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Which dorms are best?

prdmomprdmom Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
edited December 2006 in Duke University
My daughter got accepted ED. Already she's thinking about dorms and roomates. Which dorms are best on East campus? Which have AC? Give us the scoop so we know what she has to work with when she gets her dorm assignment. Also, What are the room sizes like? Is it best to do a double? Anyone have singles or triples? Thanks for the any advice you can give.
Post edited by prdmom on

Replies to: Which dorms are best?

  • gcards1gcards1 Registered User Posts: 746 Member
    1. You can't pick your room/dorm. If you are in a dorm without AC and you have a doctor's note that you have allergies or asthma then you can have a window AC unit installed (and pay more).

    2. Bell Tower is the newest dorm, so it is the nicest with AC and I guess big rooms.

    3. Wilson is suite style (which they seem to like and I would've liked).

    4. The room sizes really do vary. For instance I'm in Alspaugh which is one of the older non-AC dorms. I have the smallest double with only one walk in closet and a wardrobe, while the corner rooms are huge and have two huge closets. It really is hit or miss and there are pros anc cons to each dorm. The older dorms are on the main quad, so closer to the bus stop (well sort of), the Marketplace cafeteria, and Lily Library. I feel like they are houses and I think have a better social life than the new dorms because of the way they are designed. The newer dorms have more comforts, but socially I find them a bit lacking. Randolph always seems to have social issues (from what I hear) because the doors close automatically and many athletes are housed there.

    I'm sure after RD acceptances there'll be a bigger thread. Feel free to pm me with any more specific questions since I couuld go on and on.
  • SBRSBR Registered User Posts: 2,780 Senior Member
    1). About AC: the dorms with AC are Belltower, Randolph, and Blackwell. The first is generally acknowledged to be the most comfortable one on East (usual comparison is to a 4-star hotel, not sure if the comparison is very valid). The latter two is generally thought to have really small rooms across the board. That is, in other dorms, you might be unlucky and get a small room, but in Randolph and Blackwell you know you'll get a small room with no walk-in closet and cramped spaces. All three are off the main quad, behind Carr and around Brody Gym. I hear it gets pretty chilly in those dorms around late fall at night so AC might not be so fantastic as many make out to be.

    2). Wilson is suite style with I think 2 doubles sharing a bath.

    3). Room sizes differ greatly between dorms, for example, I've seen singles in Jarvis that is about the same size as if not bigger than doubles in Blackwell. I've also seen singles in Aycock that are basically glorified walk-in closets stuffed with a bed and desk. I personally live in a decent sized double with two walk-in closets in Aycock. Generally, if it's a double not in Randolph or Blackwell, it'll ok.

    4). Room assignment is completely random with a few exceptions. I believe if you submit your allergy and medical info early enough they'll try to put you in an AC dorm (Belltower, Randolph, Blackwell). If not you'll get a window unit after the random assignment. Another case is if you signed up for FOCUS, because all students in a FOCUS group live together. The other two cases are for the art dorm (Pegram I think) and wellness dorm (Brown). You state on your housing form if you want one of those and they'll assign you there. Although I heard in recent years that they have another dorm for overflow from Brown.

    5). Financial aid: Financial aid office told me if you receive financial aid that covers housing and you are assigned a room with a higher price than the standard double (AC, single, window AC), your package will increase accordingly. Vice versa for a decrease in price (triple). That does not apply, however, if you apply for reassignment and specifically list the desire for AC as the reason.

    6). Roommate(s) = completely random based on a form which you fill out listing your habits (bedtime, morning person yes/no, smoke?, noise, study habits). The only exception is if you specifically request another person and both of you requested each other by ID.

    Anecdote: I was originally assigned a male roommate (cuz I'm a guy) in Aycock, however, sometime between mid-June and early-August, Duke suddenly decided that I was a girl and decided that I needed a female roomie in a completely random dorm. :-/ Luckily they were pretty flexible and gave me back my original room after I called. :D
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