We regularly hear from our student residents—and their parents—about how glad they are that they chose to spend at least one year of their college experience in the residence halls. For some it's a matter of convenience in being close to their classes and not having to worry about preparing their own meals. For most, though, life in the residence halls serves as a safe and enjoyable transition from life at home to independence.
The collegiate experience is challenging—especially during the first year—and the residence halls are designed to make the basics of food and shelter as low-stress as possible, allowing our residents to focus on classes, activities, friendships, and personal growth.
In terms of proximity to classrooms, the residence halls are hard to beat. Between location and the Cambus system, getting around campus from a residence hall is a snap.
Residence Halls (including maps)
Our Residential Dining unit does an excellent job of providing a wide range of food and meal options at a wide range of times. In fact, our two Dining Market Places are popular not just with our current residents, but also with faculty, staff, and students who don't live in the residence halls.
Residential Dining - Meal Plans & Menus
In addition to the basics—food and shelter—life in the residence halls is designed to support students in their collegiate experience. We see it as part of our core work to foster the academic, social, cultural, and personal growth of our residents.
Support starts within the student community. It's no accident that we have so few single rooms in our halls, as the relationship between roommates/suitemates can prove the most important in creating student success. We also provide numerous public and lounge spaces in the halls which create opportunities for activities and social interaction.
Our staff is dedicated to the direct support of students. Starting with our student-staff of resident assistants, and including full-time professional hall and area coordinators, we have regular interaction with each and every resident. In addition, there is always a staff member available or on-call to student residents—24 hours a day, 7 days a week whenever the halls are occupied.
Residence Life Staff
In addition to direct interaction, Residence Life offers a number of activities and programs aimed at supporting student residents
Residence Life Programs
Safety & Security
University Housing staff members are concerned about the safety and security of both students and their belongings. Working with the University Department of Public Safety, they continually review and evaluate safety policies and measures. Your student's cooperation in making these measures effective is essential.
- Every residence hall room is equipped with a peephole so your student can identify guests before admitting them to the room.
- We encourage students to keep their room door locked at all times and not to open it to strangers.
- A Public Safety guard patrols the halls nightly from midnight to 6 a.m.
- Residence Hall staff are on duty or on call 24 hours a day, every day.
- The halls are locked at midnight, and residents are given a key or proximity card to gain entrance after doors are locked.
In terms of fire safety, we do the following:
- Halls are equipped with fire alarm systems and are inspected by the city fire marshal.
- Each room contains a smoke detector and most buildings have fire suppression (sprinkler) systems.
- Fire drills are conducted in compliance with state laws.
Attending a university is really about creating and exploring opportunities, and life in the residence halls is a key part of this process. In fact, much of life in the residence halls is about opportunities.
Residence Life Programs
Student Hall Organizations
We hear regularly from our residence hall alumni that the most important thing they took with them from life in the halls is the connections and friendships they made during their time with us. To some extent, we attempt to structure the residence hall experience to encourage these friendships, but for the most part these strong, and sometimes lifelong connections, are bound to happen.
The University of Iowa is a diverse place—diverse in terms of culture, background, interests, and life goals—and the friendships created often span this diversity. While courses can provide information and ideas, it often is the direct connections made with others on campus that bring ideas from the theoretical to the concrete. Between the Learning Communities, the Residence Life Programs, and the social structure of halls, floors and rooms/suites, the residence halls are one of the primary meeting grounds for this exchange of diverse ideas and perspectives.
It's virtually guaranteed that your student will make new, lifetime friends at The University of Iowa. We believe that these friendships are an essential part of the collegiate experience, and that they are critical to the personal growth we seek to foster. Though you may be surprised by the friends your student makes, we are confident that you will be pleased with how those friendships support your student through these critical years.