Living on campus in the fall


An example of a furnished room was laid out for tours. As of now, many of Geoffroy Hall’s rooms are vacant — but the Department of Residence expects the hall to be filled in fall of 2017.

Logan Metzger

Iowa State is offering both single and double occupancy in its residence halls for the 2020-2021 academic year. The Department of Residence (DOR) is implementing a variety of sanitizing measures as well as standards for residents’ behavior to ensure the safety of those residing there.

With adjustments to the academic calendar, DOR will be open until noon Dec. 19. 

“This gives you time to travel wherever you plan to go for break and continue to work in Ames if needed,” according to the DOR website. “Buchanan, Geoffroy, Wallace, Wilson, SUV and Frederiksen will all still be open over semester break.”

Mitigating Strategies

The residence halls and apartments will have multiple mitigating strategies in place for the fall semester.

  • Students moving into on-campus housing will be required to be tested for COVID-19.
  • Bedroom occupancy in halls and apartments will be one or two people. Triple and quad residence hall rooms will be used to house two people. 
  • Staff will be required to perform a daily symptom check before working.
  • Staff will be expected to wear cloth face coverings in common areas.
  • Students will be expected to wear cloth face coverings in common spaces.
  • All staff and students will maintain recommended physical distance as much as possible in common areas.
  • Plexi shields will be used at public service desks where virtual service is not possible.
  • House/floor/community meetings and events will be held virtually or in spaces where physical distancing is possible.
  • Quarantine housing spaces will be available for students who are symptomatic or have had a known exposure to COVID-19.
  • Isolation housing spaces will be available for students who test positive for COVID-19.
  • Residents are permitted to host one guest per resident at any one time in their room/apartment. Guests are only allowed with the permission of other roommates. See full policy here.
  • Overnight guests are not permitted unless the other roommate is not spending the night. All overnight guests must be given permission by the other roommates in advance. See full policy here.


The university has also announced an investment of nearly $3 million for enhanced cleaning and disinfection during the fall semester, part of this is dedicated toward DOR.

  • Community bathrooms will be deep cleaned daily with a secondary sanitization.
  • Common areas will be cleaned and sanitized daily, focusing on high-touch surfaces.
  • Cleaning and sanitizing supplies will be available for student use in all community bathrooms, suites, apartments and available at hall/apartment desks.

Isolation and Quarantine

Iowa State will have designated areas for isolation in Linden Hall and quarantine in Oak and Elm Halls available for students living in residence halls. Students may also choose to isolate or quarantine with their families at home.

The DOR website stated a member of Iowa State’s Public Health team will contact students if they need to isolate or quarantine. From there, the students can choose to complete their isolation or quarantine by returning home or complete it on campus.

All students in the residence halls who need to isolate or quarantine will do so in the isolation or quarantine buildings or return home.

Students in apartments needing to isolate from Aug. 3 to Aug. 16 will do so in the isolation dorm or return home. Students needing to quarantine will do so in their apartment or return home. After Aug. 17 students needing to isolate or quarantine will do so in their apartment or return home.