Duke Student Affairs hosts the first QuadEx information session and policies related to early years issues

On Wednesday evening, Duke Student Affairs hosted the first QuadEx briefing and addressed early years concerns about the new residential housing system.

The QuadEx housing system will link the dorms on the east campus to the quads on the west campus starting in the class of 2025. Students will live in their assigned quad in second year, but “will still retain affiliation with their quads” if they choose. to live elsewhere after their second year. .

The aim of QuadEx is to give the students of each quad a sense of identity and tradition, similar to that of other private universities. The purpose of these briefings is to give the early years more opportunities to ask questions about the “nuts and bolts” of QuadEx, according to Chris Rossi, assistant vice president of student affairs for strategic engagement.

Rossi started the session with an explanation of the motivation behind QuadEx, starting with the story of Duke’s housing. East Campus became home to all freshmen in 1995. East Campus is a particularly formative experience for the early years as it is like a “melting pot” that fosters inclusion, and all early years teach get to know each other, said Rossi. .

In 2010, the Duke House model was approved, in which membership in different student organizations determined which quads students lived in after their first year. However, these organizations – fraternities, sororities, non-Greek selective living groups and living learning groups – were selective in their membership.

“[The House Model] created a lot of fragmentation and shattering of friend groups, and really shattered the freshman experience pretty early on, ”Rossi said.

In 2018, President Vincent Price tasked the Next Generation Living and Learning Experience working group, which began planning for a housing system that administrators deem more inclusive for all students. This plan was the foundation of QuadEx, whose implementation plans were announced in September.

“At least one area where we can start to unravel this culture of selectivity is starting to separate student membership from where you have access to life,” said Rossi.

Questions from the first years

Although the first few years who attended the briefing said they saw QuadEx as an attempt to remove selectivity in housing, some were unsure how the new housing system would foster a sense of community and tradition. among the quads.

“I don’t specifically associate the people in my dorm with the idea of ​​having a home base,” said a first year. “My friends live in other dorms. They are my home port.

Rossi said that allowing students from diverse backgrounds, life experiences and geographies to live together fosters a diverse residential community, and the data shows that students derive positive benefits from interacting with those who are. different from them.

Rossi also mentioned that QuadEx strives to increase flexibility by maintaining a relatively large blockage. “Blocks” are groups of students who live in adjacent rooms. There can be up to eight students in a block in the QuadEx system, but students can only be allowed to block with others of the same quad.

Another freshman asked why this was the case.

Rossi acknowledged that “no housing system is perfect” and that Student Affairs will change their policies and procedures to ensure that each quad has its own traditions and social activities. They will strengthen the quad board model, which will provide each quad with student leadership and allow them agency and funding for residency programming.

“We are going to make it easier for students to control their physical space, access resources, financial resources, school funding and, quite frankly, have fun on campus,” he said. . “This is how some of our identities develop. “

Rossi pointed out that exchanging quads is not allowed, unless students require certain accommodation that is not available in their assigned quad.

Katie tan

Katie Tan is a sophomore at Trinity and editor of The Chronicle’s 117th volume.

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