The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

UI officials say dorm space will be temporarily limited for returning students after Mayflower sale

The University of Iowa has explored the official sale of the residence hall, and is making plans for additional housing.
Kathy Le
Mayflower Residence Hall is seen in Iowa City on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2023.

As the University of Iowa nears one year since Mayflower Residence Hall was put on the market, UI officials said on-campus housing for returning students will be limited in the interim period after its sale.

Despite possibly losing space for 1,032 residents, UI public relations manager Chris Brewer said limited campus housing won’t be an issue for incoming first-year students in the fall. Students who want to live in a dorm past their first year on campus, however, will have limited residence hall housing options.

“We will be able to house all first-year students who wish to live in the halls and meet the prescribed deadlines,” Brewer said.

The decision to sell Mayflower was announced last February after approval from the Iowa Board of Regents. The property was listed on in June at a value of $45 million.

The UI found that when students applied for housing, Mayflower was always the last residence hall chosen and first transferred from among first-year students.

Rod Lehnertz, UI senior vice president of finance and operations, said last August that first-year students in Mayflower were reported to have the lowest grade point averages compared to their peers in other dorms.

The UI’s Office of Strategic Communication issued a statement in February 2023 that stated it is more advantageous for students not to live in Mayflower because of its distance from on-campus dining halls.

“Building a new residence hall, planned for university-owned property within the east side residence hall neighborhood, will bring more students to the central campus and provide easier access to campus dining at nearby Burge and Catlett,” the statement said.

Brewer said the UI Housing and Dining team is developing a plan to withdraw the use of the residence hall, but the plan is subject to change depending on the terms and conditions of any potential sale.

Lehnertz previously said the possible sale is subject to change at any time.

“It’s an open period where questions, tours, other things can happen, and then they can put together plans or ideas or proposals for us,” Lehnertz said. “What we’re working on right now is not a specific hard date for finishing that, but a continued assessment by the real estate agent with us.”

Brewer said all returning students have an equal opportunity for on-campus housing while plans are still being worked out.

“We are committed to housing returning students who apply for housing by the published deadlines,” Brewer said. “Returning students who are eligible to live in the residence halls should apply for housing by Feb. 1.”

RELATED: Mayflower Residence Hall could be sold within month, realtor predicts

UI officials are also discussing the construction of a new dorm, open primarily to returning students, which would be the only one of its kind on campus. Although potential sites have been proposed, no official announcement has been made regarding its location.

The UI Undergraduate Student Government created renters guides and other resources for returning students to assist them in finding housing.

“For the immediate future, our city liaisons have continued to advocate for student housing at the city level and we recommend student renters to check out the Renter’s Guide, which has useful renting information,” USG Director of Governmental Relations Keaton Zeimet said. “The University also plans on using money from a Mayflower sale to invest in housing-specific capital improvements, eventually improving the on-campus housing experience to be better than it is today.”

In the meantime, however, Lehnertz said previously that on-campus housing for all returning students isn’t definite.

“We have capacity to house all of our first-year students without Mayflower and some returning students, just not as many as we have,” Lehnertz said.

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About the Contributors
Grace Olson
Grace Olson, News Reporter
Grace Olson is a first-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications. She's a news reporter for The DI, reporting primarily on local government. She is from Denver, Colorado and worked on the pirnt publication from her high school prior to her work in college.
Kathy Le, Photojournalist
Kathy Le is a fourth-year student at The University of Iowa majoring in 3D design and Art History. This is her first year working as a photojournalist of Daily Iowan.