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Student Housing and Dining

This is an archived copy of the 2015-2016 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

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Department of Residence (DOR)

  •     Pete Englin, Director
  •     Rachel Wagner, Associate Director for Residence Life
  •     Roger Graden, Associate Director for Facilities Operations
  •     Lynn Larsen, Assistant Director for Business Operations
  •     Lisa Ludovico, Assistant Director for Administrative Services

ISU Dining

  •     TBD
  •     Jill Arroyo, Associate Director for Residential Dining
  •     Jamie Lenz, Assistant Director for Food Stores / Vending
  •     Kristi Patel, Assistant Director for Retail Operations
  •     TBD, Business Manager
  •     Jeffrey Miller, Catering Manager
  •     TBD, Executive Chef

The university provides housing for over 11,000 students in University owned on-campus residence halls and on-campus apartments, as well as University operated off-campus apartments. Housing is available for undergraduate and graduate students; single students and families. Questions concerning on-campus housing and dining should be directed to the DOR Administrative Services Office:

Contracts and Rates

Once admitted, all ISU students are eligible to submit a housing contract on-line using AccessPlus . Housing priority for new students is based upon the date the completed contract is received in the DOR Administrative Services Office.

Academic Year (fall and spring), Spring only, and Summer only contracts are available. While fall only contracts are not offered, housing and dining contracts are "academically friendly." Students who leave the University as the result of graduation, withdraw, dismissal or participation in a University approved study-abroad, internship, co-op, or student teaching program may cancel their contract without penalty.

For reasons other than those listed, students who cancel their contract after the cancellation deadline (March 1 for current ISU students, May 1 for newly admitted ISU students) will receive a cancellation penalty equal to 80% of the remaining value of their entire contract, both housing and dining. For additional information, students should contact the Administrative Services Office.

For a complete listing of rates, please visit the following web sites:

Residence Halls

The residence halls are organized geographically into neighborhoods:

  • Buchanan Hall
  • Richardson Court
  • Union Drive
  • Wallace-Wilson

With the exception of Buchanan, Eaton, and Martin halls, all residence halls are “traditional style” meaning most residents live in double occupancy rooms and share a common, hallway bathroom. A limited number of triple and single occupancy rooms are also available. Buchanan, Eaton and Martin halls offer a “suite-style” set-up with two rooms joined by a private bathroom. Typical residence hall furnishings include:

One per resident

  • Bed frame and mattress - extra long twin (36" x 80"). Beds may be lofted, bunked or "on the floor." Refer to the DOR web site for specific hall details.
  • Desk and desk chair
  • Wardrobe / Closet
  • Wastebasket

One per room

  • Dresser (only in rooms without wardrobes)
  • Shower curtain (suite rooms only)
  • Window drapes / blinds
  • Micro fridge (Wallace & Wilson only)

Students may preference single-gender or coed houses. Coed houses have male and female students living at opposite ends or on separate levels of the house. They have separate bathrooms, but share common area space and house activities. Single gender building options are also available.

Of the 19 residence halls on the ISU campus, only seven are air-conditioned. As such, the vast majority of new students are assigned to non-air-conditioned housing. In buildings that are air-conditioned, due to the relatively mild temperatures in Ames, air-conditioning is typically only turned on through the first four weeks of fall classes and the last two weeks of spring classes. In times of high heat, there are air-conditioned common area spaces available in each building.

Additional services include house dens for informal gatherings and relaxation; lounge areas for meeting and entertaining guests; vending areas for snacks; hall desks with recreation/entertainment items, recreational equipment, and mail delivery; laundry facilities; study areas; meeting rooms and offices for student organizations; computer labs; and parking lots assigned to the residence halls.

Residence Hall Meal Plan Requirement - All residents of Buchanan Hall, Richardson Court or Union Drive are required to purchase one of five Semester meal plans. Wallace and Wilson residents are not required to purchase a meal plan. However many residents in these areas opt to purchase some combination of meals and Dining Dollar$ so they can make purchases in one of the many Dining Centers, Cafes, Restaurants and C-Stores . For information about On-Campus Dining options, please see below.

Winter Break Housing - All Richardson Court and Union Drive residence halls close during Winter Break. Buchanan, Wallace, and Wilson halls remain open during Winter Break at no additional charge.

Residential Learning Communities (RLC) - Located throughout Richardson Court and Union Drive, RLCs are small groups of students who live together on designated houses or floors. Students share academic interests, classes, living spaces and develop friendships as part of an innovative program in cooperative learning. As such, most RLCs are limited to students in certain majors. Not all academic programs offer RLCs. Refer to the Learning Communities Website for more detailed information about learning communities including college contacts, mentor information, and research reports.

Theme Houses - Theme houses provide opportunities for students with common interests to live together and pursue those interests through organized programs and activities. Currently, the following Theme Houses are available: Air Force ROTC, Army ROTC and Cross Cultural. While there are no academic or major requirements, ROTC Theme Houses requires military affiliation and Cross Cultural Theme House requires residents to live with a roommate from a different country.

House Cabinets - The House System is one of Iowa State's great traditions. Houses of 40 to 60 residents elect a group of officers, called the Cabinet. The 135 House Cabinets take the lead in developing house policies and initiating house activities relevant to the needs and interests of house members.

Residence Hall and Apartment Community Councils - Each residence hall and apartment community has a student government, typically comprised of an executive board and representatives from each house/community. Councils fund and coordinate programs and committees that supplement the total social and educational development of the individual residents.

Inter Residence Hall Association - The Inter Residence Hall Association (IRHA) is composed of representatives from each hall, five Government of the Student Body (GSB) representatives, four at-large representatives, and an executive council. IRHA allocates funds and implements a variety of programs to meet the needs and requests of students in the residence hall system. In addition, IRHA acts as the voice of residence hall students to the university administrative personnel concerning policies, proposals, and regulations. IRHA meets weekly throughout the academic year. IRHA plans and sponsors Fall Fest, Residence Hall Week, the newspaper readership program, leadership conferences, and many other events/activities.

On-Campus Apartments

The on-campus apartments are divided into three communities which remain open year round:

  • Frederiksen Court
  • University Village
  • Schilletter Village

Both Frederiksen Court and University Village house single students and residents must be at least 19 years old or in their second year of college to be eligible to live there. Schilletter Village is considered family housing and is available to any student who is married or in a domestic partner relationship and/or has custody/visitation rights for dependent children; the student's spouse/domestic partner and/or dependent children.

Frederiksen Court - Apartments accommodate four persons of the same gender in either two or four bedrooms. Each apartment is furnished with living room and bedroom furniture and the kitchen has a full-size refrigerator, stove, microwave, dishwasher, and garbage disposal. A washer and dryer are also included in each apartment. Apartment rates include all utilities: electricity, water, garbage pickup, basic phone service, expanded basic cable, and high-speed university Ethernet. The Frederiksen Court Community Center is home to the Frederiksen Court Office, meeting rooms and lounge space, a business center, and the Hawthorn Market and & Café – a retail dining facility that offers hot meals, snacks, beverages, and convenience items.

University Village (UV) - Located in SUV, each apartment accommodates up to two residents of either the same or mixed gender. All apartments contain two bedrooms, one bathroom, a living room, and a kitchen furnished with a cook top, oven, workspace, refrigerator, and sink. The majority of University Village apartments are unfurnished, but a limited number of furnished units are available. Pets are welcome in designated apartments.

Schilletter Village (SV) - Also located in SUV, all apartments contain two bedrooms, one bathroom, a living room, and a kitchen furnished with a cook top, oven, workspace, refrigerator, and sink. Students provide their own furniture and window coverings. Hook-ups for personal washer and dryer are available in the basement of each unit as are private, lockable, storage closets.

For both UV and SV, rates include expanded basic cable television, high-speed Internet connectivity, water, and garbage removal service. Residents pay for their own gas, electricity, and telephone.

The SUV Community Center serves UV and SV and features meeting rooms, lounge space, a community kitchen, and a computer lab. The community also boasts, community gardens, a bike/walking path, several playgrounds, and a central laundry facility.

On-campus Apartment Meal Plan Requirement - Residents of Frederiksen Court, UV, and SV are not required to purchase a meal plan. However many residents in these areas opt to purchase some combination of meals and Dining Dollar$ so they can make purchases in one of the many Dining Centers, Cafes, Restaurants and C-Stores. For information about On-Campus Dining options, please see below.

University Operated Off-Campus Apartments

The DOR desires to provide a residential living experience for all ISU students who wish to live in University provided housing. Due to increasing enrollment, the demand for housing has exceeded the availability of existing on-campus space. As such the University has entered into lease agreements with property managers in the off-campus community. The leased spaces are solely occupied by contracted ISU students and are completely managed and staffed by the DOR. Students assigned to these locations will continue to receive the same student centered, academically focused services and programs that are expected of the on-campus housing experience at ISU. Staffing includes student Community Advisers and live-in, professional Apartment Community Managers. All residents are held to the same policies, procedures, and standards as residents in other DOR housing. Apartments are fully furnished and rates, billed directly to student Ubills, include all utilities.

Fraternities and Sororities

The Greek Community is comprised of over 3,550 undergraduate students in more than 55 chapters. 40 of these organizations have houses which approximately 1,800 undergraduate students call home. The organizations without chapter facilities provide the same scholastic, service and social opportunities for their members. Greek Community houses are an excellent living option. These houses are similar to that of a private residence and include a living room, kitchen, den, laundry, and study area. The average cost of living in a fraternity or sorority house is $3,700 per semester. This cost includes room, board and membership dues.

Men who join a fraternity with a facility may move directly into a fraternity house at the beginning of an academic year. Typically, they continue living there throughout their collegiate career. Women pledging a sorority through the formal recruitment process generally live in the residence halls for the academic year and move into the chapter during the second or third year of their membership.

The staff in the Office of Greek Affairs, a department in the Dean of Students Office, provides advising, programs, and services for Greek organizations. Local alumni work with each fraternity and sorority to ensure that the chapter structure meets all the state and local building, safety, and fire codes that are required with incorporation under the State Law of Iowa and City of Ames.

Off-Campus Student Housing

Off-campus housing information may be obtained through real estate agents, local newspapers, or by contacting individual property managers / owners. Additionally, the DOR has developed the following on-line resource to assist ISU students in their search for off-campus housing:

On-Campus Dining Options

ISU Dining has worked with students to develop a variety of convenient, flexible dining options that fit with the ISU student lifestyle. ISU Dining Semester Meal Plans, Meal Blocks and Dining Dollar$ (DD$) plans are available to students who live both on and off campus.

Semester Meal Plans - Cyclone, Cardinal, Gold, Silver and Bronze – offer a combination of meals and DD$. A set number of meals are allotted each semester so students can vary the meals they eat each week according to their schedule. Meals can be used in all dining centers and, in the form of a meal bundle, at select retail locations. Unused meals expire at the end of the semester. All students who live in Buchanan Hall, Richardson Court or Union Drive are required to purchase a Semester meal plan. These plans are also available to all other ISU students, regardless of where they live.

Yearly Meal Blocks consist of meals, without DD$. Meals can be used in all dining centers and, in the form of a meal bundle, at select retail locations. The meals on these Blocks remain available for the entire academic year (August – May). Unused meals expire at the end of the spring semester. Blocks may be purchased by residents of Wallace and Wilson halls, Frederiksen Court, University Village, Schilletter Village, and any student who lives off-campus.

Dining Dollar$ (DD$) are added to your ISUCard and are a convenient way to pay for snacks and meals. DD$ are available for any ISU student to purchase and can be used in any ISU Dining establishment on campus. DD$ can be added anytime on Access Plus and are billed through your U-Bill. If you purchase $200 or more, discounts apply. All semester-based plans automatically come with an allotment of DD$. Individuals on these plans should only purchase additional DD$ only if their plan DD$ run out. Once DD$ have been issued, they cannot be reduced or refunded. At the end of summer, unused DD$ roll over for use during fall. At the end of fall, unused DD$ roll over for use during spring. At the end of the spring semester, all unused DD$ expire.