Lawther opens, while some halls remain empty



The 11th and 12th floors of Bender Hall are empty this year.


Students of Bender Hall may notice the elevator never going up to the top two floors this year. Due to Lawther Hall finally being able to house 401 students, some of the residence halls have entire floors that are not being occupied. The 11th and 12th floors of Bender are completely vacant.

“I do find it strange, [that nobody lives on the top two floors] only because I lived on the twelfth-floor last year and now no one lives there,” says Haley Bunnell, sophomore deciding major and Bender Hall resident.

Lawther’s closing reduced the available housing for students. Now that Lawther has reopened, an influx of available housing has led to an abundance of housing options on campus.

“Although classes have already started, students are still enrolling in fall classes and contracting for housing – which is not unusual for this time of the year,” said Glenn Gray, assitant vice president and executive director of residence.

Because students are still filing into the residence halls, the occupancy data is currently not available. The department of residence still expects one-third of students enrolled at UNI to live on campus.

“Spaces not occupied by students are also used for guest and conference housing, which generates additional revenue to help keep housing costs down for students” Gray said.

Even though the space is empty, security and policing protocols are always in effect for safety purposes.

A resident is able to access the top two floors, but all rooms, as well as the lounge, are locked and are not accessible.

“One thing the Department of Residence could do to make resident halls other than Lawther better would be to add air conditioning to the buildings,” said Gabrielle Hoversten,   sophomore accounting major.  “Maybe then, more people would want to live there!”

This might be a wish fulfilled for students like Hoversten.

“Having Lawther Hall open again for student occupancy presents the opportunity to explore other housing related priorities and possibilities going forward, such as renovating Jennings Court apartments, razing Hillside Court apartments, enhancing ROTH to better serve nontraditional and graduate students, developing programmatic opportunities for second-year students in Lawther Hall and Panther Village, and/or replacing Campbell Hall,” Gray said.

According to Gray, “Students who live on campus fare better academically and more often attain a college degree.”