The quality of campus housing can vary significantly based on luck of the draw. Duke students can look forward to new projects such as the new dorm on East Campus, set to break ground in August, and the new dorm on West Campus, which will break ground next summer, as well as renovations to Crowell and Craven residence halls. Rick Johnson, associate vice president of Housing, Dining and Residence Life, said that in the next five years, more than 2000 beds will be located in either renovated buildings or newly-built residence halls.

“This ambitious housing renewal program will provide excellent housing for Duke students for many years to come,” Johnson said.

Meanwhile, Duke students sounded off on some of the best and worst campus housing.

The Hits

Bell Tower (East): Built in 2005, the four-story building is equipped with central air conditioning and carpeted hallways along with a media room, music practice areas and generally spacious rooms. Bell Tower resident Ameen Ahmad, a freshmen, noted that he enjoys Bell Tower’s facilities, including “The Oasis” lounge. 

“It brings people together. People come here all the time,” he said.

Giles (East): Renovated over the summer to update its facilities, Giles now features well-lit hallways and bathrooms, wristband room access and a large common room with a pool table, foosball table and comfortable couches.

“Everyone says the common room looks like the lobby of a hotel, which is great,” said freshman Tim Clayton. 

Freshman Robbie Meese noted other amenities that he thinks make Giles a good place to live on East Campus. 

“It has the nicest kitchen, nicest common room and it’s the cleanest,” he said.

Wannamaker (West): This West Campus residence hall, which was also renovated this past summer, now has full-sized beds and updated desks.

Sophomore Lin Lin Pan emphasized the proximity to the ePrint room, laundry room and yoga/meditation room—featuring a mirrored wall and two massage chairs—as perks of his housing assignment.

Also on his floor are two common rooms, equipped with study desks and ping pong tables.

“My roommate and I were originally put into Craven, but we applied for reassignment,” Pan said. “So we literally went from the worst to the best dorm.”

Although Wannamaker is further away from the West bus stop than other dorms, he noted that the location is still convenient.

“It’s really nice because it’s close to [Wilson Gym] and a quick walk to the [Bryan Center],” he said. “I’d say this is one of the nicest dorms on campus.”

Gilbert-Addoms (East): Despite not having central air conditioning, many students regard GA as a good place to live, in part because of GA Down Under, its extra-large common room and meeting space.

“GADU is a great meeting place generally,” said freshman Will Boldizar. “It’s always fun to go down there because there’s free food half the time.”

He added that his dorm is far from Marketplace but that it’s proximity to Brodie Gym compensates for the longer trek to the main quad.

Keohane 4E (West): Several students noted that Keohane is the nicest place to live on West Campus. “It’s awesome,” said senior Jared Golestani. “All the dorms are really good, and there are nice amenities. The common rooms are pretty spacious, so I have a lot of room to hangout with people and work, and there’s plenty of study space.”

He also noted that he likes the large TVs on the first and third floor.

Blackwell (East): Built in 1994, Blackwell offers two common rooms, two kitchens and air-conditioning. Freshman Jack Doran said that although the rooms are small, he likes where he lives.

“Blackwell’s closer to the bus stop, which is a big plus, and it’s also close to Marketplace,” he said.

The Pits

Crowell (West): Several students said that they consider Crowell one of the worst dorms on campus because it lacks amenities that undergraduates typically have on East Campus. 

“My room doesn’t have AC, so it’s kinda rough,” said sophomore John Xie.

He noted that Jarvis residence hall—where he lived last year—was cleaner and more modern. Bug infestations are common in his dorm, he said.

“Here there are cockroaches,” Xie said. “People call it Crusty Crowell. It’s just not a very nice dorm in general.”

However, junior Malcolm McDonald—whose room has air-conditioning—expressed a more positive outlook.

“Housing for me this year is nice because I got AC,” he said. “My room’s pretty spacious, which I appreciate. Also the bathroom is usually kept pretty clean. I like living on West Campus because it’s convenient, so it outweighs the negatives. I got lucky getting AC. If I didn’t, it would be a lot more negative.”

Craven (West): With hallways and living quarters that are considerably narrower than those of Bell Tower or Gilbert-Addoms, Craven rivals Crowell in unpopularity, students said. Sophomore Jadesola Akinwuntan expressed her distaste for the bathrooms in Craven.

“Craven. Oh, my God. My friend lives there. I’ve visited like once,” she said. “It’s on the main quad, but it’s dirty. I went into one of the bathrooms, it’s…oh my God.”

Sophomore Brooklyn Bass also said “it’s unsanitary.”

Epworth (East): One of the oldest dorms on campus, Epworth has small rooms, which has led many freshmen to dislike it as a living space.

“Epworth sucks. It’s like a two-story cottage. People say it’s homey, it’s cosy,” freshman Brandon Williamson said. “That’s translation for ‘it’s not very good.’”

Billy Reis, another resident, agreed with Williamson. Although he said he likes the communal feeling in Epworth and the fact that everyone knows each other, he said, “I could definitely go for some nicer facilities.”