QuadEx Origins & Support
The initial research and planning began in 2018 when President Price charged the Next Generation Living and Learning Experience (“NGLLE”) Task Force to develop a new vision for residential life at Duke.
The first NGLLE Task Force, made up of trustees, faculty, students, and staff, invested months in stakeholder engagement, peer benchmarking, and internal discussion, and produced its final report in April 2019. During the 2020-2021 academic year, a follow-on committee of students, faculty, and staff – named NGLLE 2.0 – considered a wide range of issues identified in the first NGLLE report and provided additional input on the structure of and recommendations for the Next Generation (“Next Gen”) living experience for Duke students. The 2.0 Committee’s recommendations helped shape the path forward: QuadEx.
A great deal of time, effort and thought has gone into conceiving QuadEx. We followed a multi-stakeholder process that included input from faculty, staff, alumni and students. A central consideration was the fact that this is no longer the same Duke or the same world that existed when many of our systems – housing included – were planned and implemented.
The decision to develop our new neighborhood-based residential model began well before COVID-19. The initial research and planning for a residential life overhaul began as early as 2018. However, as with many other aspects of society, COVID has been an accelerant of change rather than a cause.
Initial implementation of some elements took place in the fall of 2021. QuadEx will was fully operational in the fall of 2022, with its full benefits emerging over time.
As changes begin to be implemented in the fall of 2021, the class of 2025 was the first class to live “in Quad,” as they learned the Quad they moved into for their sophomore year during the Spring ‘22 housing assignment process. The class of 2026 was the first to be assigned both an East Campus residence hall and their corresponding West Campus Quad affiliation before arriving on campus.
Yes - at every level.
Building a renewed campus community is one of the five pillars of President Price’s strategic framework. It states in part: “…This will be a healthier, more vibrant and more inclusive environment for all of us – faculty, students, and staff – who call Duke home.” This strategic framework also affirms “… as we look ahead to Duke’s future, it is our human infrastructure that is our true value proposition.”
The QuadEx living and learning residential model supports this belief and builds upon the strengths of our existing residential model.
QuadEx will contribute to delivering on the promise of providing a transformative undergraduate experience by:
- Extending the best of Duke’s social and intellectual opportunities to all of our students.
- Recognizing that this is a different Duke and world and we must prepare our students for the world they will inherit.
- Aligning with the values and spirit of Duke
Since Duke made the decision to provide co-educational housing in 1896, the university has repeatedly used housing and housing policies to advance its values and institutional goals. With each iteration, we build upon the best of Duke’s past, while looking firmly toward the future. QuadEx is the latest step in that journey.
QuadEx was informed by Task Force reports, two decades of administrative and faculty reports on campus life, national peer comparison data, aggregated student survey data, and direct stakeholder focus groups with hundreds of students, to name just a few.
There are several ways current students can give input on QuadEx, including:
- Joining the First Year Advisory Council
- Running for House and Quad Council
- Giving general feedback to Duke leadership
- Talking to Faculty Fellows
About the QuadEx Program
While Duke has situated its West Campus housing around quads in the past (including creating connection options with East Campus residence halls), QuadEx includes intentional and significant investment in programming, resources, and support for all Quads that will help the system to flourish. In the new model, each Quad serves as the foundation through which students will connect to one another and to Duke’s many resources throughout their four years.
QuadEx recognizes that buildings alone cannot forge community or provide the opportunities that students have been asking for and deserve. Each Quad has developed its own identity, traditions, and events, which are student-driven, supported by university resources, and available to all members of the Quad.
Additionally, QuadEx extends the concept of community from before a student’s first day on campus throughout their time as an alum. Here’s how that works: with QuadEx, each East Campus House connects to a West Campus Quad, which means that from their first day at Duke, every undergraduate student will be part of a West Campus Quad community. Quads offer students belonging, friendship, and continuity in the transition from East to West Campus, throughout their time at Duke, and well after graduation.
There are more and better on-campus social events, intellectual experiences, increased mentoring opportunities, and student-centered governance for all undergraduates. These define the new QuadEx program.
To start, this includes Quad traditions and social events (and the resources/funding to support them), a non-residential Faculty Affiliates program for West Campus, and first-year and second-year specific co-curricular and career purpose programs (e.g. Duke-Durham 101 Quad Course and Sophomore Spark). The QuadEx experience will also continue to grow and evolve over time with the student body.
Duke-Durham 101 and Sophomore Spark are pilot co-curricular programs, tied to the Quad experience, that support the developmental needs of first-years and sophomores, respectively. Duke-Durham 101 is a quad-based house course, or “Quad course,” with the goal of introducing first years to Duke and Durham and preparing them for good citizenship in both. Sophomore Spark provides academic and career purpose programming and alumni networking opportunities as a kick-off to the start of their second year.
Forming strong relationships with faculty is central to the Duke undergraduate experience. The Faculty Fellows program provides students with opportunities to benefit from faculty relationships outside of the classroom and to enrich the intellectual environment of the Quads. Faculty Fellows are paired with individual Quads, providing mentorship and supporting the traditions of their communities. These faculty members do not in the West Campus buildings, but they are eager to share meals, conversations, and interests with their Quad residents.
With university resources and support, QuadEx makes it easier for your Quad to host celebrations, parties, performances, and other social and intellectual events on campus. Quad councils has access to programming budgets and staff support that will help Quads host big events or smaller parties, without having to reinvent the wheel every time. Of course, a benefit of living in a strong community is that sometimes social events will just happen – without much planning at all.
QuadEx Housing Details
No. Students will be assigned to Quads prior to the first day of their first year at Duke because every East Campus House will be connected to one of the West Campus Quads. First year students will live in their East Campus residence hall as non-resident members of their Quad, and will live “in Quad” for their sophomore year. Juniors will live in their Quad or in Hollows/300 Swift. Seniors may choose to live in their Quad, Hollows/300 Swift, or off campus. Juniors and seniors will retain Quad affiliation regardless of where they choose to live and will keep that affiliation even after they graduate.
The link between each East Campus residence hall and its affiliated Quad will remain the same year after year.
Yes. While there is no way to ensure the buildings of each Quad are identical, the goal is to distribute resources and support equitably among Quads.
Duke students are still required to live on-campus for three years. First-year students will live in their assigned East Campus residence hall. Sophomores are required to live on-campus in their assigned Quad. Juniors are also required to live on-campus in their assigned Quad or in Hollows/300 Swift. Seniors have the ability to live in their Quad, in upperclass housing (Hollows/300 Swift), or off-campus.
Juniors and seniors will retain affiliation with their Quads, regardless of where they live.
Yes. You will be able to select your roommate and request to block with friends. Your roommate and block members will be from students who have your same Quad affiliation. You may also choose to room with other members of your Quad who are not your class year.
Depending on Quad size, 1-2 East Campus Houses will connect to each West Campus Quad. Each East Campus House hosts around 100-250 students, which means a community of 200-400 first-years will transition into each Quad for their sophomore year. Around 125 beds or so will be reserved in each Quad for upperclass students. Details of the East-West connection will be announced in Fall ‘21.
Selectivity & QuadEx
To fully develop the benefits of inclusive community that are central to QuadEx, Duke no longer provided university housing to Greek and non-Greek selective living groups (SLGs) after the 2022-2023 academic year. Students will continue to have the opportunity to rush and join Greek and non-Greek SLGs during their sophomore year as an added dimension to their social experience at Duke. Starting in Fall 2023, Duke supports shifted away from housing and towards mentorship, leadership development and organizational advising.
QuadEx seeks to create a welcoming environment that supports all students. Hyper-selectivity in interest-based student organizations on campus runs counter to that goal. Therefore, as part of QuadEx, Duke is working with student organizations on new funding models, participation norms and other policy enhancements that will create a more open and inclusive campus beyond the residential system. QuadEx believes that students, who have already demonstrated the talent and dedication necessary to be admitted to Duke, should not have to undergo rigorous selection processes to make friends, explore interests and get involved.
Students have always driven social life at Duke and will do so within QuadEx. The goal is to provide social outlets and social spaces on campus for all, irrespective of specific group membership. Student organizations will continue to be an important part of the social fabric of Duke, as these organizations offer options for affinity that a student may choose to pursue while also benefiting from their broader community within the Quad.