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How Craven renovation will affect housing next year

Looking around campus, it’s obvious that Duke housing is undergoing some changes. Whether it’s the initial work on the Hollows or the renovations in Crowell Quadrangle, construction equipment is everywhere. But what does this mean for students living at Duke next year?

Joe Gonzalez, interim assistant vice president of student affairs and dean for residential life, explained that the work on Crowell will be finished in August and residents in 300 Swift this year will be able to move back there for the 2018-19 school year beginning in August. Renovations to Craven Quadrangle were approved at the last Board of Trustees meeting, clearing the way for the next Duke construction project. 

“We’re very excited about that,” he said. “It will begin in May, and Craven will be closed for academic year.”

Most of the houses in Craven this year will move to the newly vacant 300 Swift spots. Eight Craven houses in total will be there—four selective living groups and four independent houses. After the Craven renovations are finished, these houses will move back there. 

Two of the Craven houses will move to Few instead. These will likely continue to be in Few even after Craven renovations are completed, Gonzalez explained. 

“At that time period, we will also be moving houses off Central Campus,” he said. “It’s possible there will be some movement as that occurs.”

At a Duke Student Government Senate meeting in September, Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, said the University plans to phase out undergraduate housing on Central Campus by the summer of 2019.

Gonzalez noted that students currently living in Few will still have right of return to Few unless they are a friend of house. For students at 300 Swift, their right of return goes to Crowell next year. 

Although the Hollows is scheduled to open in Fall 2019, Duke will continue using 300 Swift to house students for an indefinite period of time as the administration figures out how to further add housing on West Campus. 

“Our preference is to have all undergraduates living on West,” Gonzalez said. 

He explained that some of the students who will be impacted by the housing changes were informed as the Fall 2017 semester was ending and others will be told as they return to campus for the Spring 2018 semester. 

Junior Tara Vigil, who lives in an independent house in Few, said that there has been a lack of communication from Duke Housing about the changes they are making. 

For instance, the Women’s Housing Option—formerly a selective living group—was changed to an independent house this year without many of the members knowing. They now call themselves Venus House, even though this name isn’t formally recognized by Duke Housing. 

“Last year, when the Women’s Housing Option was picking rooms for this current year, members didn’t know that it wasn’t going to be a thing this year,” she said.  

Regarding the changes for 2018-19, Vigil noted that she would like to have more knowledge about what’s going to happen.  

“I start planning where I’m going to be living around now,” she said. “For people to not have information on where they’re going to be living, it throws them for a loop.” 

Gonzalez noted that the construction work has definitely presented some logistical complications for Duke Housing to tackle. 

“It has its challenges, but that’s what we’re expected to do, and we want to do it well,” he said. 


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