think of myself as "artsy" so I would like to live elsewhere. You don't have to be an artist to live in the Performing Arts community!  Most students find the experience of living in this community to be enriching and worthwhile, even if they did not originally request it.  While there is a focus on the arts within the programming in this community, don't worry - there are still a range of programs and events that will appeal to all residents.
  • I requested Performing Arts but was not placed there - why not?  Students in Focus programs were placed in the building assigned to their program and could not be placed in the Performing Arts community.  In some cases, other preferences (such as for the Wellness Community or for a single-gender floor) influenced your placement.
  • Can I still participate in events in the Performing Arts Community, even if I don't live there?  Yes.

Single Gender Floor Questions

How can I tell if I was placed on a single-gender floor?  Single-gender floors include:
Female:

  • Alspaugh - 3
  • Aycock - 1
  • Gilbert-Addoms - 1
  • Jarvis - 3
  • Southgate - 3

Male:

  • Alspaugh - 1
  • Bassett - 1
  • Pegram - 1
  • Jarvis - 1
  • Southgate - 2
  • Wilson - 3

All buildings are coed.  Some buildings have single gender floors, but most floors are co-ed by wing (one end of the hallway is female, the other end is male). All bathrooms are assigned to a specific gender with the exception of the guest bathrooms located in the public are of the first floor.

Room Size Questions (Single, Double, Triple)

Because assignments are done randomly, and because student interest in various room sizes changes from year to year, some students may be placed in room sizes they did not request. We do everything we can to meet preferences, but it is not always possible.  We try to assign students who request triples and singles to spaces that meet those criteria however at times we may need to assign a student to a space other than the size requested. If you have concerns about the cost of your assignment, please contact Financial Aid.

If you feel that you are still interested a different room size, you may request reassignment. Reassignment requests will be accepted through July 6, 2012. Reassignments will be made on a space available basis.

Air-Conditioning Questions

Assignments are random, with the exception of Focus program participants. Recall that the application does not ask for your preference about air-conditioning or no air-conditioning; this is intentional. While it will likely be hot on move-in day, within the first few weeks the temperatures will drop. We recommend bringing some fans if you’re assigned to a space without air conditioning. Buildings without air conditioning do have air conditioning in the commons areas.

If you have a medical need for air-conditioning, you will need approval from Student Health to have a window air-conditioning unit installed in your room. Information on applying for special medical housing is available. Students are not permitted to install personally-owned air conditioning units.

Students already approved for air conditioning were not necessarily placed in Blackwell, Bell Tower, or Randolph (residence halls with central air conditioning). If you have an approval and are placed in a non air-conditioned room, an air conditioning unit will be installed and your Bursar bill will be charged the standard rate for a non-air-conditioned space, but will incur a fee of $500 for the air conditioning unit installation and operation. Only students who must have central air conditioning for medical reasons are guaranteed a space in Blackwell, Bell Tower, or Randolph.

If you have concerns about the cost of an air-conditioned space, please contact Financial Aid. Our office relies on their expertise to help students with financial needs. Reassignments will not be made based on financial need.

Roommate Concern Questions

If you did not get the roommate you listed on your application, it was for one of the following reasons:

  • You may be in different Focus programs, which are typically located in different buildings.
  • You did not mutually request each other.
  • Your application information conflicted with your request (one or both of you asked for a single room, in addition to having a roommate request, etc.)
  • Your roommate has decided not to attend Duke.

If you are concerned about whom you were placed with, please consider the following:
Our assignments process is both random, and based on a non-discrimination policy. The questions we ask are designed to sort students into generally compatible categories, but beyond these questions, the process is random. While no one can guarantee a “perfect roommate” assignment, we have found that answers to the roommate matching questions provide a reasonable starting point for establishing a relationship from which students can develop a mutually rewarding roommate experience.

If, after trying to work out a reasonable living situation with your roommate (through conversations with your RA, RC, and roommate) you still feel unhappy, you may apply for reassignment during the fall semester. We ask that you try living with your roommate before requesting reassignment.

Although it is common for roommates to begin their relationship via email and social media, we encourage people to meet in person before making the decision to request reassignment.

Requesting Reassignment QuestionsBefore applying for a reassignment, we ask that you take the time to consider the pros and cons of the assignment you have received. Have you taken the time to get to know your roommate? Is your concern about air-conditioning vs non-air-conditioning? About being in or wanting a single room? About being in a triple room? About being in or not being in the Wellness or Performing Arts communities?

If, after reviewing your pro-con list and the information on this website, you are still convinced that you want to be reassigned to a different space, you may submit a request for reassignment. Requests must be submitted no later than July 6, 2012. We will review requests and make changes as space permits. Please note that it is rare for reassignments to occur at this time. Space is very limited. Results will be available on July 23, 2012 when move-in parking passes become available.

Requesting First-Year Reassignment

Before applying for a reassignment, we ask that you take the time to consider the pros and cons of the assignment you have received. Have you taken the time to get to know your roommate? Is your concern about air-conditioning vs non-air-conditioning? About being in or wanting a single room? About being in a triple room? About being in or not being in the Wellness or Performing Arts communities?

If, after reviewing your pro-con list and the information on this website, you are still convinced that you want to be reassigned to a different space, you may submit a request for reassignment. Requests must be submitted no later than Friday, July 12, 2013. We will review requests and make changes as space permits. Please note that it is rare for reassignments to occur at this time. Space is very limited. Results will be available on Monday,  July 22, 2013 when move-in parking passes become available.

Move In Questions

  • When can I move-in? First-year students move on campus August 20, 2013. Move-in times are assigned to each building, so be sure to check the schedule on your assignment information page. Your move-in time and parking pass.
  • Can I see my room before move-in? Students may not visit or occupy their room prior to August 20. It is important that buildings be fully ready for all students, both physically and in terms of staffing requirements, before they are occupied. While we understand that you want to get a head start on setting up your room, it is not possible to visit rooms over the summer. Many of our buildings are occupied with conferences and summer groups. Other areas are undergoing renovation.
  • Can I see floorplans?  We do not make floorplans available for security reasons.  If you discover floorplans (on Facebook, for example) please note that they have inaccuracies that can be misleading.  For example, some rooms may have previously been listed as a double but are actually triples, some rooms may have been renovated to create staff suites and apartments, etc.  We caution you against planning based on old floorplans.
  • Can I move-in before August 20?  A handful of students will participate in activities prior to move-in (PWILD, PWAVE, PBUILD, International Student Orientation, etc.). If you are participating in one of these groups, your group coordinator will contact you directly with your move-in information. International students must participate in International Student Orientation in order to be granted early move-in status.  Early move-in will not be granted for other reasons (this includes travel arrangements, family obligations, etc).

Loft Questions

The bed frames on East Campus are configured to allow students to choose to loft the bed or to raise and lower the mattress to a few different heights. In order to request a bed to be lofted, the student must come in person to the East HDRL office to complete the loft request form. The resident will be shown the various loft heights and will be asked to schedule an appointment for the loft delivery and assembly.
Before making any decisions, review the loft policy.

Remember, all lofts must be obtained through HDRL.

Phone and Internet Questions

  • Will my room have a phone? As of Fall 2009, Duke no longer maintains active landline connections in rooms. Residents should bring cell phones to campus.
  • How good is cell phone coverage? All campus residences have cell phone coverage, however, the university has equipment to boost the signals for Verizon and AT&T coverage for cell phones with services provided by Verizon or AT&T. Students with other cell phone plans may wish to consider getting a plan through one of these two companies.

  • Do I need an ethernet cable, or is there wireless? All university residences have wireless coverage. Please go to the OIT website for additional information regarding these services.

Safety Questions

The University takes a strong position in providing security measures on all parts of campus, but we also place some responsibility for personal safety on the individual student. The Duke University Police Department website has extensive information about the safety measures we take and tips for personal safety. We recommend you review this information prior to your arrival on-campus.

While we understand the concerns that have been shared, we want to emphasize that no building is more or less safe than another. If you have specific concerns about safety, we recommend contacting Duke Police. Members of our team are also happy to speak with concerned students and parents.