The independent news organization of Duke University

The Class of 2025’s plans at Duke: From rush to LLCs to tenting

Editor's note: This story is part of a series about the Class of 2025 based on a survey conducted by The Chronicle. You can read more about our methodology and limitations here, or see all of our survey coverage here.

From QuadEx to new recruitment policies to the return of tenting, the Class of 2025 will experience major changes to social and residential life at Duke. The Chronicle surveyed first-years about their interest in Greek life, non-Greek selective living groups and Living Learning Communities; their opinions on QuadEx and interest in tenting. 

Similar to last year’s survey, first-years indicated higher interest for non-Greek selective living groups (SLGs) than Greek life. However, interest in both organizations has been declining over the last two years: fewer first-years expressed interest in selective living this year compared to last year and the year before.

Compared to 33.7% of the Class of 2023 and 45.5% of the Class of 2024 expressing no interest in Greek life, 49% of the Class of 2025 expressed no interest. While 8.3% of the Class of 2023 and 14.7% of the Class of 2024 reported no interest in Greek life, 26.1% of the Class of 2025 reported similar disinterest.

This declining interest in Greek and non-Greek SLGs coincides with the gradual introduction of Duke’s new QuadEx system, which will be fully operational in fall 2022. As a result of QuadEx, rush for Duke-affiliated selective groups will take place in sophomore year for current first-years and Duke will discontinue housing for selective organizations after the 2022-2023 academic year.

In response to changing policies, all eight National Panhellenic Conference sororities at Duke voted to disaffiliate from the University in November to form the Durham Panhellenic Council. Nine Duke fraternities similarly disaffiliated in the spring to form the Durham Interfraternity Council. The disaffiliated sororities and fraternities will host rush for the Class of 2025 in the spring 2022 semester. 

Overall, the majority—51.9%—of first-years in the survey reported their opinions on QuadEx was “somewhat” or “strongly” unfavorable, compared to 22.1% of first-years whose opinions were “somewhat” or “strongly” favorable. In September, first-years shared mixed opinions about QuadEx with The Chronicle. 

Mary Pat McMahon, vice provost and vice president for student affairs, told The Chronicle in September that living learning communities “will be incorporated” into the QuadEx housing system; 66.3% of surveyed first-years expressed at least some interest in living with an LLC.

After pausing for the pandemic last year, tenting will resume this year for all students. The vast majority of first-years—65.7%—indicated that it is “somewhat” or “very” likely that they will tent this year. This percentage is significantly greater than the Class of 2023, where only 17.8% reported they would “probably” or “definitely” tent.

Below are more detailed trends about selective living and tenting preferences among the Class of 2025, segmented by demographics, political affiliation, QuadEx opinions and more.

Wealthier students more interested in selective living

Students with household incomes above $250,000 were most likely to be “extremely” or “very” interested in Greek life. As income decreases, a higher percentage of students expressed no interest at all in Greek life, with 62.3% of students with household incomes below $80,000, 53.8% of students with household incomes between $80,000 and $250,000 and 38.8% of students with household incomes above $250,000 expressing no interest in Greek life. 

Students with household incomes below $80,000 were more likely to express some interest in SLGs than Greek life. Their greater interest in SLGs could be because SLGs traditionally require a lower financial contribution from members. However, lower income students were still most likely to be “not interested at all” in SLGs. 

Compared to 20.5% of students with household incomes between $80,000 and $250,000 and 26.3% of students with household incomes above $250,000, 39.3% of students with incomes below $80,000 expressed no interest in SLGs. 

The same trend was not significantly present in interest for LLCs, which saw roughly equal interest and disinterest across income groups.

The trends for selective living are consistent with the findings from last year’s survey

Note: The eleven students who did not report family incomes were excluded from analysis.

Conservative first-years more likely to be interested in Greek Life, less likely to be interested in SLGs and LLCs than moderate and liberal first-years

While 32% of somewhat and very conservative first-years noted they were “very” or “extremely” interested in Greek life, only 16.9% of moderate first-years and 11.3% of somewhat and very liberal first-years said they were similarly interested. 

This trend was inverted for SLGs and LLCs, with liberal and moderate students indicating greater interest than conservative students. Compared to 12.4% of somewhat and very liberal first-years and 11.7% of moderate first-years who stated they were “very” or “extremely” interested in SLGs, only 4% of somewhat and very conservative first-years were similarly interested. No conservative students indicated they were “extremely interested” in SLGs.

Similarly, for LLCs, 10.6% of somewhat and liberal students and 6.5% of moderate students said they were “very” or “extremely” interested in LLCs, compared to 4% of somewhat or very conservative students. No conservative students said they were “extremely interested” in LLCs.

First-years more interested in selective living more likely view QuadEx unfavorably

As part of QuadEx, recruitment and housing for Greek and non-Greek SLGs will look different for the Class of 2025. Compared to 49.5% of first-years “not interested at all” in Greek life, 78.9% of those “extremely interested” and 64.7% of those “very interested” in Greek life reported that they viewed QuadEx “somewhat” or “strongly” unfavorably. 

Similarly, while 52.5% of first-years not interested in SLGs held “somewhat” or “strongly” unfavorable views towards QuadEx, 80% of those “extremely interested” and 76.9% of those “very interested” in SLGs held similarly unfavorable views. 

First-generation students have lower interest in selective living

Consistent with trends from last year’s survey, first-generation students in the Class of 2025 were less likely to be interested in selective living than non-first-generation students. While 52.5% non-first-generation students expressed some interest in Greek life, 38.9% of first-years expressed similar interest. 

Similarly, compared to 75.5% of non-first-generation students who expressed some interest in SLGs, 58.3% of first-generation students expressed similar interest. 

Heterosexual students most likely to be interested in Greek life

Following trends from last year’s survey, first-years of diverse sexual orientations are more likely to have no interest in Greek life than heterosexual students. While 61.1% of gay and lesbian, 60.5% of bisexual, 70% of pansexual, 58.8% of questioning and all asexual students reported they were “not interested at all” in Greek life, 42.7% of heterosexual students were similarly disinterested.

Similar to last year’s results, interest in SLGs is more diverse across sexual orientations. 27.8% of gay and lesbian, 30.2% of bisexual, 25% of asexual, 40% of pansexual and 0% of questioning students reported no interest in SLGs—compared to a 27% of heterosexual students.

Higher-income and Early Decision first-years more likely to tent

There is an inverse relationship between student household income and likelihood to tent. While 40.7% of students with household incomes above $500,000 and 32.7% of students with household incomes between $250,000 and $500,000 are “very likely” to tent, only 13.6% of students with household incomes below $40,000 and 18.4% of students with household incomes between $40,000 and $80,000 are similarly likely to tent. 

Note: The eleven students who did not report family incomes were excluded from analysis.

First-years who applied Early Decision to Duke are also more likely to tent than those who applied Regular Decision. Compared to 33.5% of Early Decision students who indicated they are “very likely” to tent, 22.1% of Regular Decision students indicated they are similarly likely.


Mona Tong

Mona Tong is a Trinity senior and director of diversity, equity and inclusion analytics for The Chronicle's 117th volume. She was previously news editor for Volume 116.

Discussion

Share and discuss “The Class of 2025’s plans at Duke: From rush to LLCs to tenting” on social media.