Dorm Life 101


When the academic year starts, living away from home will be an unknown experience for many UI newcomers, and the chances are that many freshmen in the dorms will have the same fears and concerns. Approximately 95 percent of first-year students will live in the residence halls.

The UI provides students with several living options.

East of the river, the residence halls include Daum, Burge, Currier, Stanley, and Mayflower. West of the river sit Hillcrest, Quadrangle, Rienow, Slater, Parklawn, and the new dorm, Petersen.

“The residence halls provide a healthy and important transition for students between living with their parents and living on their own,” said Von Stange, an assistant vice president for Student Life and the senior director of Housing and Dining. “[Students] are exposed to a wider range of ideas and cultures, develop stronger interpersonal skills, have more contact with faculty and other students, and score higher in measures of self-esteem and self-concept.”

New dorm students are required to live in living-learning communities, in which they are split up into various categories. Some communities are based on majors, and other are based on interests.
UI officials hope to engage students to retain them, Stange said, and living-learning communities provide great support systems for students.

“In the [communities], they will meet students with similar interests and values,” he said. “They will have faculty members interact with the [communities] on a regular basis.  Programs will focus on activities associated with the theme or academic program that is part of the [communities].” 

In each dorm, alcohol, halogen lamps, candles, and anything with an open heating coil are prohibited. Students in rooms without air conditioning are not allowed to bring their own air conditioners.

Petersen will house 501 students. In addition, the building will have a multipurpose room, a sports grill, and a learning commons that will support tutoring and small-group study.  

Each floor will include a study room with technology tables and a floor lounge. Restrooms will be private, single-use, which is similar to Daum, Slater, and Stanley.

Each student room will have half of its outlets as “green” outlets operated by a vacancy sensor. When the room is vacant for a period of time, half of the outlets will shut down, and the heating or cooling will be adjusted to save energy. 

Burge and Hillcrest have dining halls, and convenience stores are available in Burge, Hillcrest, and Mayflower. 

UI sophomore Brenna Bittner said that through living in the residence halls, she has made friendships.

“My experience in the residence halls has been great,” she said. “I have grown close with my roommate over the last two years and have made many new friends this way.”

Hillcrest residence assistant Gabrielle Miller said that in order to get a worthwhile experience in college, students has to step out of their comfort zones, and she believes that the residence halls provides students that opportunity.

“Living in the residence halls creates opportunities,” she said. “It allows students to interact with a community of people. You learn how to engage yourself with different ways of life that you may not be fully accustomed to. Importantly, you create friendships. Relationships that become long lasting, affecting, and influential.”

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