Dorms at duke?

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Discus: Individual Schools: US News Top 25: Duke University: 2004 Archive: Dorms at duke?
By Girldevil (Girldevil) on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 02:33 pm: Edit

how are the dorms in the East campus? the bathrooms? the food in the Marketplace?

By Dolleykinsss (Dolleykinsss) on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 05:56 pm: Edit

the food at the Market place is absolutley horrible. However, you are only required to eat there your freshman year. The bathrooms in the dorms are nothing special, single-sex ones. They're kept fairly clean... I know the dorms on West Campus are great, and the aparment-style dorms in central campus are pretty cool too. I don't know much about East campus (freshman) dorms. At duke it seems like your living/eating situation gets a lot better after the freshman year

By Jane1018 (Jane1018) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 11:44 pm: Edit

It depends which dorm you are in on East campus. The dorms I stayed in were pretty small but everything was nice, functional, and clean

By Caniskai (Caniskai) on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 12:02 am: Edit

The 4 main dorms (those situated around the main quad near Baldwin Auditorium) on East are Pegram, Alspaugh, Basset, and Brown. Basset is the nicest - it has carpet and AC in the halls. Pegram has neither. Not sure about Als and Brown since I never lived in them or any of the outer lying dorms. Each dorm has a big common room with some couches and a TV. A few years ago Basset and Pegram had pool tables, but there was only 1 and a half sets of pool balls between them and all the house cues were warped. Most of the rooms are 2-person with a scattering of 3-person rooms here and there. The corner rooms are nicest cause they tend to be bigger and have more windows. Each room has a small closet and at least 1 window. Each hall shares a bathroom with 4-5 stalls and 3-4 showers and a few sinks. There's no AC in any rooms unless you bring your own.

As for the MarketPlace, it wasn't all bad. Pizza and spaghetti night's are nice. Just stay away from the Blazing Sea Nuggets. Plus there's a general store downstairs with plenty of Ramen noodles and canned soup and stuff.

By Kerfin (Kerfin) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 04:43 am: Edit

So do you get to choose your dorms? Or is it a lottery...

By Parentofteen (Parentofteen) on Monday, May 17, 2004 - 10:30 pm: Edit

It is a lottery system for dorm assignment. There are two newer freshmen dorms that have AC. If you have a doctor's note that specifies a health problem for which AC is a necessity, then you will either be placed in one of the newer dorms or they will install a window unit in your room for you. We were told that you are not permitted to bring and/or install your own AC unit.

By Parentofteen (Parentofteen) on Monday, May 17, 2004 - 10:31 pm: Edit

It is a lottery system for dorm assignment. There are two newer dorms that have AC. If you have a doctor's note that specifies a health problem for which AC is a necessity, then you will either be placed in one of the newer dorms or they will install a window unit in your room for you. We were told that you are not permitted to bring and/or install your own AC unit.

By Startnow (Startnow) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 02:36 pm: Edit

so if you want to get a single room, which of the 4 main dorms (pegram, alspaugh, basset, brown)has the most single rooms? also, parentofteen mentioned that there are two newer freshmen dorms that have AC, does anyone know what they are called?

By Ginnyvere (Ginnyvere) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 05:13 pm: Edit

One of the newer dorms (with A/C) is Blackwell, but I'm not sure about the other.

By Kerfin (Kerfin) on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 11:11 pm: Edit

I think the other is Basset, from what Caniskai said.
"Basset is the nicest - it has carpet and AC in the halls."

By Kerfin (Kerfin) on Wednesday, May 19, 2004 - 03:46 am: Edit

"Oh yeah, do NOT sign up for air-conditioned dorms for your freshman year, the rooms are tiny. Instead, get a non-air conditioned room, and get a window unit. The rooms are twice as big in the non-A/C dorms." --student review,

Any students there now who agree? Are they that much smaller, and does it get so hot in Durham that you'd need an A/C?

By Chillinnigerian (Chillinnigerian) on Wednesday, May 19, 2004 - 04:24 pm: Edit

Is the drug free program in the comfortable dorms?

By Theguac (Theguac) on Wednesday, May 19, 2004 - 04:57 pm: Edit


I am a sophomore at Duke now. When I was a freshman, the air-conditioned dorms were Blackwell and Randolph. Though they had considerably smaller rooms than the other living units, they were "linked" to desirable upper-classmen dorms such as the WEL. I personally was in Southgate which is the farthest dorm away from the main East Campus. However, we had carpeting and large rooms and walk-in closets. If you are also applying for FOCUS, the program to which you are accepted chooses which dorm you will live in freshman year. I applied for substance-free housing in Brown but was rejected due to my enrollment in the Exploring the Mind Focus, which resides in Southgate.

The good thing about Duke is that although Brown is the only "official" substance-free housing unit on campus, all of the freshman dorms are "dry," meaning drinking is prohibited. Of course, people still drink in their own rooms without the RA's ever knowing; however, if they do find out, strict punishment will result. In my experience, Duke is not as lenient as other schools in its alcohol policy, which I find better since I do not drink. This also makes it easier for those like myself who were rejected from substance-free housing.

As for singles, they're hard to come by freshman year. I am in a single now as a sophomore; I applied for a single before freshman year and was also rejected. Too many rejections :). While it is true that choosing rooms is done through lottery freshman year, you do get to choose which room you want as an upper classman. That is to say, you are given a lottery number picked randomly (if you link you get a higher number than those who do not) and then you go and choose your room the day your number is called. Don't worry about linking right now; it's pretty complicated. I hope this helps!

By Startnow (Startnow) on Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 12:44 am: Edit

thanks! i guess i just wanted to see if i got it right- so brown is the only substance free one and all of the houses have single rooms? and for those of you who got the pkg from Duke, does it let us indicate which house we want anywhere in the pkg (cant find it and am getting frustrated...)???

By Ivybound01 (Ivybound01) on Friday, May 21, 2004 - 12:23 pm: Edit

whoa, I don't get a whole lot of what's going on here... what is "linking"?

Also, which dorms have triple rooms and are those pretty hard to get? When i visited Duke, I stayed in Jarvis and my roomie had an a/c but didn't someone just say that Jarvis doesn't have a/c? I didn't think the room was too small (it was a double) but I haven't seen the non-a/c rooms so...

What's with the substance-free housing? Is brown the only one? Do these people still have social lives? You have to apply for this? Are these dorms usually better?

So the lottery thing means that we get a number and we go in order and select our dorms in that order?

By Theguac (Theguac) on Friday, May 21, 2004 - 03:26 pm: Edit

Hey Ivybound01,

Duke does install air-conditioning units in rooms where an occupant has allergies or other medical conditions that require cool, fresh air. Thus, your roommate in Jarvis probably had some allergies, or those occupants before you had allergies and the University did not remove the unit before your arrival. Jarvis is a non-air-conditioned dorm and all of its rooms are basically the same size. Many of its rooms constitute the "average" size of a Duke freshman double, although you will quickly find that Southgate has the largest rooms for doubles and triples.

I'm not entirely sure as to the relative ease of being placed in triple rooms as a freshman, but in Southgate, approximately half the rooms were triples and many of my friends were in these rooms. It all depends on luck--I was in a double.

Contrary to many of the popular conceptions that those living in substance-free housing are anti-social, many of my friends were in Brown and they were just as social as the next guy. However, their social lives did not consist of drinking alcohol or taking drugs but rather, going to movies or just hanging out. To me, they also seemed more studious than the average Duke student. One can say that they know how to balance their lives well.

Linking in one sentence is basically your placement into a dorm your sophomore year based on where you lived freshman year. The University established this to ensure that you maintain close ties with the people you lived with freshman year. For instance, Southgate residents are "linked" to Edens Quad, meaning we are guaranteed housing in Edens. If we do not take Edens, we enter the general lottery with lower numbers and usually worse picks than our housemates who did choose to link. I recommend that you not worry over this right now, as it is entirely too early. In most cases, linking works just fine, even though Southgate residents had the farthest dorm freshman year AND sophomore year. Oh well, Edens is still a very nice facility.

By the way, Wilson is the only all-suite dorm. It reminded me of the Ivy League schools' suites without the living room of course. However, I am living in a suite next year in Edens 3B, which does have the living room.

I hope this clarified a few crucial points about housing.

By Kcg04 (Kcg04) on Friday, May 21, 2004 - 06:12 pm: Edit

The packet says "one of the halls features a single-sex option that includes men and women assigned to rooms on different floors." Which hall is this?

By Theguac (Theguac) on Friday, May 21, 2004 - 08:00 pm: Edit


By Kcg04 (Kcg04) on Friday, May 21, 2004 - 11:13 pm: Edit

So does Southgate still house the Exploring the Mind Focus program and does Southgate have singles? Also, with other Focus sessions, do they usually reside in the same houses each year or does it change?

By Tjtj (Tjtj) on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 10:35 pm: Edit

Did most people who requested single rooms get them?

By Startnow (Startnow) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 10:36 pm: Edit

i have the same question as tjtj. also, can you be in FOCUS and still have a single room???

By 4grl (4grl) on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 02:48 pm: Edit

Anyone requesting substance free? I'm considering it.

By Theguac (Theguac) on Sunday, May 30, 2004 - 04:53 am: Edit

Southgate still hosts the Exploring the Mind FOCUS.

Most people who requested single rooms DID NOT get them.

My friend was in FOCUS and had a single room, but they are hard to come by. Plan on having a double.

By Smarty1600 (Smarty1600) on Sunday, May 30, 2004 - 08:58 am: Edit

Cool... Man I hope I get into EtM so I can live in Southgate and get the big rooms

By Theguac (Theguac) on Sunday, May 30, 2004 - 02:22 pm: Edit

It is the hardest FOCUS to be admitted into as well as the most challenging FOCUS to receive A's in. Its participants usually represent the creme-de la-creme of Duke students. Good luck!!

I certainly enjoyed it, though the work was VERY overburdening. My final thesis in writing class was 50 pages.

By Smarty1600 (Smarty1600) on Sunday, May 30, 2004 - 06:34 pm: Edit

What class did you take as your outside elective, Theguac?

By Theguac (Theguac) on Sunday, May 30, 2004 - 08:42 pm: Edit

Because I'm premed and in biomedical engineering, I took CHEM21 as my elective. You will find most Exploring the Mind participants either enrolled in a math, chemistry, or science/biology class as the elective because many are either pre-med or on the science track. Exploring the Mind was also one of the most beneficial FOCUS programs out there because we got access to some of the best professors at Duke as well as hallmark research opportunities. Because of my involvement, I became a research associate at a neuroanesthesiology lab and I am now in the process of becoming published with results of my first study.

Good luck with the application! Exploring the Mind is the program that has the most applicants and consequently, around 2/3 of them are rejected. The essay must be unique and must show a REAL interest in why you want to study the mind. If you get in, definitely do it, but be prepared for a lot of work and many, many sleepless nights.

By Smarty1600 (Smarty1600) on Monday, May 31, 2004 - 01:05 am: Edit

I really hope I get in... in my essay I just described my interest in the chemical aspect of neuroscience and outlined the specific reasons why I would be a good addition to the program. I really don't want to do any other FOCUS besides EtM.

I asked about your elective because I'm planning on taking Organic Chem.... I'm afraid I will be overwhelmed with that on top of EtM. But I asked the chem department head which chemistry I should take, and he suggested orgo. I guess I could always drop down to 23L if I feel like i'm dying. But do u think I am getting in over my head?

By Theguac (Theguac) on Monday, May 31, 2004 - 01:16 am: Edit

I had a friend who did orgo with Exploring the Mind and he survived. Of course, he was also a University Scholar and ended up receiving a 4.0 by the end of the semester. Orgo is difficult at Duke and VERY competitive since you are crammed with a bunch of smart, pre-meds. You should go for it though; college is about testing your limits =).

Another friend of mine did orgo with Exploring the Mind. He was an AB Scholar and the international champion in organic chemistry. He even found it quite difficult beyond the first exam.

I'm taking the class next year as well; to prepare for the ensuing madness, as I have 4 lab classes [ME, BME, Physics, Chem] plus genetics (the joys of being a biomedical engineer), I've bought the Barron's Organic Chemistry study guide to review with over the summer. I recommend you do the same so you hit the ground running at Duke, which is always a good thing since you'll start finding it harder and harder to get A's.

By Smarty1600 (Smarty1600) on Monday, May 31, 2004 - 01:45 am: Edit

okay thanks for your advice! I was definitely planning on doing a little prep before school starts so I dont find myself totally foundering. I'm curious, which classes did you take in EtM? Which do you suggest? I signed up for the philosophy one and the neurobiology one.

By Theguac (Theguac) on Monday, May 31, 2004 - 02:12 am: Edit

I took the same exact ones; you will find the neurobiology one VERY difficult and hard to receive an A in. The professor is great though and he helped me get a great research job. Even if you don't receive an A, his class is well worth it.

The philosophy class is quite interesting but a lot of reading and writing. The professor is awesome--he is the director for Exploring the Mind. His grading is not easy however, but whose is at Duke? Just enjoy the classes and the wealth of knowledge you garner from the program. You will be surrounded by awesome students from all around the world who will help you even during all-nighters. To this day, many of my Exploring-the-Mind buddies are my best friends at Duke.

I did find that by the end of the semester though, the topics became quite repetitive, so beware for that. It was also a very stressful time, as we had a 50 page thesis due in writing, a 20 page paper due in philosophy, and a 7 page paper in neurobiology. Many of my all-nighters for the semester occurred during the last week before finals, where I would do nothing but read and write. We were worn out, but you really can't get away from that at Duke. In fact, I felt that my second semester was harder than the first, as I had more challenging classes with more work. Oftentimes, I would not sleep until 5 or 6 in the morning and wake up an hour later to complete work and go to class until 5 pm, and start the routine again.

You've chosen a difficult institution to attend so it is expected that you be able to handle the work. Of couse, I am an engineer and that by itself exacerbates the situation, but still, don't look for an easy ride at Duke, although I think everyone knows and realizes that =).

By Smarty1600 (Smarty1600) on Monday, May 31, 2004 - 03:45 pm: Edit

Thanks for all your help! ...although you've certainly scared the living daylights out of me! Haha. Nevertheless, I think I'm up to the challenge. 50 page papers certainly sound intimidating, but I suppose it won't be so bad if I'm writing about a subject I love.

I just have one more question: Were you able to be involved in some extracurricular actvities your first semester or did EtM take up all your time? I'll do EtM no matter what, but I am sort of curious.

By Startnow (Startnow) on Monday, May 31, 2004 - 10:31 pm: Edit

wow, theguac and smarty1600, that's the exact same plan for me (except now im kinda scared by what theguac has said...). smarty1600, are you on the Duke web? we should get in touch before school starts in fall :)

By Smarty1600 (Smarty1600) on Monday, May 31, 2004 - 10:54 pm: Edit

Yea, I'm on the student profile page if thats what you mean. I also have a Facebook account (im sooo obsessed with the facebook lol).

My name is Sarah Wallace btw. We should definitely chat sometime for moral support.

By Theguac (Theguac) on Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - 12:46 am: Edit

Hehe. Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you!! I just wanted to forewarn you since I did not know about the amount of work before I first started FOCUS. You have to be REALLY interested in the mind to avoid going nuts during the semester. However, you made Duke and by that, it is evidence enough that you are bright, studious individuals who will be able to handle Duke-level work. The professors are also VERY responsive--they will do everything in their power to help you succeed via conferences or one-on-one tutoring sessions. This is why our undergrad program is so revered, as professors are actually available to talk and discuss, even if not about their class. Heck, I got into a Darwin debate with my neurobio teacher at his house (he invites everyone over for dinner). Just realize that this is not high school and that it is much easier to not receive A's than to get them. I was so used to being the smartest kid in my school that when I started competing with equally and even smarter kids, I was a bit stunned and jealous. But that's life and admitting that you are not the smartest out there is one step to success.

As for Smarty's question, I was involved in some extracurricular activities, such as a few clubs, my research, and my dorm executive board. These did take more time that I could have used for studying but I compensated by staying up later at night, mainly until 3 or 4 in the morning. You will find that the library closes WAY too early at 2 am when you're not done yet with all the reading =). Good luck!!

Again, my intention is not to freak you out. I just want to keep you informed, but by all means, if you guys get accepted, go for it! Also, our writing professor left for Northeastern University, so the new writing director may cut you guys some slack, as we kept complaining to the FOCUS director about the amount of work we had. So perhaps you guys may get it a bit easier :).

By Startnow (Startnow) on Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - 05:37 pm: Edit

thanks theguac :)

By Theegosings (Theegosings) on Sunday, June 06, 2004 - 03:44 pm: Edit

theguac, i have a bunch of questions for you about ETM. do you have an aim name? mind if i IM you sometime?

By Theguac (Theguac) on Sunday, June 06, 2004 - 06:13 pm: Edit

You have mail =).

By Upmysleeve (Upmysleeve) on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 11:41 am: Edit

Have any of you Duke students heard anything about the Modern America or Constructing Cultures FOCUS groups? I'm taking organic chem first semester and I kind of want something non-science to do for FOCUS.

By Startnow (Startnow) on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 04:49 pm: Edit

btw, since theguac is here- can you tell us soemthing about the summer reading ie, what its for? since all writing classes are different, will the book be of use at all?

By Crewmanseth (Crewmanseth) on Thursday, June 10, 2004 - 03:51 pm: Edit

upmysleeve, I signed up for the constructing cultures focus program and am going to do chemistry first semester, too. (I can't remember which one I signed up for...not organic, err, maybe it was?) Anyway, I'm on aim as crewmanseth if you want to talk.

By 4grl (4grl) on Thursday, June 10, 2004 - 11:09 pm: Edit

Are there any dorm rooms at Duke that have their own sink?

By Theguac (Theguac) on Thursday, June 10, 2004 - 11:41 pm: Edit

Funny you ask that because my friend had the only dorm room on campus that had its own sink. It was in Wilson, a freshman dorm.

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