Southern Illinois University (Carbondale campus). Housing Office. | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
Student housing options and management at Southern Illinois University Carbondale formalized slowly over the early decades of the university’s history. From when the first students enrolled in 1874 up to 1912, students rented rooms or resided in private boardinghouses in Carbondale, or, if close enough, commuted from home. The Kelly Club boardinghouse, operated by Cordelia Carbaugh Kelly, and the “B. J. Club” are well-known examples. These local residents were called “householders,” and the university created the first rules governing their obligations toward students in 1912. The first dormitory on campus, Anthony Hall, opened in 1913 and could house 70 women. Men, and the women not residing in Anthony Hall, continued living in private residences throughout town.
A Faculty Housing Committee was organized in 1915 to supervise student housing arrangements. Because most students lived off-campus, university administration created a “rooming agreement” in 1921 to be signed by householders and the students they boarded, which was filed in the president’s office. As enrollment slowly but steadily increased, Dean of Men Eli G. Lentz and Dean of Women Lucy K. Woody established cooperative housing units. The first of these facilities was Harwood Hall (1936-1942), the former home of Professor S. E. Harwood that was remodeled into a boardinghouse for 16-18 male students. The property was first rented, but later purchased by the university with a Federal Housing Administration loan but managed by the residents. Harwood Hall and 8 to 13 other cooperative units closed as male enrollment dropped during World War II.
The administration of housing and student affairs formalized in the 1940s and 1950s. The university created a Housing Committee in 1940 to plan future housing and supervise existing facilities. The committee consisted of the Deans of Men and Women, a representative from the Health Department, 2 student representatives nominated by the Student Council, and 4 faculty members nominated by the Faculty Senate. In 1942, a twenty-five year development plan for the university, designed by architects Chance Hill and C. Herrick, included proposed living centers for students. The Housing Office, responsible for regulating off-campus housing, was established in 1945 and directed by Mable Pulliam, wife of the late university President Roscoe Pulliam (1935-1944). She drafted Regulations and Standards for the householders, and initiated training and inspection of householders and their facilities.
Male students, and women not in Anthony Hall, continued living in remolded single-family homes that were given monikers by the students who lived there such as “La Casa Siesta,” “The Stag Club,” “Jewel Box,” and “Mary Margaret Manor.” The university supplied its first on-campus housing for men in September 1951, which were a group of barracks acquired from Camp Ellis and called Dowdell Halls, named after the tract of land they were located near the Illinois Central Railroad tracks on east campus. William Rogge was appointed the first Supervisor of Men’s Residence halls that same year. Also in 1951, the SIU Board of Trustees created the Office of Student Affairs to coordinate all student personnel services not associated with academic instruction, and supervise all student activities and organizations. The Housing Office became a unit within the Student Special Services Division of the Office of Student Affairs. In 1954, it was referred to as the Student Housing Center.
Housing options grew significantly in the 1950s and 1960s as the university’s enrollment rose rapidly. In 1951, the Southern Acres residence halls opened on the Vocational Technical Institute campus and housed male students attending both the VTI and Carbondale main campus. Woody Hall was completed in 1953 and replaced Anthony Hall as the women’s dormitory, which was then occupied by men. The Chautauqua housing area also opened circa 1953. The Thompson Point dormitories were completed in phases from 1956-1962. The university purchased the Illinois Avenue Residence Hall in 1955-56. The Small Group Housing buildings, or Greek Row, were completed in phases from 1959-1962. Southern Hills family housing opened in 2 stages in 1960 and 1962. The Washington Square building complex was purchased in 1962. Forest Hall (1964), Elizabeth Street Apartments (1965), Baptist Student Center (1967, later called the Northwest Annex) also opened in the mid-1960s. The east campus housing complex consisting of Brush Towers and the Triads opened in phases from 1965-1968.
In 1957, the Board of Trustees created the position Director of Housing and appointed William Rogge. Mable Pulliam resigned as Supervisor of Off-campus Housing effective August 1, 1959, and Rogge resigned the same year. Albin Yokie was appointed Coordinator of Student Housing on September 14, 1959, and Anita Kuo was appointed Assistant Supervisor of Off-campus Housing on October 15, 1959. At the July 1, 1964 meeting, the Board of Trustees approved a university reorganization that grouped administrative units into divisions according to function: academic affairs, business affairs, student services, and area services. The student services division was led by the Chief Officer for Student Services, a position within the university President’s Office, who divided time between the Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses. The student services division included the units of the Health Service, Student Work Office, and Office of Student Affairs, the latter of which included the Housing Office.
The Office of Student Affairs within the student services division was reorganized in August 1966. Albin Yokie resigned in 1964, and his Coordinator of Housing position was eliminated in 1966. The student affairs and housing offices within the division were merged into a new unit entitled Student Affairs and Housing. It was headed by Ralph Prusok, the Dean of Students, Carbondale Campus. Reporting to Prusok was Samuel Rinello in the new position of Coordinator of Housing Business Services. With the 1966 reorganization, assistant deans to the Carbondale Dean of Students were appointed for each residence complex: Thompson Point, University Park, Small Group Housing, Woody Hall, Southern Acres, and Off-campus Housing. Anito Kuos resigned as Supervisor of Off-campus Housing effective July 1, 1966, and Joseph P. Zaleski made responsible for both Off-campus Housing and motor vehicle registrations.
At its June 16, 1972 meeting, the Board of Trustees approved the new position of Vice President for Student Affairs. Dr. George Mace was selected to serve as Dean of Students, pending the appointment of a permanent vice president. On September 15, 1973, Bruce Swinburne was appointed the Dean of Students and in 1975 became the first Vice President for Student Affairs. University housing remained a functional unit within the Student Affairs Division. In 1996, to reflect the administrative structure at other universities, the campus-level administrative position titles changed from “president” to “chancellor,” and the SIU System-level administrative positions changed from “chancellor” to “president.”
The university purchased University Hall in 2004, originally a privately owned off-campus residence hall built in 1967 and called Wilson Hall. In 1987 the facility name changed to University Hall and was allowed to house freshmen. Building I of the university-owned Wall and Grand Apartments opened in 2006 and Buildings II and III opened in 2007. The Triads on east campus (Boomer, Allen, and Wright halls) were demolished in 2012.
In response to declining enrollment, SIUC administration reorganized the offices and functions pertaining to student services to improve student success, recruitment and retention, and administrative efficiency. On December 2, 2010, the units reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs were reassigned on an interim basis. At the April 14, 2011 meeting, the Board of Trustees formally approved several administrative changes, and University Housing became a unit of the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance. The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students and its remaining units began reporting to the Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
In the fall semester 2014, interim Chancellor Paul Sarvela commissioned the Student Affairs Task Force to review the efficiency and effectiveness of the non-academic units that provide services to students. Upon the Task Force’s recommendation, the Board of Trustees reestablished the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at the April 16, 2015 meeting, which would be effective July 1 of that year. Several units, including University Housing, were realigned and became subordinate to the VCSA.
Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University, Annual Report of the Board of Trustees, 1963-1964 (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University), 307.
Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University, Annual Report of the Board of Trustees, 2010-2011 (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University), 240-242.
Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University, Annual Report of the Board of Trustees, 2014-2015 (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University), 352-353.
Eli G. Lentz, Seventy Five Years in Retrospect, From Normal School to Teachers College to University, Southern Illinois University: 1874-1949 (Carbondale, IL: University Editorial Board, 1955), 117
George K. Plochmann, The Ordeal of Southern Illinois University (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1959), 123, 568-569, 622, 624-625.
Mabel Pulliam, “History of Housing at Southern Illinois University,” 1953. Referenced in the endnotes of Plochmann's The Ordeal of Southern Illinois University, 624-625.
Obelisk, 1968, pages 410-411.
"Our History," University Housing, accessed January 10, 2019, https://www.housing.siu.edu/alumni/history/index
"Directory of the Residence Halls of Southern Illinois University, 1953," University Housing records, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
"Your New Address," circa 1957, University Housing records, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.