One of the most common questions we hear is, "What should I bring with me to college?" This is a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer to bring very little while others bring two cars packed to the roof. Two things to remember are 1) you won't be living alone and 2) storage is very limited. In other words, don't bring too much.

For each student, residence hall rooms will be furnished with a bed, mattress, desk, desk chair, dresser and wardrobe/closet. Beds in Pauley-Rorem doubles are twin mattresses and the beds are built into the wall.  Beds at the Sleep Inn are queen. All other beds on campus have extra long twin beds that are movable and stackable. Rooms are also furnished with a mirror and window coverings.

Following is a list of items that may be helpful in determining your personal needs. This list not comprehensive, and is intended as a guide to get you started.

Provided items

Rooms are issued standard furniture which can vary depending on which hall you live in.  Every room has two desks with chairs and two beds. Every room also has closet space (either as a built-in closet or as a free-standing wardrobe unit). Dows and Tarr also have desk toppers that have a shelf and a small light built in.  Pauley-Rorem has permanently bunked beds, desks, and chairs.  In Pfeiffer, each room has two 3-drawer dressers and two bookshelves.

The dimensions of the furniture are as follows (again, note that not every type of furniture listed below is provided in each room):

  • Desk: 36"W, 24"D, 29"H
  • Desk Topper: 34"W, 12"D, 29"H
  • Dresser: 36"W, 24"D, 29"H
  • Book Shelf: 34"W, 12"D, 29"H
  • Desk Chair: 19"W, 22"D, 33"H
  • Bed Frame: 84"L, 41"W, 29"H
  • Mattress: 81"L, 37"W, 8"H

Necessary items

  • Study lamp (the extra lighting will reduce eye strain)
  • Alarm clock
  • Extra long twin sheet set(s), mattress pad, blankets, bedspread and pillow(s); refer to our information on residence hall linens for more details
  • Towels
  • Laundry detergent for high efficiency (HE) machines
  • Toiletries (a bath caddy is useful)
  • Laundry hamper and/or basket
  • Wire clothes hangers (they are less bulky, and the more you hang the less you have to fold and attempt to cram into drawers)
  • Your health/medical insurance card (carry this in your wallet)
  • Prescription medication if you take it (for convenience, many students choose to have their physician transfer their prescriptions to Shepley Pharmacy in Mount Vernon at 319-895-6248)
  • Important telephone numbers such as your family physician and your insurance company
  • A trash can for your room (and trash bags to fit in that can)
  • Cleaning supplies for your room
  • Fall and winter clothes, jackets and shoes (although it's hot when you get here, the temperature will start to get colder by the end of Block 1)
  • Photo ID, driver's license, state ID card, or passport for identification purposes (If you plan to work on or off campus, you will also need your original Social Security Card, birth certificate, or US passport)

Useful items

  • Telephone (there is one telephone jack per room)
  • Refrigerator no larger than 4.3 cubic feet to keep fruit and sodas in your room for late-night snacking
  • Plants, posters, photos of family and friends and other decorative items to make your room feel like home; photos also let your new friends see who you are talking about
  • Stereo (small and compact)
  • Television and DVD player
  • Fan (very useful Blocks 1 and 8, or if you like your room cooler)
  • Computer and printer (check out ResNet for more information)
  • Throw rugs or small carpet
  • A broom and dust pan, or small vacuum cleaner if you plan to have carpet in your room (a full-size vacuum is available in most residence halls for checkout from the front desk)
  • UL approved surge protector power strips (with circuit breaker) as outlets will be at a premium in many residence hall rooms
  • Flashlight
  • Plates, cups and silverware
  • A sleeping bag for retreats
  • A way to carry your ID and keys (wherever you go on campus, you'll need to carry both)
  • A backpack to carry your books, notebooks and any other provisions for class each day (if you bring a laptop computer, make sure your backpack is equipped to carry the computer)
  • Headphones for your stereo, computer and TV to help keep the peace with your roommate and neighbors
  • A simple first aid kit for minor scrapes and cuts
  • Tissues (it's a long hike to the bathroom when you just need to blow your nose)
  • Slippers (your residence hall is your home and nobody wears shoes; we don't want your feet to get cold, though)
  • A pair of shoes that can get trashed (great for Service Day as well as afternoon walks at Palisades Kepler State Park)
  • As many snacks as you can get out of your parents
  • Video games, board games, cards, a Frisbee, football, basketball, etc. (we don't expect you to study all the time!)
  • Some of the residence halls have self closing doors, so a small brick or door stop to prop your door open is another useful item; you'll want to have your door open occasionally to get a breeze and to meet new people!

Prohibited items

  • Microwaves (they have the potential to overload circuits); all kitchens have microwaves
  • Personal room air conditioners
  • Halogen lamps (they are a fire hazard)
  • Open coil appliances such as space heaters or toasters
  • Extension cords (without circuit breakers)
  • Pets other than fish (and if you bring fish, you should bring something for them to live in too)
  • Candles or incense
  • Permanent adhesives and nails
  • Street or highway signs (it's illegal to possess them in Iowa)
  • Weapons, firearms, fireworks, or explosives

We recommend that you talk to your roommate when you are planning what to bring to campus. It is strongly recommended to have only one television and one stereo per room. College policy limits residents to one refrigerator per room. Keep in mind that college-owned furniture may not be removed from your room. Mattresses, desks and dressers must be incorporated into your room layout.