All living groups are responsible for maintaining standards established by Duke University. Selective living groups have a special obligation to take proactive measures to ensure that individual members conduct themselves in a mature, respectful manner. Being afforded the opportunity to select those persons who will live within a particular living group is a privilege, not a right.
In situations where the actions of group members negatively impact the Duke community, HDRL or the Office of Student Conduct may respond immediately, which could include administrative intervention, relocation of group members, and/or disciplinary action. Administrative decisions may be appealed to the Vice President for Student Affairs. Please refer to the policies and procedures under the undergraduate disciplinary system for information regarding disciplinary decisions.
It is important for living groups, as well as for any university-recognized cohesive units or guests, to understand that they can be held accountable for the actions of individual members and guests.
Groups found in violation of university policy may be subject to sanctions including, but not limited to, formal warning, disciplinary probation, social suspension, dissolution, restitution charges, community service hours, and/or a requirement to present educational programs.
Commons Room Space
Living groups at Duke University may be afforded the privilege of dedicated common space for social, educational, and recreational purposes. Given that many Duke-recognized organizations are in need of space in which members can come together to conduct business and celebrate accomplishments, living groups are encouraged to allow other university-recognized organizations to reserve its common space with the understanding that the group to which the space officially has been assigned bears ultimate responsibility for any damage to the facility by the user. No rental fees may be charged by a living group to another organization requesting use of the living group’s common space. A living group should be aware that any event host requesting the use of its common space is required to reserve the space in accordance with established guidelines published by HDRL and University Center Activities and Events. If the space is reserved, the event host accepts responsibility for any damage committed to the facility stemming from the host group’s event. If a living group has reservations concerning a specific request for the use of its common space, it may exercise its right to deny the request.
Damages and Cleaning – Care of Residence Hall and Adjacent Areas
All groups are responsible for damages and cleaning beyond the normal amount that should be required within their residential areas including the grounds adjacent to their residence halls. Behavior requiring extraordinary cleaning may be subject to disciplinary action and financial charges.
Every situation will be viewed on a case-by-case basis in order to allow HDRL and/ or the Office of Student Conduct to use discretion in determining whether damages are minor or major, whether or not the individuals or groups are cooperative, whether there is a long/short time between incidents or a pattern to this behavior, and whether there are other factors (mitigating or aggravating) that should be taken into consideration.
Living groups will be billed for damage beyond normal wear and tear to buildings, building equipment (including plumbing), and furniture (including missing furniture) in their section. Living groups similarly will be responsible for damage to public areas, equipment, furnishings, buildings, sidewalks, shrubbery, and lawns that occur in connection to activities of the group. Specific living groups and/or individuals may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for disciplinary action. If living groups are found responsible for damages, sanctions may include a requirement to make full restitution.
Immediately after any event groups are expected to pick up all trash and place it in appropriate containers, and thoroughly clean affected areas inside and around the residence hall. To avoid or minimize financial charges and disciplinary action for excessive cleaning, clean up should occur immediately after events so that housekeeping can remove the collected trash when they begin work at 7 a.m.
Inasmuch as housekeeping time spent on extraordinary clean-up is time spent away from the normal duties of keeping the buildings clean, groups will be charged accordingly. Extraordinary clean-up may be deferred until such time as normal housekeeping tasks are complete. Extra trash containers are available from HDRL by contacting your campus HDRL office at least two days prior to an event.
Living groups will be assessed damage charges based on current labor rates plus materials, supplies or contractor charges or actual replacement. Minimum labor rate is one hour and subsequent time is billed in one-half hour increment. HDRL reserves the right to repair damage at its discretion.
HDRL may use one of two methods to assess damage charges:
- Actual repair/replacement costs, or
- Estimated costs of time and materials
Current Labor Rates:
Individual vs. Group Responsibility
During a group event, the group will generally be responsible (disciplinarily and financially) for damages, cleaning, alcohol policy violations, etc. The group is required to assist in the investigation. An individual may take responsibility, which may absolve or reduce the responsibility of the group. If no one comes forward and no one is identified during the investigation, the group will be responsible.
Management of In-Section Room Assignments
Living groups are expected to maintain consistent and timely communication with HDRL concerning its housing assignments and any changes/updates. Visit the HDRL website for additional details: studentaffairs.duke.edu/hdrl.
Range of Penalties
HDRL or the Office of Student Conduct may take an immediate administrative action such as closing a commons room, canceling a party, removing privileges, etc.
A hearing officer or disciplinary hearing panel (through a conduct meeting with HDRL staff or an administrative/Undergraduate Conduct Board hearing with the Office of Student Conduct) can impose sanctions including, but not limited to formal warning, community service, requiring educational programming initiatives, probation, social suspension, relocation of members, and/or dissolution.