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Parklawn to be non-frosh

BY GRACE SAVIDES | JANUARY 20, 2010 7:30 AM

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Parklawn Apartments will revert to being a dorm next year, but without something typical in most residence halls — freshmen.

The residence hall will reopen in August as a “Community 234,” with only second, third, and fourth-year students. The new setup will also give students the opportunity to participate in career and extracurricular programs, including a monthly lunch with Tom Rocklin, the UI interim vice president for Student Services.

“I am always looking for opportunities to be in closer touch with students so that I can keep their perspectives in mind as I make decisions,” Rocklin wrote in an e-mail. “If they have issues that they would like to bring to administrators’ attention, this will be a good chance. If not, I’m happy to talk about Hawkeye sports.”

Parklawn will be the only Community 234 dorm on campus.

In addition to participating in community service, UI officials will offer Parklawn residents programs dealing with career advice, internships, and study abroad, said Kate Fitzgerald, assistant director of Residence Life.

The UI saw an increase this academic year in the number of students who wanted to return to the dorms, she said.

“We thought if we have returning students who want it, we should have programmatic success,” she said.

A rise in freshman admission applications for the fall semester also influenced the decision to convert Parklawn back to a dorm, said University Housing Director Von Stange.

“We felt we needed to have enough beds in order to add the additional students to the system,” he said.

Approximately 1,500 non freshmen live in the dorms; they are joined by roughly 4,000 freshmen, Stange said.

If current Parklawn residents choose not to return, they’ll be given priority for university-owned apartments on Hawkeye Drive or Hawkeye Court when their leases end in June, Fitzgerald said.

Darleen Diaz, a 21-year-old UI junior, said she will not return to Parklawn next year, largely because of the regulations that come with living in a dorm.

“I’m kind of old to be in the dorms,” she said.

Though Diaz was unaware of the planned Community 234, the idea doesn’t entice her.

Sharing a room would still make it “feel like a dorm,” she said.

But UI officials said they’re counting on students showing interest in the new dorm style.

“I hope that students will look at Community 234 in Parklawn and become excited about the possibilities it may have in store for them,” Stange wrote in an e-mail.


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