University may place incoming students in temporary housing


Photo: Jordan Maurice/Iowa State Daily

Friley Hall’s location near Union Drive Community Center (which has a dining hall) and campus makes it a convenient dormitory to stay in.

Elly Arganbright

About 200 ISU students may find themselves in temporary housing arrangements this fall.

This year’s incoming class is expected to exceed last year’s record-setting total. Though enrollment numbers for the fall have not been released yet, Kathleen Jones, associate vice president for student affairs and registrar, said, “I can comfortably say that our enrollment this fall will be another record.”

Iowa State welcomes an increase in enrollment. However, finding permanent housing for all students may not be easy. Pete Englin, director of the Department of Residence, said that with the use of a few temporary housing accommodations, the university is at its capacity for housing for this fall.

In total, 116 dens in residence halls will be converted into dorm rooms for the fall semester.

“[The dens] won’t be any different than a dorm dynamic,” Englin said.

Each space will accommodate two students, with a desk and bed for each. Privacy should not be an issue. Those students living in the dens will receive keys to lock and unlock their doors just as they would for a typical dorm room.

Englin estimated that about 190 students are currently assigned to den rooms. Most, he said, are transfer students and other students who submitted their housing contracts late. All students who are assigned to live in dens have been notified, he said.

The DOR has received a few complaints expressing disappointment. Most people, however, are appreciative that they have a place to stay on campus, Englin said.

“Our priority is helping students be successful,” Englin said.

Last fall, on average, students who lived on-campus earned a higher grade point average than those who lived off-campus. Creating temporary housing in residence hall dens gives students the chance to live on-campus even without a permanent assignment.

Turning dens into dorm rooms also means residence halls will lose community gathering areas.

Adam Guenther, an Inter-Residence Hall Association senator for the Government of the Student Body said that many returning student residents are not “thrilled” that the floor community rooms may not be available to all students.

The den accommodations will be temporary until permanent spots open. Englin expects spots to open up as the fall semester draws closer, after cancelled contracts and especially during winter break when many students graduate or transfer.

“I expect we’ll be able to accommodate [all students] and still have a few hundred spaces left over,” Englin said.

Iowa State has experienced a shortage of permanent on-campus housing in the past. It occurred commonly in the 1990s. The university has not had to place students in dens since 2000, Englin said.

Nearly every residence hall will convert dens into temporary housing arrangements for students this fall. Exceptions will be Buchanan Hall, Martin Hall and Eaton Hall because of a lack of access to showers.