Housing & Residence Life

Residence Life Policies

Through residential policies and procedures, Duke University seeks to foster a climate of responsibility, initiative, and creativity on the part of individuals and living groups. A successful residential community is one in which students take pride in their physical surroundings and assume active responsibility for the maintenance of acceptable standards of behavior in their living areas. Both individuals and living groups may be held accountable for the actions of individual members and their guests. Residents are also responsible for damages caused by their neglect or intentional actions.

While students are entitled to a general expectation of privacy within the confines of their own individual rooms (although extraordinary and compelling circumstances may occasionally require that this expectation be institutionally suspended), the university will not regard either students’ immediate living quarters or their commons areas as privileged sanctuaries where students may act with impunity or without regard to standards of honesty, trustworthiness, fairness, and respect for other members of the university community. Moreover, occupancy of an individual room or of a residence hall does not confer any proprietary interest or right of ownership on the part of an individual student or living group. The student and the living group are both properly viewed not as owners but as custodians of the living space that has been assigned to them. Inherent in this custodial relationship is the right of the university to promulgate criteria governing the circumstances under which this relationship may be entered into, may be maintained in good standing, or may be terminated.

Air Conditioning
Only HRL air conditioners are allowed in student rooms. Students may not install personally owned air-conditioning units in their room.

Alterations, Additions, and Painting
Residents are not allowed to make alterations or additions to or within the premises. This includes painting the room or apartment. Students will be charged for repairs needed to return rooms to an HRL-approved color and condition after move-out.

Assignment and Room Change Procedures
Resident assignments are made according to procedures published by HRL. While every effort is made to assign residents in accordance with their preferences, an assignment based on preferences is not guaranteed. Read more.

Bathroom Access
All residence hall bathrooms are secured with key-access to residents. Bathrooms may be unlocked based on a voting process, which is administered by HRL. If a community votes to have its bathroom unlocked, it may be billed for any damages that occur in the bathroom area.

The specific design, including sketches noting dimensions, must be submitted in writing to the residence coordinator of that quad or house at least two (2) weeks prior to the desired construction date. Approval for a bench must be received from the residence coordinator prior to construction. Read more.

Bicycles, Hover Boards, and Motor Vehicles
Bicycles may be stored in the owner’s room or apartment, but may not be stored in commons, baths, entrances, stairways, or on sidewalks. Bicycles must not be left in locations where they may pose a tripping hazard or cause harm to persons or grounds keeping equipment. Read more.

Candle Safety
It is a violation of University policy to light any material on fire on campus. Candles, other open flame devices, grills, incense, and any other flame/heat producing items are strictly forbidden for use inside University facilities except during official religious ceremonies, such as the observance of Chanukah. Read more.

Central Campus Pools
Swift Avenue: The pool is available to use only during posted hours of operation. All persons use the pool at their own risk. All users of the Swift Avenue pool must observe swimming pool regulations posted by HRL.

Central Campus: Duke University Recreation and Physical Education manages the pool on Central Campus, located behind the Devil’s Bistro and the Central Campus recreation fields. Information about this pool can be found at the Duke Campus Recreation and Physical Education website.

Prior to occupancy, HRL cleans each empty room and apartment and corrects any known deficiencies. After moving in, residents are responsible for cleaning the room or apartment including bathroom, as applicable. Apartments and residence hall bedrooms must be kept in good order and in a sanitary condition. Read more.

Common Areas
Each house has common areas for use by residents. These areas include commons rooms, hallways, stairwells, bathrooms, study rooms, and laundry rooms. Read more.

Computer Labs
Students and staff with a valid DukeCard may access labs with an outside entrance. Only those with a valid DukeCard for a building may access a lab in that building.

HRL inspects each empty room and apartment prior to occupancy. Residents will be charged for any damages or modifications found in the room or apartment after occupancy unless previously noted on a Room Condition Report (RCR). The assigned residents are responsible for reporting to HRL defects or damages found in a room within two working days after occupancy. Read more.

Damage Charges
Residents 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. HRL reserves the right to repair damage at its discretion. Read more.

Decorations and Theme Parties
This policy applies to all Duke University facilities to include Campus, Medical Center, Hospital and Health System. All students, visitors, and employees must adhere to this policy when planning a theme party, event, meeting, or decorating any work area. Notify OESO-Fire and Life Safety as soon as possible but no less than 72 hours prior to the placement of decorations. Read more.

Dining Plan
All undergraduate residents in University housing are required to select a Duke Dining Plan for the academic year. Failure to select a Duke Dining Plan will result in Duke Dining Services assigning a default plan.

Throwing or in any other way propelling objects or liquids from windows is prohibited. Screens must remain in place and secured at all times.

Spaces in University housing are available for assignment to eligible, full-time Duke University undergraduate students who are working towards a degree. Read more.

Fire Safety
All individuals, living groups, and cohesive units must adhere to university fire safety policies. Report all fires and smoke to Duke University Police Department by dialing 911 from any campus phone or 919-684-2444 from a cell phone. Fires that have been extinguished should also be reported to Duke Police so that an investigation may be conducted. All fires should subsequently also be reported to your Hall Staff. Read more.

Each residential space is equipped with furniture by HRL. The resident(s) of a room/ apartment will be charged for any damaged furniture and/or furniture missing from their space. University-owned furniture must remain in the student’s room. Read more.

Residents may borrow barbecue grills on a short-term basis from the East, West, or Central Campus HRL offices. North Carolina law prohibits the use of portable charcoal, gas or electric grills within 10 feet of all residence halls. Read more.

Occupancy of space in University housing is limited to the assigned residents only. Residents may not sublet or share their assigned space. Guests are permitted for short periods not to exceed 72 hours, provided all residents of that room or apartment agree in advance. Read more.

Halogen Lamps
Halogen lamps use bulbs that emit a significant amount of heat and are considered fire hazards. These are prohibited in all residential spaces.

House Signs
Each house on West and Central may have one exterior house sign. The appropriate campus HRL office must approve the design of the house sign. Dimensions of house signs are 4’ by 3’ or 3’ by 4’.

Infectious Disease
Any resident of University housing who contracts an infectious or contagious disease is expected to immediately report her or his condition to HRL.

Keys and DukeCard
Each resident is required to obtain a DukeCard and appropriate keys (a room key and a bathroom key if in the residence halls; or, an apartment key and mailbox key if in an apartment) when moving in. All keys must be returned to the appropriate HRL Campus Office immediately upon vacating the assigned space. Read more.

Residents are responsible for removal of perishable items from the refrigerator and for cleaning utensils, pots and pans. Kitchens that are abused or not kept in good order may be locked. HRL staff will dispose of items abandoned in the kitchen.

Residents on East and West Campuses can only use loft-able University owned furniture. Unapproved lofts (personally constructed and/or purchased) and wooden structures are not allowed in residence halls. Lofts are not permitted in Central Campus Apartments. Unapproved lofts (personally constructed and/or purchased) and wooden structures will be removed and disposed of at the resident’s expense. Read more.

Maintenance and Repairs
Maintenance to buildings, fixtures, utilities, equipment, furniture, and furnishings is performed on a routine basis. Corrective emergency, preventive repairs and maintenance will be performed as necessary. Read more.

Noise Policy
Residents are responsible for complying with the University noise policy.

Obstruction of Hallways, Stairwells, Sidewalks, and Lawns
North Carolina fire safety codes prohibit the obstruction of hallways and stairwells. The Durham Fire Marshal mandates the immediate removal of all items obstructing hallways and stairwells. HRL will remove without warning or reimbursement furniture, bicycles, lumber, and all other items found obstructing hallways or stairwells. Read more.

Payments for housing are made to the Office of the Bursar, in accordance with terms established by that office. Payments are made on a semester basis.

Personal Property
Residents are responsible for damage caused by electrical appliances that are not owned by Duke University.

Residents may not leave personal property on sidewalks, lawns, or in residence hall hallways, stairwells, or common areas. Any personal property found in these locations will be disposed of at the discretion of HRL. Read more.

Personal Property (Damage to)
Duke University is not liable for damage, theft, or loss of a resident’s personal belongings and does not carry insurance to cover such loss or damage. Personal property insurance is a wise investment for all residents. You may be covered under a policy carried by your parent(s) or guardian—have them contact their insurance agent to be sure.

Pets and Animals
Residents may not have animals, including, but not limited to dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles, in or around University residence halls or apartments, even for short periods. If an animal enters a residence hall or apartment, the area will be exterminated at the expense of the resident. Read more.

Portable Storage
Use of portable storage units, such as PODS and/or Pack-Rat, is permitted during official move-in and move-out periods. Portable storage units should be placed in parking lots. Placing units on grass, sidewalks, fire-lanes, and handicapped parking spaces is prohibited. Read more.

Residents are entitled to privacy in their assigned rooms and apartments within parameters established by HRL and the University. Government officials and/or HRL staff may conduct sanitary or safety inspections without notice in accordance with the General Statutes of North Carolina and city and county of Durham ordinances. Inspections will be made by University officials to ensure that no fire, safety, or security hazards exist. Hazardous items will either be removed or the residents will be required to remove the items.

Propping Doors
Open Propping open residence hall entrance and/or bathroom doors or in any way tampering with the security system of the residence hall violates hall security and is prohibited.

Residence Hall Restrooms
Restrooms in residence halls are gender-specific, unless otherwise specified. Residents and guests are prohibited from using restroom facilities designated for the opposite gender. Designations may be changed only with the permission of HRL.

Restricted Areas
Access to roofs, ledges, attics, mechanical/electrical rooms, and similar areas is prohibited.

Room Condition Reports & Inspections
Room condition reports are provided to each resident during the check-in process. Updates to room condition reports must be submitted to your RA within two days of your occupancy. This document will protect you from charges for conditions, which existed when you moved into your room. Read more.

Roommate Conflict
In situations where roommates are unable to resolve a conflict, HRL reserves the right to refer parties for mediation, convene an arbitration board, or make reassignments as necessary to resolve the problem. The decision of the mediator, board, or HRL is final.

Propping open outside residence hall doors or in any way tampering with the security system of a residence hall is prohibited.

Tampering with, disabling, or removing fire-fighting equipment, alarms, and smoke detectors is prohibited. Use of this equipment for any other purpose than fighting fires is prohibited. Residents must comply with all fire drills, fire alarms, and fire safety regulations. Fires must be reported to Duke Police and HRL staff immediately. Read more.

Selling and Soliciting
Selling products or services and other forms of solicitation is prohibited in and around University housing. This prohibition applies equally to residents, students, guests, visitors, and others, whether or not they are affiliated with the University.

Smoking is prohibited in University residence halls.

Termination of License
Residents will be released from the License without penalty when participating in a research or study abroad/away program, taking a leave of absence, or withdrawing from the University. All residents requesting release from the License must notify HRL in writing. Residents may not cancel the License in order to move off campus. Read more.

Trash Removal
Students are required to dispose of trash in designated containers. Trash may not be placed in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, commons rooms, courtyards, or in any other place.

TV - Common Areas
HRL will provide internet-based TV content to each house common room along with a TV for the enjoyment of the house community. Connecting televisions in bedrooms to the common rooms TV network or otherwise tampering with TV equipment is prohibited.

Unauthorized Access points (OIT)
Duke University’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) provides wireless network services for campus. All wireless access points that connect to the University's network or provide services in locations supported by OIT must be formally approved by OIT prior to deployment. The University does not allow the students, faculty, or staff to connect unauthorized access points or routers (things like Netgear, Cisco, Linksys wireless routers) to the campus network without prior authorization. OIT continuously monitors the campus wireless network for performance, utilization, and the presence of rogue access points. Read more.

Unauthorized Possession (Keys/Property)
Possession of keys or other property for which one does not have appropriate authorization or ownership is a violation of University policy.