Students moved to Panther Village following the shutdown of residence halls

EMMA'LE MAAS, Staff Writer

Following the announcement of communal halls being closed, including most residence halls, many UNI students moved out of their dorms and back home until fall semester. However, students did get the option to apply to stay on campus as well, as long as it was done in a timely manner. Students who chose to remain on campus were asked to fill out a short online survey to determine if they qualified. Following their confirmation, students were then shortly moved to Panther Village.

“They had us stay where we were at first, and I stayed [in Campbell Hall] for about 4-5 days before they moved me. I think most people stayed where they were for a week and a half,” junior leisure youth and human services major Laura Stanish said. 

Reasons why students chose to stay on campus varied, however, Stanish said about her experience, “I chose to stay on campus because I have an internship in Cedar Falls, and when UNI requested we left the dorms I wasn’t sure what that internship would look like. The environment in Cedar Falls seemed better both financially and academically.”

As for why the university chose Panther Village to consolidate students who remained on campus, there has been no official statement. However, Stanish has a few ideas of her own.

“I’m assuming for […] the bathrooms, since it’s such a big germ hosting area. The way they did it is that there are no people who have to share a bathroom. There’s only 2 roommates in a room if there is a roommate at all,” Stanish said.

Although a room contract for Panther Village is more expensive than the traditional dorms, students who chose to remain on campus had no increase in their current contracts when moved. 

Stanish has positive feelings about the change, describing it as “a best-case scenario for a worst-case scenario.” The only difference that sometimes gets to her is the environment.

“It’s very quiet, as expected,” she said. “It’s very quiet and still, kind of eerie but relaxed. I walk around campus sometimes and it’s a little weird because I’m used to seeing people hammocking and sitting outside or walking around.”

Nonetheless, Stanish does prefer class life before.

 “I really miss seeing people in classes,” she said. “I was at a good point in the semester where I had friends in every class, and I miss that.” 

As of April 24, university students are still expected to return to residence halls by the fall 2020 semester.