Students already disgruntled by the potential of a shortened move-out period in 2007 may soon have another reason to be annoyed-Residential Life and Housing Services is considering a shortened fall move-in period on West Campus for the start of fall semester next year.
Under the proposed RLHS timetable-which was made available to Campus Council earlier this semester-move-in on West would be pushed back from the traditional Tuesday start to at least Thursday.
East and Central Campus move-in would not be affected. Move-in on East would begin Wednesday to coincide with the start of freshman orientation; Central move-in would proceed Tuesday as normal.
Campus Council officers emphasized that the change for move-in on West is not intended as a long-term policy shift. It may be necessary due to a conference that will be held on campus.
RLHS typically closes the conference season Aug. 2, but it pushed the deadline back to accommodate the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education's conference, which is scheduled for Aug. 6-10.
Some conference-goers will be housed in West Campus dorms-meaning maintenance personnel would have less time than usual to prepare the dorms for a Tuesday move-in.
"Is that enough time? Not really," West Campus Facilities Manager Shawhan Lynch said.
Lynch noted that the staff is often already exhausted by a busy conference season prior to the approximately two weeks allotted for cleaning before the start of school.
Campus Council President Jay Ganatra, a junior, said about 50 percent of West Campus residents move in on Tuesday or Wednesday in a typical year.
He added that he recognizes students' potential concerns with a delayed move-in schedule. "I know students won't be happy, and that's why we're really pushing RLHS," Ganatra said. "I know I wouldn't be happy with a Thursday move-in."
"Campus Council doesn't approve because students are [our] number one customers," he added.
Members of Campus Council have been meeting with Eddie Hull, dean of residence life and executive director of housing services, to consider alternatives to the proposed move-in change.
One suggestion is to use some of the revenue from the conference to pay overtime to RLHS employees, thus allowing maintenance to be finished in time for a Tuesday move-in.
Ganatra emphasized that even with alternatives on the table, the Thursday move-in policy is still only a proposal.
"Nothing is set right now because we're still trying to work with Eddie [Hull]," Ganatra said. "Bottom line is that nothing's final and we're still working on it."
Hull declined to comment on the potential move-in change, citing in an e-mail a "commitment to Campus Council not to discuss this issue until the council has had an opportunity to review it."
Ganatra expects Campus Council to consider the issue at its first meeting following Fall Break.
Duke-which has approximately 6,100 undergraduates total and 2,550 living on West-allows a long move-in period compared to other universities in the area. North Carolina State University, with some 20,300 students, allows four days. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill allows six days for its approximately 16,100 students to move in.
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