Column: In defense of Duke HRL

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Kindness is a choice that everyone makes, and Duke students need to start using it toward Housing & Residence Life.

HRL has by far the hardest job on campus. For example, it takes a lot to deny students housing after studying abroad for a semester. Not everyone can do that!

Just listen to the words of Warr Kriminale, dean of student living experience who spearheaded the effort to put cockroaches in dorms to humble legacy students from the Tri-State area:

“We really try our best to ensure every student gets the residential experience they deserve here at Duke,” Kriminale said. “We know that a lot of students come to Duke from privileged backgrounds, and we feel it is our job to properly challenge them.”

I couldn’t agree more. Duke students are way too spoiled by other departments at Duke — HRL is the only one that prepares students for life in the real world. I mean come on, free water at WU? This is getting ridiculous — we might as well just start handing out degrees for free like we’re UNC.

I think Kriminale’s other campaigns to “build character” in students by creating real-world problems for them to deal with for the first time in their lives are admirable, to say the least. 

What better way to learn about symptoms of mold poisoning that you otherwise would not have Googled if maintenance told you you had nothing to worry about? HRL’s got you covered with a mold epidemic across East Campus dorms. Your roommate called you a slur? No worries, HRL made you move and gave her a dingle so she doesn’t bother anyone else. What about that mouse that ran into your room? Well, HRL put you on a co-ed floor against your will, so now you have two boys as neighbors to get rid of it. Plus, now you have a date for next Friday’s mixer: that’s a win-win in my book!

HRL is always one step ahead of us students, and they know what we need even before we do. Personally, I think they should all be getting raises as a reward for how hard they work to develop our problem-solving skills in new and exciting ways.

Of course, such difficulties should not be brought upon our precious student-athletes. They have enough on their plate with their rigorous TikTok production schedules and March Madness aspirations and— oh wait … sh*t, scratch that last part, but my original point still stands: If you aren’t world-class superstar Jarod McCarty, why should I care about your disability request for a single? What makes you think you should get special attention? Do something useful and then we’ll talk. HRL gets it.

Not only that, has anyone else noticed that HRL is the only aspect of Duke keeping up with the Climate Commitment? Making sure students don't have physical IDs so they can be locked out of their dorm at 3 a.m. in nothing but a tank top and a short skirt saves so many more trees than using paper straws every other week ever could. Do better, Duke Dining. The initiative also shows their dedication to ensure students get a proper environmental education: How else would you learn about Durham’s unique natural ecosystem than by interacting with the coyotes that roam East Campus occasionally?

Plus, HRL brings in so much revenue. Three years of living on campus? More like three years of housing payments from the undergraduates! Good job HRL! What would we do without your smart thinking and care for the University? You truly exemplify the “Duke Difference.”

We need to start showing more appreciation to our amazing HRL staff. All of you snowflakes who were mad about the housing assignments for next year need to grow up. So what if you didn’t get your first or second choice dorm and now have to pay an extra $7,000? That’s like one spring break trip to Punta Cana, get over it already.

I am truly so grateful for you, HRL. Thank you for all that you do to make us into the intelligent, creative student body that all the real Ivies pretend we aren’t.

This story is part of an ongoing series supporting every last policy from Duke’s administrative offices, no matter how inconvenient and miserable they might make your life. Up next: Duke Parking & Transportation.

Editor's Note: Happy April Fools' Day! In case you couldn't tell, this was a story for our satirical edition, The Chomicle. Check out more Chomicle stories here, guaranteed to make you laugh, or at least cry. 


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