There are a lot of hurt feelings and disappointment around this time of year as greek and selective living group rush comes to an end. Much of this stems from the perceived stigma sometimes associated with independent housing—but worry not, your chance to be involved on campus, make real and interesting friendships, and have a rewarding and unique Duke experience is not only possible, but inevitable. Congratulations on your nonconformity!
Joining a new independent house allows you not only to be an engineer of your own future but of the future and direction of your house. Independent housing affords a unique opportunity to shape the legacy of the house by introducing new traditions, planning events and leaving a mark on the Duke community that will last for years to come. Just think, you could come back to visit Duke as an alum and see students sporting the crests and mottos that you had a hand in creating. As Duke students, you all belong here and have so much to contribute. By not being selective, new houses serve as an inclusive community where you are free to be who you are.
Yes, there may be times you wish you had joined an SLG given their high visibility on campus and role in social life, but as the house model progresses, it is our conviction that independent houses will gain a more equal footing in campus life. Moreover, the unique plasticity of the house model allows it to do things that are difficult for SLGs, like foster diversity, implement change and self-define. Being independent is exactly what it sounds like; it means you have the independence to follow your passions and shape your own future.
To our greek and SLG-affiliated peers, we appreciate the value of your groups. This opinion is by no means a critique on your organizations, but merely seeks to speak to the merits of independent living. Vive la révolution.
Laurel Kaye, Trinity ’15, Sherwood president
Jay Sullivan, Trinity ’16, Randolph House Council, Chronicle sports writer
Cameron Tripp, Trinity’15, Marquis president