Eligible students will soon be able to receive financial aid for Duke’s 2023 tenting season, a new initiative that aims to ease the financial burdens of tenting.
The line monitors, Duke’s governing body for tenting, announced the new plan in an information session Thursday evening. Duke Student Government approved the policy Wednesday.
Financial aid for tenting will be based on students’ financial aid need, according to senior Emma Smith, co-head line monitor. At this time, line monitors do not have details about the amount of aid a student could receive or how students will receive the aid.
"We are still finalizing the details of this process ... Allocations will be determined in partnership with financial aid and will also be impacted by the number of students who are eligible," wrote Shruti Desai, associate vice president of student affairs for campus life, in an email to The Chronicle. Desai added that administrators are "thinking through all of this" and hope to release more information about the process next week.
The process will be handled entirely by Duke administrators and staff members. Line monitors will not be “included in the process of collecting student information or making decisions about fund allocation,” Smith wrote in an email to The Chronicle.
“Tenting should be something that everyone has access to, regardless of whatever ability status that they have,” said senior Didac Garcia-Grau, co-head line monitor. “We felt like financial ability status was one checkbox that we as an organization hadn't seen Duke check yet.”
After groups of students sign up for Black tenting Jan. 2, line monitors will send an email Jan. 3 to all registered participants with a Qualtrics survey created by administrators, according to Smith. Students who might need financial aid to tent should fill out the form, which will be used to assess financial aid allocation. Aid is also expected to be considered for students participating in the White tenting process that starts Jan. 27, according to line monitors at the info session.
If more than 80 groups sign up for Black tenting, there will be a test to determine the 70 groups that begin the tenting season, scheduled for Jan. 12 at 10 p.m. After results are finalized, the NetIDs of all students whose groups pass will be submitted by the line monitors to University administration Jan. 13, according to Smith.
“Duke administration will use this list to allocate and distribute aid to eligible students who earned a tenting spot and expressed financial need via the Qualtrics form,” Smith wrote.
All financial aid decisions will be made on a student-by-student basis, independent from the other members of their tent group.
The initiative aims to increase the accessibility of tenting throughout the Duke community. Because tenting requires extensive and often expensive supplies, such as tents, palettes, warm clothes, and tarps, interested students may have difficulty participating, according to line monitors at the info session.
“Especially with the initiatives to create more community on campus, K-Ville is a really huge community that has functioned really nicely for 40 years,” Smith said. “But obviously, there exists that financial burden that we wanted to work to eliminate.”
Smith and Garcia-Grau, alongside senior Elijah Straight, the line monitors’ vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion, worked with Desai, Mary Pat McMahon, vice provost and vice president of student affairs, and Juwan Jacobs, assistant director for student involvement and leadership, to create the initiative.
“We've really been, as an organization, pushing for that overall inclusivity and to get people outside of what's considered the normal K-Ville residents to really be involved in this process,” Straight said. “[We want to] make it a community for everyone.”
Editor's note: This story was updated Friday morning to include information from Shruti Desai on aid allocations.
Milla Surjadi contributed reporting.
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Andrew Long is a Trinity sophomore and Blue Zone editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.