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Residence Life FAQs

Emily with laptop


When are quiet hours in the residence halls?

Quiet hours for the residence halls are Sunday through Thursday 10 p.m. – 9 a.m. and Friday & Saturday 12 a.m. – 9 a.m. During holiday breaks or days off, weekend hours will be employed if a class day is not following.

What are the meal plan options?

All students can choose between the 10, 14, & 19 meal plans. Residents of Catherine Dunn Apartments and the graduate student letterwing also have the option of selecting a 75 meal (per semester) block plan.

What can I decorate my room with?

Feel free to add your personal touch to your half of the room, but when hanging posters, pictures, etc., use only adhesive picture hangers or a special poster tape (the brand 3M generally causes the least amount of damage). Nails tacks, plastic tape or adhesive tape that will damage walls, woodwork, doors, furniture or fixtures are prohibited. Displays of offensive or suggestive materials, scantily clad people, drug paraphernalia, illegal street signs or alcoholic beverage signs are not permitted in public areas including doors and hallway walls. Signs may not be placed in room windows. Collections of alcohol bottles and cans are not permitted.

What about candles?

As Clarke has experienced a fire in the last 100 years, we are serious about fire safety. For reasons of health and safety candles, incense and other open flames are not allowed in the residence halls. Candles may be displayed if the wicks are removed. We encourage students to incorporate other forms of scent enhancement, such as reed diffusers, air fresheners, etc.

Can I have a pet?

Only fish are allowed and must be in a tank that is 10 gallons or less.

Can I smoke in the Residence Halls?

Clarke University observes the State of Iowa Smoke-Free Air Act effective July 1, 2008, which requires that smoking be banned on all property of public and private colleges/universities in the state. Smoking of tobacco or non-tobacco products is not allowed in any of the residence halls, nor is it allowed on Clarke University property.

Is alcohol allowed?

Alcohol is not allowed for students who live in Mary Josita and Mary Benedict Halls, regardless of age. Alcohol can be in the personal room of students in the Apartment or Mary Frances hall who are 21 years of age or older. However, possession and consumption are limited to rooms/apartments where all residents are 21 years of age or older. Residents are held responsible for their behavior while under the influence and will be held accountable for their actions if they break campus rules or city/state rules off campus while under the influence.

Does tobacco-free mean I can’t chew?

While residents are permitted to have chewing tobacco in the residence halls, policy prohibits the use of chewing tobacco. This includes items like spit cups/bottles, etc. that would be used to actively ‘chew’ tobacco in the residence halls.


Is there internet in every room?

High Speed Internet connectivity is available in every student room. Wireless access and two data jacks are available in double rooms. Although all rooms have wireless internet, it is wise to bring an Ethernet patch if you wish to physically connect your device to the network. Patch cords should be at least 10 feet long.

What are my cable options?

Cable TV Available in These Locations:

Mary Ben Hall – Lion’s Den, Formal Lounge, and the lounges on each floor
Mary Josita Hall – In the lounges as follows: 2nd, 3rd, 4th floor, Graduate Letter Wing, Foley, and the Wellness Center Cardio Room
Mary Frances Hall – 3rd floor lounge
Student Activity Center – Café 1843 seating area, Kehl Terrance, and game room
Stoltz Wing – Multicultural Center

Of course, if your family subscribes to CATV/satellite service at home, you can still use those credentials to stream that content while on campus.  Please check with your family and content provider on how to stream their service.

If you choose, you may purchase Mediacom CATV service for your room, directly from Mediacom. Please do not purchase internet service bundle with your CATV and setup your own Wi-Fi, it will interfere with your neighbor’s Wi-Fi and cause problems for everyone.

Are the residence halls air-conditioned?

Mary Josita Hall, Mary Benedict Hall, and Mary Frances Hall are not air-conditioned.  The Apartment Complex, however, does have air conditioning. Students requiring an air conditioner due to medical conditions will need to submit documentation from their medical provider stating their medical condition and how an air conditioner would enhance their medical treatment protocol. The physician’s letter or note will then be reviewed by an appropriate professional at Clarke (Health Services, Counseling Center, etc.) and a recommendation will be forwarded to Residence Life.  Due to the age of the building and the type of windows, air conditioning units are not compatible with all rooms in Mary Frances.

Is there storage on campus?

Storage for on-campus residents is available during the summer months for students who live more than 500 miles from campus or if prior arrangements have been made with your assistant director. Suitcases, etc. can be stored during the academic year for students. While Clarke University will use reasonable efforts to protect student property, it is understood that the university is not in any way liable for loss or theft of, or damage to, any property belonging to the resident who chooses to leave belongings in the trunk rooms.

Where can I do my laundry and how much does it cost?

Laundry facilities are located on the first floor or ground floor in every residential building. Through the Clarke Card (student ID), all residential students are given 25 wash and 25 dry loads per semester free. If a student exhausts their free load allotment, Clarke Funds can be used for laundry at the price of $1.25 for wash and $1.25 for dry. The machines also accept quarters.

Are there vending machines?

Vending machines are located in main areas, generally by the laundry facilities. Coin and Clarke Funds on the Clarke Card can be used for purchase.

Are any of the residence halls handicapped accessible?

The Catherine Dunn Apartment Complex is handicap accessible. Please contact the Office of Residence Life should you have any specific questions about room or building accommodations.

What about security in the residence halls?

Members of the Clarke Security Staff are on duty and completing rounds at Clarke 24-7. They are accessible at all times at (563)588-6393. Residential facilities are accessible to residents of that building only via an electronic chip access system. Although these measures are in place to facilitate student safety, the best people to assist in ensuring safety in the residence halls are the students themselves. Please discuss your expectations with your student regarding their personal decisions, especially in regards to locking their room doors, strangers being allowed in their rooms, alcohol and/or drug consumption, etc.

What size are the mattresses?

Mattresses are 78-80” x 38” (198-203cm x 96.5 cm). All beds include mattress, box spring and frame.

Do I have to keep all the provided furniture in the room?

Clarke does not have storage space for furniture that is provided in student rooms. The only item Clarke will store is the box spring IF students are lofting their beds using a loft from home. Any furniture that is not in the room at the end of the academic year will be billed to the student.

Does my room have a loft?

All beds on campus are loftable, allowing for both beds to be lofted up to 7 ½ feet high, form an “L” shaped loft (one bed lofted, other on the ground), be bunked or both be on the ground. No extra tools are needed, and there is no additional charge for the loft. An unlofted bed can still be raised to about 3 feet off the ground. Due to the configuration and dimensions of the rooms, Mary Ben residents usually choose to loft only one bed. This gives you the flexibility to form an “L” shaped loft(one bed lofted, other on the ground), be bunked, or both be on the ground. Click here for downloadable lofting instructions.

What if I decide to make my own loft?

Students may use lofts in their rooms to create more floor space. Clarke University will take no responsibility for the students’ safety while the lofts are in their room. We reserve the right to inspect all construction. Lofts must meet the following safety guidelines.

  • Lofts must be freestanding and not attached to the wall, ceiling, or floor.
  • Lofts must be placed against a windowless wall and not constructed across an exit.
  • Existing mattresses must be incorporated into the loft design. In the case of loft construction, students will be allowed to store the box springs in a facilities closet. The loft must be removed a week before finals and the box spring returned to the room for check-out.
  • Lofts must be constructed using nuts and bolts or screws, rather than nails.
  • Lofts must maintain a distance of 30 inches from the top of the mattress to the ceiling.


How are roommates matched?

Roommates are selected based upon interactions of students with admissions counselors, a questionnaire on the housing contract, building preference and with input from the athletics office when applicable.

Can I choose my roommate?

You can absolutely choose your roommate! Some freshmen have a friend from home with whom they request to live. Other students meet someone during Admitted Student Weekend or CU Registration and they mutually request to live together. In order to live with someone, both students must express intent in having each other as a roommate. If you don’t know your roommate before you come, no worries! Some of the best college experiences have been between two people who never met before they arrived for move-in weekend!

How can I make it work with my roommate?

Establish realistic boundaries and openly communicate with your roommate what your mutual boundaries are. This is the first time for most students to have to live with someone who hasn’t grown up with your family’s expectations for how to share space respectfully. You and your roommate will both be new at this, which makes it even more important to talk about any concerns you have before small issues become serious.

What if I don’t like my roommate?

What if your roommate doesn’t like you? Obviously there are times when you will need to deal with people in your life who are not your favorite, while treating them courteously and with respect. You are the only person who can decide if you and your roommate have irreconcilable differences or if you can live with them, while not being best of friends. There are options for students, including moving into another room with someone who is roommate-less or doing a body for body switch (all roommates must agree). Because we believe so strongly that living with a roommate is a beneficial growing and learning experience, freshmen are required to have one.