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### Juniors Returning from Studying Abroad Now Assigned to East Campus Dorms

Upon their return from fall semester study abroad programs, several upperclassmen have been reassigned to dormitories on East Campus that are traditionally designated for first-year and Duke Kunshan University students.

At the commencement of the spring semester, 23 juniors who had been studying abroad were allocated to East House, a dormitory on East Campus typically occupied by DKU students. As of Jan. 26, only eight of these students remained in East House, with the others being relocated to accommodations on West Campus as space permitted.

These relocations highlight the unique challenges involved in managing housing assignments for the spring term. One of the primary difficulties lies in forecasting the number of students who will depart campus from fall to spring.

Dean for Residence Life Deb LoBiondo acknowledged the complexity of the situation, stating, “We know who’s graduating at the end of the semester and we know who’s leaving, but we don’t know the rest, really.” This uncertainty necessitates constant data analysis to make informed decisions.

Marijean Williams, the director of housing assignments and planning, emphasized that the housing management extends beyond just the returning juniors from abroad. The process also involves accommodating students on the housing waitlist, who receive priority over those returning from study abroad or leaves of absence.

All students are grouped together in a pool and assigned a lottery number based on their class year. Williams explained that assignments are made considering student preferences and the available space.

While the initial assignment placed 23 students in East House, the primary goal was to facilitate the transfer of all students who met the housing application deadline to West Campus as vacancies arose.

The decision for some students to remain on East Campus was often influenced by the desire to live with a preferred roommate, a factor that played a significant role in the housing arrangements.

Despite the challenges faced in the spring housing assignments, efforts were made to accommodate student preferences. The Assignments office proactively reached out to students to optimize roommate pairings and address individual needs.

Looking ahead, plans are underway to encourage consolidation among students living alone in double rooms, although Duke currently does not enforce mandatory consolidation.

While acknowledging the limitations in available space, the housing officials emphasized their dedication to maximizing housing opportunities for students. Despite the imperfections in the system, the commitment to addressing student needs and preferences remains a top priority.

In conclusion, despite the unforeseen challenges and imbalances in housing availability, students like Junior Jax Nalley have found a sense of community and contentment within their housing arrangements, fostering a positive living experience on campus.