Some non-Greek selective living groups going ahead with spring recruitment amid Duke ban, will return to rushing first-years

<p>Selective living groups Cooper House and Wayne Manor were formerly housed in Crowell Quad. All SLG housing was moved to Edens Quad for the 2021-22 academic year.</p>

Selective living groups Cooper House and Wayne Manor were formerly housed in Crowell Quad. All SLG housing was moved to Edens Quad for the 2021-22 academic year.

In spite of Duke’s ban on recruitment events for the year, some non-Greek selective living groups will still be holding rush this spring. The groups also announced that they will begin rushing first-years again — the first time since Duke limited rush to sophomores, juniors and seniors in 2021. 

In August, SLGs were informed they could not hold recruitment events in the 2022-23 school year. The decision was attributed to it being the last year SLGs will have on-campus housing, a change brought on by QuadEx. 

In order for SLGs to maintain a presence on campus in future years or hold recruitment events, they must transition into a Living and Learning Community or become a new student group with the approval of Duke Student Government, according to the August announcement

Some groups, however, have no plans to transition into LLCs or get DSG approval before holding this spring’s rush events. Brownstone, Illyria, Maxwell, Mirecourt and Round Table will hold spring rush from Feb. 5 to Feb. 19, per a joint statement released on Friday. For Brownstone and Illyria, rush will be exclusively for first-years and sophomores. Rush will be open for all years for Mirecourt and Round Table. 

“After much consideration, SLGs are returning to this schedule since we believe that having the opportunity to rush during one's first year offers a better chance to build community,” the statement read.

The statement emphasized that SLGs are unique social groups at Duke that “are made by students, for students.” It highlighted the groups’ existence for decades and the traditions they’ve formed on Duke’s campus, including tenting. 

“SLGs will survive and proceed even without housing,” the statement read.

This spring’s rush cycle will not be the first time some SLGs go against Duke’s rules. While some SLGs got creative to abide by Duke’s recruitment restrictions in fall 2022, other SLGs continued to hold traditional rush. 

Mirecourt President Shreya Joshi, a junior, stated that the joint statement with rush details was released because SLGs have always tried to coordinate rush schedules in the past.

“Students want to have fun and SLGs want to provide that for them. [Duke administration] has taken away housing, the rush process, and our freedom to make any major decision… SLGs are a way for social life to be in the control of students without joining a Greek/national organization. It is a great alternative and I think it should stay,” wrote junior Anthony Salgado, Brownstone’s vice president, in a message to The Chronicle.

The Chronicle reached out to Bobby Kunstman, assistant vice president for campus life, for comment. Kunstman responded that he would not be able to provide comment in time for publication. 

Mirecourt has no plans to become officially recognized by Duke, according to Joshi, and most of their recruitment events will not be on-campus.

Brownstone also has no current plans to be recognized by Duke, according to Salgado. He also does not anticipate Brownstone seeking Duke Groups approval when hosting rush events.

“However, plenty of SLGs have already been recruiting and rushing in public spaces [on campus] ... so I do not think this will be an issue,” Salgado wrote. 

Round Table currently has “no set decisions,” but is prioritizing Duke recognition through DSG, according to Amr Tagel-Din, a senior and rush chair for Round Table. Tagel-Din stated that Round Table received Duke Groups approval throughout their “interest process” last semester.

“We hope and believe that getting Duke Groups approval should be a smooth process [this semester],” Tagel-Din wrote to the Chronicle.

Other selective living groups

The Cube and LangDorm, two SLGs who were not part of the joint statement, have been approved to be LLCs. The Cube will hold their first round of rush from Jan. 14 to Jan. 21. According to Kaitlyn Luo, a senior and recruitment chair, The Cube is “currently acting as an SLG until next fall 2023.”

“The Cube’s recruitment process is dedicated to welcoming all entrepreneurs at Duke to join our community through ‘get-to-know-us’ events. We will officially be an LLC starting fall 2023,” Luo wrote to The Chronicle.

LangDorm is planning to have a short week of events in January, according to President Zhichen Guo, a senior.

“Now that we’ll be an LLC next year I don’t think there should be a problem with calling it recruitment,” Guo wrote to The Chronicle.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said all groups will exclusively rush first-years and sophomores. It has been updated to reflect that Illyria and Brownstone will exclusively rush those groups; Mirecourt and Round Table will rush all years. The Chronicle regrets the error. 

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Katie Tan | Digital Strategy Director

Katie Tan is a Trinity senior and digital strategy director of The Chronicle's 119th volume. She was previously managing editor for Volume 118. 


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