Living Housing FY FAQs

Commonly asked questions from FY students

First Year assignments are done on a random basis.

Duke University is committed to encouraging our students to embrace new experiences, and our random assignment process allows students to be exposed to a myriad of cultures, viewpoints, and value systems.

We make an effort to meet the preferences (room type, medical need, etc.) for students. However, we are unable to guarantee that a student's preferences will be met. While our assignment process is random, it is also based on the University's non-discrimination policy.

Items to consider bringing:
  • Bedding & pillows
  • Bath towels
  • Caddy for toiletries
  • Cleaning products
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Soap, shampoo & conditioner
  • Small first aid kit
  • Prescription medications
  • Tissues
  • Flip flops for showering
  • Scissors, stapler, tape
  • Chargers and cords
  • Warm weather clothes
  • Cool-weather clothes & a jacket
  • Plates, bowls, cups & utensils
  • Saucepan, cookie sheet (if you enjoy cooking)
  • Food storage containers
  • Re-usable water bottle
  • Laundry bag & detergent
  • Umbrella
  • Broom/vacuum
  • Desk lamp (halogen lamps aren't allowed)
  • Photos & posters to personalize your space
  • Headphones
Items to consider leaving at home:
  • Large furniture and appliances, particularly futons, sofas, chairs, and bookshelves
  • Large area rugs
  • Personal items (jewelry, family heirlooms) of high monetary or sentimental value
  • Large flat screens/ electronics unless needed for class
  • Winter clothing and gear (save space and pick this up when you leave for thanksgiving break!)
  • Personal printers- each community has a networked printer that students can use
  • Consider renting a microfridge (combination microwave and refrigerator unit) rather than bringing your own
  • Hot plates
  • Hoverboards
Prohibited Items (DEFINITELY leave these at home!)
  • Weapons (real or real looking). Includes guns, pocket knives, BB guns, airsoft guns, throwing stars, toy guns that look real, etc.
  • Candles
  • Hot Oil Fryers, or any other open heat/open flame cooking equipment
  • Halogen Lamps
  • Waterbeds
  • Personally owned air-conditioning and heating equipment
  • Pets (unless its an approved accommodation through SDAO)
  • Alcohol or alcohol paraphernalia (i.e., beer pong tables)
  • Cannabis or other drugs or paraphernalia (i.e. bongs, pipes, etc)

RA Resident Assistant; a student leader assigned to your floor; fosters community in your house; helps you acclimate to Duke and Durham; plans activities; mediates conflicts; points you in the right direction.

GR Graduate Resident; a graduate student who oversees programming and advises the House Council; works closely with the RA staff.

ARC Assistant Residence Coordinator; a senior level graduate student who has many of the same responsibilities as an RC. They supervise RAs, advise house council, and meet with residential students. Some buildings have an ARC, not all.

RC Residence Coordinator; a full-time, live-in professional who supervises RAs and GRs; helps students with residential and academic concerns.

FiR Faculty-in-Residence; faculty members who live in the residence halls; host events and create a heightened sense of intellectual curiosity.


The Student Mailbox Center (SMC) is where students pick up all Mail. It is located in the lower level of the Bryan Center. The counter hours of operation are 8:30 am- 5:00 pm, Monday-Friday. (Closed weekends & University holidays.) Boxes are accessible 24/7. The SMC only provides incoming mail/package services.

Students are notified by email or text message when a package is available for pick-up at the Student Mailbox Center. There are parcel lockers in the building.

NOTE: Please allow 24-48 hours for packages to be processed and delivered to Student Mailbox Center.

Any other questions regarding mail should be directed to Campus Mail Services


Access to residence halls is controlled by your DukeCard. Use your card for access to your residence hall around the clock. Many other buildings on campus are locked after hours, but you’ll be able to use your DukeCard to gain access if you’re authorized. If you are not able to access a campus facility, you can check the status of your DukeCard to see if your card is active or inactive by visiting: https://dco31.oit.duke.edu/statuscheck/. If you have any questions regarding your DukeCard contact them at 919-684-5800

Blue Devil Delivery was created by Duke University Stores as a way to ease the confusion first-year students and their families experienced upon arrival at Duke University. This program provides you with the convenience of having textbooks, laptops, linens, and more ready for pick-up on East Campus during first-year student move-in. 

You can reach Blue Devil Delivery at 919-684-2344