Dozens of UI students living three to a room as dorm overcrowding continues

The University of Iowa's overcrowding problem
Cranes hang over the University of Iowa’s west campus in late 2013. — photo by Phil Roeder

As of Aug. 28, 144 students in Slater Hall were living in what the University of Iowa refers to as “expanded housing,” according to Von Stange, senior director of university housing and dining. Expanded housing, in plain English, refers to less-than-ideal, crowded living situations.

As of last week, 29 of Slater Hall’s “double” rooms (11′-11″ x 17′-4″ as compared to 9′-8″ x 16′-10″ for a “single”) were housing three students each, and another 57 students were living in lounges throughout the building. Students living three to a room not only lose out on privacy, but personal space as well, as additional beds and furniture take up valuable real estate. The lack of space in university housing is due, at least in part, to this year’s record-setting expected incoming freshman class size.

Slater Floor Plan
Dozens of students are living three-to-a-room in Slater Hall. — graphic via the University of Iowa

While Stange says some of those students may have been moved into permanent, non-overcrowded housing since the end of last week, he doesn’t have a firm timeline or schedule for getting them all moved.

“As we find vacancies we will move people from all extended housing to permanent space,” Stange said. “We have expanded housing in Slater, Rienow, Stanley and Daum so we have to work within all those buildings.”

According to Stange, most of the rooms becoming available now were previously reserved for students who signed up for classes and never showed up. While situations like those will help to alleviate some of the housing issues, some students are going to be left to live with the current conditions until others decide to leave the university. As a trade-off, students living in expanded housing pay a reduced rate.

“I don’t know how long it’s going to be,” Stange said. “It’s possible that some students may spend the entire semester in expanded housing, but they may not as well. It depends on how many students we get into permanent space, and what the attrition is throughout the course of the semester.”

Whether this will happen again next year is unclear. The UI’s Petersen Hall, currently under construction across the street from Slater Hall, will open in the fall of 2015. As incoming freshman classes continue to grow, however, UI officials are unsure as to whether the new residence hall will alleviate the school’s overcrowding woes.

“It all depends upon what the first year class looks like at the university,” Stange said. “If it looks the same as this year, I would think with the new residence hall that we would be in reasonably good shape and not need as much expanded housing, if any at all. If the first-year class size is larger, then we may be in a similar situation.”

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »


Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!


July 2020 marks Little Village’s 19th anniversary. With our community of readers alongside us, we’ll be ready for what the next 19 have in store.



$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.