Wallace Hall to be re-purposed as graduate housing next fall

Jill Alt

Wallace Hall is welcoming a graduate and upper division student community to its building once again this fall to better serve graduate populations.

Pete England, director of residence at Iowa State, said that this is a great opportunity for the university to better serve graduate students.

“We’re excited about it.” “It never feels good when we can’t serve part of our student population. That’s what we’re here for.”

Contracts are from August to May — however students can be let out of their contract at any time if they receive an internship, they graduate early, or for other academic purposes.

In 2005 when Englin signed on, residence halls Wallace and Wilson were both empty, and Englin recognized a need to provide graduate and professional students with an environment focused on students who have been here awhile.

“So we made the decision to re-open one of the houses out there for grad students,” Englin said. “The first year we had 128, the following year we had 300, and after that, 600. It was a great success.”

After that however, then the freshman classes took off in enrollment rates, resulting in Wallace and Wilson being converted back to undergraduate housing.

“In the past 7 years we served 300-325 graduate students out of 5000,” Englin said. “We used to house well over 1000.”

Recently there has been a decrease in undergraduate numbers, and with this decline, the decision was made to take Wallace Hall with 300 single rooms to provide to graduate students.

Englin said he spent a lot of time at Graduate and Professional Student Senate meetings during the previous transition, and many students were unhappy with losing the space. Similarly, he met with undergrad students who were unhappy about losing the space. 

“We’re thankful to the students who advocated for their space,” Englin said. “We’re also thankful tot he students who came to an understanding of why we were making this change.”

For undergrad students who might be wanting to live in Wallace next fall, this still leaves available space for undergrad students to live. 

The spaces designated for graduate students are single person living spaces, and is available for graduate students who are interested to move in this fall.

“Hopefully this fits a specific need for them and we’re able to better serve our graduate population,” Englin said.

Graduate and Professional Student senate Vice President George Micheal Weston commented on the development saying that this can be positive for graduate students 

“I think it would depend on the people getting into the housing,” Weston said. “This could be really great for students first coming to Iowa State.”