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The message below is being sent to all Duke undergraduate students.

Thursday, November 11, 2021
Dear students, 
THANK YOU to the many hundreds of students who have helped provide essential input on QuadEx, including through the QuadEx Question of the Week and 15+ focus groups with our teams in the fall semester so far. Your feedback is immensely valuable and directly shapes the development and implementation of QuadEx. Please keep the feedback coming

Today we write to share the final pairings between the seven West Quads and first-year buildings on East, provide more specifics on blocking, and outline additional ways you can get involved from here.
For context: At this point in any academic year, new students are still in the midst of a profound adjustment to college life (this is a good thing, as it takes time!). Belonging and community support are always so important to well-being and academic engagement, but particularly so in the beginning of your time at Duke. Prior to the pandemic, the winter months were a time when the strong initial connections and vibrant community formed during a student’s first semester were interrupted and stressed by the selective housing process. QuadEx allows the strong sense of community among first-year students to expand past the first semester.
QuadEx will also feature student-driven, dynamic community events and engagement across West Campus. We’re looking now at how to shift and further develop a culture that encourages more vibrant social life, community, and connection within and across the Quads. More to come on that. 

The Quads and pairings listed below may appear today as little more than a collection of buildings. With your energy and ideas, these communities will take on a life of their own. We are encouraged by stories we have already heard of students taking the lead to plan events with their partnered East Campus Houses and Quads. There is so much more of that to come. Future updates will include exciting developments with our Faculty Fellows program and the Sophomore Spark initiative. 

Again, thanks and go Duke, 

Gary Bennett
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

Mary Pat McMahon
Vice Provost of Student Affairs

Below you will find important information on:

  1. Official QuadEx East-West Connections
  2. Housing Selection Policies
  3. Class of 2025 QuadEx Advisory Council 
  4. Upcoming QuadEx Information Sessions and Opportunities for Input 

1. Official QuadEx East-West Connections 

The official QuadEx pairings between East Campus Houses and West Campus Quads are below. In our next update, we will share more about how you and your new communities will have opportunities to lead the social and intellectual life of the places you call home.  
We are calling these the official East-West connections because they are slightly different from the pairings published in the Chronicle last month.  The previously published pairings were taken from student meetings we held to test draft connections and incorporate student feedback. Through those meetings, we saw an opportunity to adjust pairings to keep first-year FOCUS and connected second-year Living-Learning Community clusters together, thus allowing students to stay with both their Quad community and learning community. 
gothic architecture snippets with colorful overlays outlining the east-west pairings. basset and pegram are paired with craven quad. giles and wilson are paired with crowell quad. belltower and trinity are paired with edens quad. gilbert addoms and southgate are paired with few quad. blackwell and randolph are paired with keohane quad. alspaugh and brown are paired with kilgo quad. east house and west house are paired with wannamaker quad.

2. Housing selection policies


Each year on West Campus, you and your friends can team up to create a “block”, which gives you the option to select a preferred roommate—as well as a larger group of friends near whom you want to live. In other words, blocking gives you some influence over who your neighbors will be within your Quad. With QuadEx, you and your preferred roommate may choose to be members of a block or simply enter the Quad housing lottery as a roommate pair.  

Students will be able to form blocks of up to eight students when choosing rooms in West Campus Quads, the Hollows, and 300 Swift. 

A maximum block size of eight, which was within the range of student feedback, allows larger friend groups to pick spaces at the same time during room selection. However, smaller groups generally have a better chance of securing space adjacent to one another since fewer rooms are involved. It is important to note that blocking does not guarantee members the ability to select adjacent rooms since that is influenced by lottery position and the selections made ahead of your block. Because of this, blocks larger than eight are much more likely to be broken up and dispersed throughout a building, which runs counter to the community-oriented goals of QuadEx.
  • For rising sophomores, students may form blocks with other students from the two East Campus Houses affiliated with their Quad.   
  • For rising juniors and seniors, blocks may be formed with any other rising juniors and seniors.   
    • In future years, rising juniors and seniors who wish to stay in the Quad will block with other Quad affiliates. For rising juniors and seniors who wish to live in other on-campus housing (Hollows/300 Swift), they may block with rising juniors and seniors of any Quad affiliation.  
  • Rising juniors and seniors interested in affiliating with a particular Quad, can choose that Quad during room selection.  
As in years past, the housing application will open in February and room selection will happen in March. We look forward to sharing a more detailed calendar with you in January. 

Housing Exceptions 

We have heard student concerns around whether housing policies will accommodate students who have special circumstances. Our first priority will always be the safety and support of students, and this has not changed with QuadEx. Housing & Residence Life will continue to work directly and intentionally with students, the Office for Institutional Equity, the Student Disability Access Office, and other offices engaged in supporting students to ensure they receive individualized consideration.  

3. Class of ’25 QuadEx Advisory Council  

While we continue to bring QuadEx to life, we know that the Class of 2025 is particularly invested in what comes next. Duke Student Government has created the Class of 2025 Advisory Council to formalize discussion among first-year students and serve as a direct line of communication and feedback with the administration. 

The council will be composed of members of the Class of 2025 (not already on Duke Student Government), and will represent an array of dorms, perspectives, opinions, and backgrounds. The Council will meet with students biweekly, and with Chris Rossi, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs, and other administrators, bimonthly.  

Applications are open to any member of the Class of 2025. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity and fill out the brief application by the deadline of Friday, November 19. 

If you are having trouble accessing the application, copy and paste this link into your browser: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bBLgNXIvEYWEeXQ. Please reach out to DSG's Vice President of Campus Life Lana Gesinsky ‘23, with questions, comments, or concerns. 

4. QuadEx Information Sessions and Input

Please join the teams working to implement the moving pieces of QuadEx to learn more information about specific topics. Our first information session will be held the week of November 15 on East Campus. The topic will be “Pairings, Blocking, and How Year 1 Will Work.”  

Be on the lookout for final date and time on the Student Affairs and OUE Instagrams, Monday’s Short List, and in DukeGroups

And finally, please remember to fill out the QuadEx Question of the Week, the weekly one-question survey of the undergraduate student body. Your answers directly affect QuadEx implementation decisions, so please weigh in! 
Great prizes are up for grabs, including a chance to win priority class registration or premier parking (halfway between K-Ville and the BC) for two weeks in January.  
Thank you for hanging in there all the way to the end of this jam-packed email, and we look forward to sharing more QuadEx details in the coming months.