What to Pack - Residence Life | Briar Cliff University

Packing for the Residence Halls

dorm room general

If you plan to live in one of the four Briar Cliff residence halls, make sure you don't miss any of the essentials. Before you load up the car, check out this quick list — it should help keep you on track!

What to pack:

  • Wait! Before you start, call your Briar Cliff roommate. See what each other has, and come up with a game plan for what you each will bring. Trust us, you don’t want to end up with two couches and a pair of refrigerators (especially since there’s only one allowed in each room). And despite what a senior tells you, no, you cannot drop the extra ones off the top of Toller Hall.
  • Clothes for all seasons. If you didn’t get the memo, this is Iowa. And as the saying goes, if you don’t like the weather in Iowa … come back tomorrow! Here, shorts and a T-shirt one day can mean sweats and stocking caps the next. The good news is that at BCU, we’ve got underground tunnels — which work great for dodging that winter weather.
  • Hangers. No one likes a messy roommate, and nothing will clutter your dorm quicker than a pile of dirty clothes (be honest, this is college — they’re all dirty!). Plastic hangers are best for hanging clothes; because when you’re stumbling around your room to get to that 8 a.m. class, there’s nothing worse than stepping on one of those wire ones.
  • Laundry hamper. And detergent. (See above). 
  • Extra furniture. At Briar Cliff, we’re fans of the futon. It fits snugly under a loft (if you rent one), and it’s the perfect piece of utility furniture; ideal for studying, eating, watching TV or crashing. Another option: lawn chairs. They’re easy to stow away and a lot cheaper than normal furniture.
  • Fan. There is no air conditioning in the dorm rooms in Toller, Alverno and most of Noonan Hall; so a fan will save you some misery. Luckily, the lounges are air conditioned. Think of it as our way to make sure you study!
  • Iron. Yes, you will be required to dress up every now and then. And when you do, you don’t want wrinkles. The “throw it in the dryer” trick only works if you're willing to swipe your laundry card to get the wrinkles out.
  • Linens & pillows. These aren’t provided, so pack some bed wear unless you enjoy a bare mattress.
  • Shower caddy, shoes & towels. These are handy for that long walk from the showers to your dorm room. 
  • Small refrigerator. The requirements are one per room; five cubit feet or less, with a 110-volt current limit. 
  • Electric power strips. The requirements are an on/off switch, a 15-amp circuit breaker and a 3-prong plug-in.
  • Television. Be realistic here. We know big screens are cool, and might help you make friends — but there won’t be any space left for them in your room! Save the big screen for when you’re an upperclassman, living in Baxter-DiGiovanni.
  • Posters and pictures. Keep it tasteful. If Briar Cliff's President peeked in your dorm room, would you still be hanging that?
  • Portable coffee mug. Refill your mug when you stop by the on-campus coffee shop, Charged in the morning. It's the environmentally friendly thing to do!
  • Microwave. Cooking with this machine is one of the many skills you’ll (hopefully) learn in college. Here are some great microwave cooking ideas »
  • Message board for your door. These are just plain cool.  

marker board

Don't forget the marker board! How else will people leave awesome messages when you're in the library studying?

What not to pack:

  • Plants. If you think you can keep one alive, go for it. If not, don’t bother — there’s plenty of pretty flowers and trees on campus, and someone else takes care of watering those.
  • Toasters, toaster ovens and hot plates. These are fire hazards, so stay away. Don’t worry, each dorm already comes with its own kitchen — and from what we’ve seen, the toaster line isn’t a very long wait.
  • Electric grill. Remember what we said about fire hazards?
  • Halogen lamps. Another thing that falls under the fire hazard category. According to our friends at Edison Tech Center: “The bulb is capable of blowing and sending hot glass shards outward.” No thanks.
  • Candles. One last fire hazard. Luckily, there are safer options to keep your dorm room from being the smelly one.
  • Lofts. There is a strict “no homemade loft” policy at Briar Cliff. However, you can always rent one of ours.
  • Water beds. If we don’t let you bring your own loft, did you really think we’d let you bring a water bed? And let’s be honest, are they really that comfortable?
  • Printer. No worries, nowadays most everything is digital. And if you happen to need a printer, you’ll have plenty of access at the library and computer labs around campus. 
  • Pets. They sound like a great idea. Until they go to the bathroom on your floor.
  • Portable Air Conditioner. These require too much electricity to run in your dorm room. Bring a fan and tough it out like the rest of us!
  • Air soft or BB guns. We feel like this should go without saying. But we’re saying it anyway. 

show room general

You might not be able to bring your own loft ... but ours work fine! Just ask these guys.

Questions? Concerns?

We’re here to help. Contact Dave Arens if you have any questions or concerns, or check out our list of campus offices and services to find what you need.