No jumping or dancing: Students warned not to hold large gatherings at Duke off-campus apartment complex

Posted September 24, 2021 6:07 p.m. EDT
Updated September 24, 2021 10:33 p.m. EDT

— Large gatherings have damaged the floors and support structures of individual apartments at an off-campus Duke University apartment complex.

University officials said Friday that the 300 Swift Apartment complex building, located at 300 Swift Ave. in Durham, is still safe and meets required codes for occupancy.

But, large groups of people exceeding occupancy limits, jumping and dancing could damage the underlying trusses that reinforce the floors, according to a letter sent to residents.

Extreme structural issues could force residents to be relocated, university leaders said.

To combat the issue, students living at the apartment complex are only allowed to host 10 people in an apartment, including the residents. Groups larger than 10 and dancing are not allowed, effective immediately.

Students who live at the apartment complex said they understand the new restrictions and think university officials are being fair, especially if it means keeping students safe.

"If they think that a large capacity of people can damage it, then I guess it's up to them to kind of impose any sort of protocol," a student, who asked not to be identified, told WRAL News.

In a message sent to all Duke undergraduate students on Sept. 15, university officials said students hosting informal social gatherings on or off campus must make sure attendees are fully masked. Gatherings on campus and in other student housing are limited to no more than 50 people.

Students who violate the new rules at 300 Swift could face disciplinary action, including being responsible for the cost of repairs and removal from the student housing complex.

"That's pretty fair," said resident Dylan Haston. "There are other places people can hang out and party. It doesn't need tp be at apartment if it's not a safe place to be."

Duke purchased the apartment complex in 2016. University officials said the complex was purchased to give undergraduate students a "quality living option" while renovations and additions were made to Duke's current housing facilities.

The 300 Swift Apartment building was built around eight years ago, according to Durham County property records.

A Duke student told WRAL that a few years ago, there were problems with ceiling leaks due to water damage.

"I'd say floors and walls are definitely thin," the student added.

Studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments are available at the complex.

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