Pierson Hall planned to reopen next semester


Zoey Schentzel

Pierson Hall during renovations in February. The hall is set to open again to students this August.

Ella Stiefvater, Reporter

​​Pierson Hall is going to be ready for new and returning students in August.

The residential and housing department at South Dakota State University said the highly anticipated reopening of Pierson Hall is not only on track for full capacity in August but has also stayed within the projected budget.  

Through strategic planning and utilizing available dorms to their highest potential, this fall 6,287 students living on-campus were all provided housing. 

Director of Residential Life Rebecca Peterson said that students can expect all housing needs to be met again in the upcoming fall with the reopening of Pierson Hall. Not only will 400 students be able to take advantage of the upgraded study spaces, heating and cooling systems, and kitchens on every floor, they will also benefit from a newly added elevator.  

As the number of incoming SDSU students continues to grow, Peterson said that housing and residential life will continue to meet the demand for on-campus living. While there are no plans for hall demolition or new buildings at this time, there are still steps to be taken for upgrading current dorms. If the changes in Pierson Hall are well received by students and faculty, other housing options in the same age bracket could see similar facelifts.   

In order to ensure that all students have access to university-provided housing during their first two years of required on-campus living, the residential department works closely with admissions. Peterson said that as students are accepted to SDSU, careful calculations are kept watching how many potential Jackrabbits also fill out the housing application and make their deposits.   

Peterson added that one of the trends residential life has made progress toward is getting students into their preferred halls right from the beginning or at least within a couple of their preferences. If that’s not a feasible option they also allow a room reassignment process to provide rooms that may be newly available and is another student’s preferred choice.  

“The other thing we see is that students enjoy having a roommate and getting to know people on their floor,” Peterson added. “We’re in a really good spot … to build some strong communities, and we’ve done that with our staff teams this year.” 

Emma Page, Brown Hall Residence Hall Association representative, said that as an elected representative she has the opportunity to bring change to her fellow residents and help inform others on what’s happening in the hall.  

“I can request funding for hall events and improvements,” Page said. “A prime example being the new pool table in the Brown Hall lobby.”  

More information about hall government can be found on the Housing and Residential Life and MyState webpages. Second year students also have the opportunity to become community assistants (CA) where they can help connect students, initiate hall activities, and act as a resource for any resident’s concerns. One way all residents can stay involved is by participating in hall gatherings, meeting other students and creating networks in their career paths with those who have similar interests. Living-learning communities help students find those industry connections early on.          

Living-learning communities (LLC) can play a big role in life on campus for those who choose to join. The largest LLC is agriculture followed by health professionals and engineering. The greatest interest in LLCs is from first-year students.  

“I love living with students who have the same passions as me,” Page said. “Coming from a small town, it made a big campus seem a little smaller and homey…the best part of living on campus for me is living so close to all of my friends.”  

Wesley Siira, a Minnesota native and agriculture education and animal science major thought that moving the Ag LLCs to the newly renovated Pierson Hall will be a good location for new and returning students because of its central location for housing and residential life.  

“I have enjoyed my time living in the ag LLC during my freshman year,” Siira said. “I know if I hadn’t been in the ag LLC that my experience would have been much different and I would not have the strong rooted friend group that I do now.”