Opinion | Mayflower’s sale will benefit us

With Mayflower’s sale set to close the dorm in 2024, the new building set to replace it can create a more sociable environment for students.


Emily Nyberg

Mayflower Residence Hall is seen on Tuesday Feb. 14, 2023.

Chris Klepach, Opinions Columnist

It’s time to let go of Mayflower.

Mayflower Residence Hall is famous for late student-housing requests and long bus waiting times. It is also well-known for its lofty accommodations that justify its hefty price. As a former Mayflower resident, that was my experience.

On Feb. 14, the University of Iowa Office of Strategic Communication made a post announcing the sale of Mayflower and plans for a new building to accommodate incoming students. This building will be located on the east side of campus.

This will improve dining hall accessibility for many students. Sarah Hansen, vice president of student life, emphasized the importance of dining hall accessibility in an Iowa Now post.

“Offering central campus dining encourages students to make connections and develop relationships with each other and decreases isolation,” Hansen wrote in the press release. “Especially for first-year students.”

The post continues, describing Mayflower’s lack of popularity.

“Primarily because of its distance from [the] main campus, Mayflower is consistently the least-requested residence hall by students and has the most students who leave to move into another hall,” the article stated. “By moving more students to the main campus, the university aims to increase first- to second-year retention rates.”

I never saw Mayflower as an important dorm hall. It has nice amenities, with its spacious rooms and private bathrooms and kitchens. However, it had been my last choice. I had been late signing up for the dorm building that my older brother recommended, and I’m not the only student that’s been late to class because of Mayflower’s distance. This will be fixed with the UI’s plans to build the new dorm closer to campus.

The price-point was steep, too. For a semester’s stay at a double, it could cost $4,254. For comparison, a double at Hillcrest Residence Hall can cost $3,803. I paid a lot of money for a bathroom shared between my suitemates and a kitchen that was rarely used. For a late housing-choice to result in more expensive living is an inconvenience.

It will benefit both students and the UI’s budget by selling Mayflower and building a new dormitory on the east side of campus. That’s not to say that it won’t be a tough adjustment for many students.

Gabe Postacchini, a freshman majoring in computer science and math, said he will miss Mayflower.

“I feel like they should get rid of Parklawn first instead of Mayflower,” Postacchini said. “I’m kind of upset. I would keep it if I was the person in charge.”

Postacchini said he will miss Mayflower because it is a close student community.

“A lot of people I’m friends with live here. It’s really cool to have your own little community away from school even though you’re still living in the dorms,” Postacchini said. “It’s [also] just nice to have your own kitchen and bathroom, and I think that should be an option for some students.”

Denver Penning, a freshman majoring in accounting, will miss the suite-styled rooms offered at Mayflower.

“I think that there is already a housing shortage, especially involving freshmen, also it’s kind of nice to have suite rooms,” Penning said. “Taking away that kind of option I don’t think is a great idea. The shared bathroom and kitchen is what makes Mayflower, Mayflower.”

Whether or not the new dorm will provide similar amenities to Currier and the other dorms on campus or if it will continue to be a living space with the luxuries of its predecessor is yet to be known.

What matters most is that with a hopefully timely construction of a new dorm, students will have easier access to the dining halls and their classes.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.