First-Year Student Information
Welcome New Students!
- Does Luther have a residential policy?
- How are new students assigned roommates and to rooms?
- What should I do if I have a roommate request?
- When do I receive my housing assignment letter?
- What are my room dimensions and can I see my room during the summer?
- When do I move into my residence hall?
- What comes in a residence hall room?
- What should I bring?
- What should I leave at home?
- Are the residence halls air conditioned?
- Can I build a loft in my room?
- Who can I go to in the residence halls if I have a question?
- What activities are provided on campus and in the residence halls?
- What are my cable TV options?
- Where can I do my laundry?
- Where can my friends and family send me mail?
- Do the residence halls have kitchens?
- Where can I find an RA or check out equipment?
- When are quiet hours?
- What are the intervisitation hours in the residence halls?
- Can I smoke on campus?
- Can you have alcohol on campus?
- If I like to hunt, where can I store my equipment?
- Where can I store my bike?
- Can I bring a car to campus?
- What about insurance coverage for my belongings?
- What about security in the residence halls?
- Do the residence hall doors lock at night?
- Are there emergency phones on campus?
- Can I stay in my room during campus breaks?
- What should I do if I need something fixed in my room?
- What happens if I don't get along with my roommate?
- Where do I eat?
- What are Dining Dollars?
- What is NordiCash?
- What happens to my admission deposit/continuing enrollment deposit?
- Can I access my statement of account on-line?
- Is a local checking account necessary?
- What about books?
- How can I get around Decorah if I don't have a car?
- How does the bike share program work?
As a residential college, we require all full-time students to live in college-owned housing unless married, of nontraditional age (23 years or older), or commuting from their legal guardians' homes. Off-campus living is limited and permitted for upper class students only when there is a shortage of rooms in college residence halls. Students must get approval to live off-campus. Plan on living on campus for your entire career at Luther College.
All new and transfer students are asked to complete a housing application. Based on your responses to the housing application, we assign you with an individual(s) who appears to share interests and have living habits similar to yours. Therefore, it is important that the student fill out the housing application honestly. Once the housing application is received in the Residence Life office, the date it is received is noted. Preference for building placement is considered by the date in which the application is received.
Your roommate(s) will play an important part in your life on campus. Please contact your roommate(s) for next year as soon as you receive your housing assignment letter. Communication is the key to a successful roommate relationship. Residents living in the first-year halls will be asked to complete a roommate contract at the beginning of the year to initiate those open lines of communication.
If a student wishes to live with someone specific, both persons must request each other on their housing application or notify the Residence Life office. Roommate requests must be received by the end of June.
Roommate assignments are mailed out the last few days of July for the fall semester.
Once you receive your housing assignment letter you can find your room dimensions located on the residence life website by clicking on residence halls and the name of your building. You are also welcome to visit your room before classes begin by contacting the Residence Life office ahead of time to set up a tour.
First year and transfer students may arrive on campus between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on the Saturday prior to the first day of classes. Students participating in the First-Year Immersion program and student athletes participating in fall athletics will receive specific information about early arrivals such as date, time, and check-in location from their coach or program director.
- Bed frame and twin extra-long mattress
- Desk chair
- Closet or clothes wardrobe
- Curtains or blinds
- Cable and Internet access with basic cable television service included in the room fee
- Each room has one telephone number assigned to the room. Individual phone numbers and voice mail can be requested through contacting the Help Desk at email@example.com or by calling (563) 387-1000. Students may use calling cards and cell phones to make long distance calls. Any phone problems should to be reported to the Help Desk.
Because you'll be sharing a rather small space with others, it's best to limit the items you bring with you. For many of these items, it's a good idea to contact roommates about what they are bringing in order to avoid duplication in the room.
Suggestions for what to bring include: (some items are essential; others are not):
- Linens (80-inch twin XL sheets, pillowcases, pillows, blankets, comforter, mattress pad). Residents should purchase extra long (80") twin bedding as all college mattresses are extra long (80") twin.
- Laundry bag or basket
- Desk items
- Ironing board
- Clothes hangers
- Alarm clock
- Desk lamp
- 3.2 (or less) cubic-foot refrigerator (one per room). Refrigerator rental is also available from the Luther College Entrepreneurship Club. They can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Floor coverings (rugs, carpets)
- Small fan
- Bulletin board
- Plastic drawer storage units
- "Cushy" chair
- Laundry detergent/softener
- Favorite sports equipment
- Shower caddy and flip flops for the shower
- 3M Command Adhesive Strips/hooks (poster size) or poster putty
- One UL approved surge protector with 6 or less outlets
- Computer and cable TV cords
- Markers, tape, scissors
- First-aid kit that includes: ibuprofen, thermometer, band aids, cold remedies
- Sewing kit/safety pins
- Pets (except fish; no piranhas)
- Extension cords, multiple plug adapters and surge protectors with more than 6 outlets
- Alcohol (if you're under 21) or alcoholic containers for display
- Candles and incense (prohibited for safety reasons)
- Microwaves and air conditioners (they overload our electrical circuits)
- Toasters, toaster ovens, electric skillets, hotplates, George Foreman grills, space heaters, and other electrical appliances with exposed heating coils (fire hazard)
- Guns, knives, fireworks, and other weapons
- Wireless routers
- Heated blankets/bedding
- Duct tape, masking tape, nails, or thumbtacks intended for hanging wall items
- Halogen lamps and multiple head spider lamps. These types of lamps are particularly prone to starting fires. These types of lamps are not only prone to tipping, but may readily ignite objects such as curtains, bedding, lofts, or clothes if placed under or near them. Please leave halogen and spider lamps at home.
The residence halls which house first-year students (Brandt, Olson, and Ylvisaker halls) do not have central air conditioning. Students may cool their rooms through the use of window fans. Students requiring air conditioning for clearly documented health reasons should contact the Disability Services Office at 563-387-1470. All upper class halls are air conditioned except Larsen and Olson Halls.
Brandt Hall, Olson Hall, and Larsen Hall come with all of the materials that you need to loft your bed, so leave the tool kits at home. Ylvisaker Hall beds can be bunked, but may not be lofted. All other halls on campus have furniture that can be lofted with the materials provided, no homemade lofts are allowed in any residence hall. All college-provided furniture must stay in the residence hall rooms.
A professional Residence Life staff member oversees each residence hall. Hall Directors and Area Coordinators (professional staff who oversee more than one building) are trained professional staff who manage Resident Assistants (RAs), adjudicate disciplinary conduct issues, act as a liaison with facilities management, and promote positive living-learning environments. Professional staff members are assisted by trained student staff who live in each hall and assist with administrative tasks.Hall directors are full-time, live-in professionals who supervise the student staff, manage the day-to-day operations of the residence halls, and assist students with personal, academic, and college transition issues.
Assistant Hall Directors are experienced student staff members who help supervise the buildings, act as liaisons between the hall director and resident assistant staff, and assist the hall director in their hall duties.
Resident Assistants (RAs) are selected and trained student leaders who assist residents by peer counseling, advising, resolving conflicts, providing programs and assisting in orientation to collegiate life. RAs play a key role in creating an environment for students that is conducive to academic, personal, and social growth and development. RAs are friends, resources, mentors, role models, and community leaders.
Students have numerous social opportunities available to them: RAs provide monthly activities to build community and friendships among floor members; Student Activities Council offers films, comedians, concerts, dances, and lectures each weekend; Recreational Sports offers countless intramural sports activities for all levels of competition. And the Performing Arts Committee presents a full-year concert series with traveling professional artists. Residence halls also have recreational equipment (volleyball court, ping-pong, foosball, billiards, air hockey, board games, etc.) unique to each building.
Basic cable is provided in each room as part of the room and board costs, students must bring their own cable cords. Service is provided through Mediacom. Cable service provides over 50 local and cable channels (including Discovery©, TLC©, BET©, ESPN©, ESPN2©, TCM©, History©, Golf©, Comedy Central©, CSPAN©, CSPAN2©, and several foreign language channels, to name only a few). Students may also purchase premium channels by contacting Mediacom at (563) 382-3560.
Laundry facilities are located in each residential building. Brandt Hall, Ylvisaker Hall, Norby House, and the Towers have card activated laundry machines. Residents in these buildings should purchase a laundry card from the card machine located in the Dahl Centennial Union. Coin operated machines are located in the rest of the campus residence halls. The cost per load is $1.00 to wash and 50 cents to dry. Ironing boards are not available in the residence halls. Students must provide their own laundry detergent, dryer sheets, iron, etc.
Letters and packages mailed to you should be addressed as follows:
700 College Drive SPO # (box number)
Decorah, IA 52101
Specific SPO information can be found at my.luther.edu. All mail and package deliveries for students are received in Dahl Centennial Union Mail Center.
Each residence hall is equipped with a kitchen that includes a microwave, stove, sink, and refrigerator. Microwaves are not permitted in student rooms. A small amount of pans are available in each residence hall to checkout from the service centers.
The RAs in each residence hall staff a service center area where students may check out a number of useful items, including: vacuums, mops, brooms, pans, games, and pool/ping pong equipment. The service centers are open each evening from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Quiet hours are from 11 p.m. to 11 a.m. each day. During quiet hours, noise should not be audible outside of a resident's room with the room door closed. All students are expected to respect other students' rights to study and sleep free from interruptions. Courtesy hours exist at all other times. Simply stated, you need to respect requests from other students to keep all noise down to an acceptable level.
Students in all residence halls may be on floors assigned to the opposite sex between 8 a.m. and 2 a.m. on weekdays (Sun - Thurs). On weekends (Fri and Sat), the visitation hours (8 a.m. - 2 a.m.) will remain in effect for students living in designated first-year areas. For individuals living in areas not designated for first-year students, open visitation will exist on Friday and Saturday nights.
Although the college has established visitation hours, a student's right to study, sleep and exercise control over his/her personal space takes precedence over the right to host guests. The Residence Life office/Student Life office will actively intervene if conflicts arise between roommates with respect to the inter visitation policy.
In accordance with the State of Iowa Smoke-free Air Act in 2008, smoking is prohibited in all college owned buildings, vehicles, and on all campus grounds. This includes recreational facilities, athletic facilities, and parking lots.
Alcohol possession and consumption is allowed in residence hall rooms only by those students who are 21 years of age or older.
Ammunition and weapons may not be kept in student rooms. Students who wish to have a weapon for hunting purposes must store the weapon and ammunition with the Decorah Police Department at (563) 382-3667.
Bicycles may be kept in the bicycle racks located outside of each hall. Bicycles should not be stored in student rooms. To help promote the use of bicycles as an alternative forms of transportation, Luther offers free winter storage for bicycles. Bikes are placed in secure, dry storage in the Ashmore-Jewell Barn. The barn will be open for two day in November to accept bikes; students can retrieve bikes on two days in spring.
Both full-time and part-time students planning to have a motor vehicle on campus must register and purchase a sticker for their vehicle from the Welcome Center Information Desk at the beginning of the year. Parking regulations are enforced; please be sure to read and follow them.
Staff members in the halls work hard to provide a safe environment for students. The reality, however, is that the halls are only as safe as you help to make them. Make sure to lock your room door, don't prop open outside doors, and report suspicious behavior to the residence hall staff or security officer.
Luther College does not carry insurance on personal property of students and is not responsible for loss of or damage to such property, including property stored in any storage spaces. Students use these spaces at their own risk. The college will not be held responsible for any property of students left in or delivered to the residence halls. It is strongly encouraged that students check their family insurance for coverage and, if necessary, purchase personal property insurance from a reliable private company.
Luther College has professional security staff members on duty 24 hour per day, 365 days each year. There is also a telephone operator at the Union switchboard from 7 a.m. to midnight each night of the week. Resident Assistants perform duty rounds in their halls to ensure safety in each building.
Outside doors to all residence halls are locked 24/7. Students' ID cards allow them access to any residence hall from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and to their own building during all other hours. Phones are located near access doors in each building.
Emergency telephones are located in several parking lots across campus in case of an emergency. Please note their location when arriving on campus.
Students are not permitted to remain in the residence halls during the two official college breaks (Christmas break and spring break). For the safety of students, the buildings are locked during these breaks and students do not have access to their rooms or possessions.
Students who need to be on campus at any time during these two breaks are expected to register with the Residence Life office and to make their own arrangements for housing in one of the following buildings: Miller Hall, Dieseth Hall, Baker Village, College Apartments, Norby House, the Sustainability House and all three Prairie Houses. Students who live in these buildings may stay in their own rooms. All other students approved to remain on campus must find someone who lives in one of the named buildings to stay with.
During all other academic breaks, residence halls will remain locked for student safety, but will be accessible at all times to residents assigned to those buildings with their building access key or ID card swipe.
If you need to report a maintenance concern to the facilities management staff, simply go to facilities.luther.edu and click on "fixit" to send a request.
Most roommate matches work out well. Some do not. Students who wish to move to different rooms should talk with their RAs first. The staff will try to help you and your roommate(s) work out your differences. Typically, roommate conflicts arise as a result of communication problems, and the staff will help facilitate open dialog. This process may take awhile; developing open communication does not always occur quickly.
After students have made a good faith effort toward resolving the conflicts, room switches may be available. These moves may also involve a wait depending on the availability of housing or the individual's particular preferences for their new roommate(s). No room changes will occur before October 1 of every academic year.
Dining Services is pleased to provide all students and their guests balanced meals at reasonable costs. The cafeteria provides 20 meals per week. Besides eating in the cafeteria with these plans, board transfers are available in Marty's and Oneota Market at selected hours on weekdays when classes are in session, and Peace Dining Room for brunch on selected Sundays. Students can also eat in the Sunnyside Café. Flexible meal plans are available through Dining Services.
Enjoy our "all you can eat" food court. You will find several food stations: three traditional (one frequently serving grilled items or a stir fry to order); pasta; deli; a forty-item salad bar; cereal bar; and a soup station with one vegetarian soup daily. Additional vegetarian options are available at several of the stations. We also offer dessert, fresh fruit, Belgian waffles, ice cream, and our fresh, homemade Luther College bagels. See http://caf.luther.edu for the cafeteria menu.
Dining Dollars can be used at any dining facility on campus. Access to this money is obtained with your student ID card. When used in the cafeteria, a 10 percent discount is given. At the end of the academic year, Dining Dollars do not roll over to the next academic year, nor do students receive a refund on unused Dining Dollars.
NordiCash could be considered similar to a debit card but can only be used at specified locations on Luther’s campus for "cashless" purchases. Students pre-deposit money onto their account at the Financial Services office which is located in Main. Then using their ID card, students can make purchases in: Marty's, Oneota, Sunnyside Café, Marty's C-Store, the cafeteria, Book Shop, Document Center, Mail Center, and Luther's box office. Students cannot withdraw any cash from NordiCash. Any unused funds are returned to the student when they graduate or withdraw from Luther.
The deposit paid at the time of commitment to Luther is used to pay for such things as library fines, traffic fines, or any unpaid fees. At the end of the school year, returning students will receive credit on their accounts for any unused student deposit balances. This credit will be applied toward the costs of the following year. Graduates and other non-returning students will be refunded the unused student deposit balance by check during June. Returning students are required to pay a continuing enrollment deposit on April 1 each year prior to registering for fall classes.
Yes. To access your statement of account, go to http://my.luther.edu/, log in using your user ID and Norse Key, and select the Students menu. Then select Web Statement of Account. The statement of account will appear in the same format as the printed statements you are currently receiving. You will be able to view cash receipts, monthly payment plans, and work credit plans as soon as they are processed. Any changes to your statement of account, caused by revisions to your financial aid, will also be available for immediate viewing. Please consult the help screen for more information about the web statement of account. The help screen includes information about the printing or emailing of the statement of account.
It is not necessary, but some students have a local account just for convenience. Most local businesses will accept out-of-town checks with the student’s Luther ID. The Luther Book Shop will cash checks up to $25. The Office for Financial Services, open to students from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday – Friday, will cash checks up to $150. The OFS will also open a student bank account for students; the account does not accrue interest. An automatic teller machine (ATM) is located in the Dahl Centennial Union. It provides access to American Express, VISA, Discover, Shazam, Decorah Bank & Trust, Mastercard, Maestro, Cirrus, Quest, and Plus.
The cost of books averages about $455 per semester. New,used, and some rental books are available through the Luther Book Shop. Returning students also sell many of their used texts. Please see the Book Shop website for more information about the purchase or rental of textbooks, including the textbook reservation process.
The Decorah shopping shuttle provides a bi-monthly service for students to complete their shopping needs without having to use a personal vehicle. Each month, one weekday evening and one weekend afternoon shuttle will take students to downtown Decorah and Wal-Mart and return to Luther approximately one hour later.
For complete information, including shuttle schedule and on-line registration, visit the Decorah shopping shuttle page.
The Luther College Bike Share Program provides 5, single-speed coaster brake bikes and 3 multiple-speed bikes free to the Luther community. Bikes and helmets may be checked out at the circulation desk in Preus Library for up to four hours per day. Bikes must be returned to the library by closing time; the regular operational hours for the library vary.