Campus Quality

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Campus Quality


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5 College Junior

Campus Quality: Unfortunately our Main Building burned down twice, so the third time the building was built was also the least attractive architecturally. Overall, the campus is in beautiful Northeast Iowa, among gorgeous hills, stunning autumns, bike trails, and the river runs through lower campus. I have been here two years and I am still not used to the gorgeous, spacious campus that I am fortunate enough to be a part of. I am a diver and there was a new pool just built. I have had the privilege to practice in an incredible facility.

I have loved walking the streets of downtown Decorah with friends, celebrating birthdays with free fried ice cream at Don Jose's, getting Sugar Bowl after my last finals, tubing down the river, hiking trout run trail, hearing the beautiful Nordic choir sing, being a part of residence life, volunteering with Enlaces, and so much more!

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Campus Quality: Outside of the architectural poke-in-the-eye that is Main, the campus is well made and bursting with facilities for various student activities.

5 College Junior

Campus Quality: Luther College is beautiful. Its an amazing community to be a part of.

5 College Junior

Campus Quality: Its clean, its not too small, its friendly, its beautiful, its exciting. The academics are top notch too.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: Student life is wonderful, there are always fun activities available.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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As with most colleges, Luther is in a constant race against time to keep its buildings up-to-date. The newest addition to campus is Sampson-Hoffland Laboratories, a cutting-edge science building that hosts the biology and chemistry departments. Many other buildings have also undergone recent facelifts—Farwell Hall, the Center for the Arts, and Jenson-Noble Hall of Music have all received large redesigns with spectacular modern results, and the Union was completed in 2006. However, some buildings are falling behind in the renovations race. Larsen Hall is entirely serviceable but rather creaky, and the Towers are next in line for a well-deserved overhaul. Special notice goes to Main—not only is it widely regarded as the ugliest building on campus, but the ineffectual heating system has a bad habit of making loud clanking noises during class.

Luther’s athletic facilities are excellent and well maintained. The Regents Center houses many different gyms for all kinds of varsity sports and intramural leagues, the Legends fitness center, and the Norse gym, which is generally hopping during basketball season. In general, Luther knows that progress needs to be made in a few buildings, and steps are being taken to ensure that every building on campus is viewed as a pinnacle of design and function. While a few buildings are admittedly showing their age, Luther works hard to make the facilities as conducive to education and living as possible.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
175 acres
Student Centers
Dahl Centennial Union
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
Preus Library
Popular Places to Chill
  • Center for the Arts
  • Farwell Lounge
  • Jenson-Noble Music Building
  • Library lawn
  • Marty’s
  • Oneota lounge
  • Preus Library
  • Sunnyside Café
Bar on Campus
Bowling on Campus
None, but Oneota Lanes is a short walk from campus.
Coffeehouse on Campus
  • Marty's
  • Oneota
  • Sunnyside CafĂ© in the Center for the Arts
Movie Theater on Campus
No actual theater exists, but the Student Activities Committee (SAC) works with the local theatre to run free movie nights ona regular basis, usually with several brand-new releases.
School Slang
  • C@L: Christmas at Luther; choral music's large show in the weeks before Christmas.
  • Caf: The college cafeteria and largest dining facility on campus.
  • Chips: The student-run newspaper of Luther College, it puts out weekly issues.
  • Dining Dollars: An allotted sum of money that can be used specifically in campus restaurants.
  • First-years: Luther's gender-neutral term for freshmen.
  • J-Term: During the month of January, students only take one class for a few hours a day, leaving much time for partying.
  • K-Dub: KWLC AM 1240, the campus radio station.
  • Legends: Luther's fitness center, open to all students free of charge.
  • Main: The ugliest academic building on campus.
  • Meal Transfers: The ability to transfer a Caf meal on your student ID into purchasing other meals at allotted times in Luther's campus restaurants.
  • Nordic: Nordic Choir, the most selective Luther choir, often thought to be the best and the most traveled; they tour yearly all over the country and often overseas.
  • Nordicash: Money on a student ID that allows students to purchase food, clothing and supplies from any campus vendor.
  • Novemberfest: Large week of fraternity- and sorority- sponsored parties and balls.
  • Orange Day: Meal in the cafeteria consisting of grilled cheese, tomato soup, and Cheetos.
  • Paideia: A mandatory first-year course involving English and history that covers ancient Greece and contemporary literature. Generally despised among students, but a common bond among everyone.
  • RA: A Resident Assistant, in charge of certain floors of a dorm.
  • SASC: Student Academic Support Center, a network of student tutors and other academic help, located in Preus Library.
  • SPO Cops: Student Police Officer; the campus police force. Not to be confused with SPOs (see above).
  • SPOs: The Student Post Office, and location for all student mailboxes, located in the Union.
  • Towers: Miller and Dieseth, the main housing units for sophomores and juniors. Thought to be the most awful dorms on campus.
  • Townies: Any adult (18- 50) who can be found in places Luther students find themselves, most often heard in bars.
  • Trout Fry: A huge day-long party held off campus every April. Frowned upon by the administration.
  • Wellness Floors: Specific dorm floors that emphasize fitness, regulated quiet hours, and no underage drinking.
  • Christmas at Luther : This four-day, six-performance event is a cornerstone of the music program, particularly for the choirs.
  • Flamingo Ball : A dance that happens over Homecoming, often with a live band and a theme.
  • Nordic Fest : This gathering happens in the summer, and is a great reason for students to travel to Decorah for a reunion between academic years.
Urban Legends
  • "All Luther students are liberal." - Of course not all Luther students are liberal, and indeed the College Republicans have a strong presence; nonetheless, it cannot be denied that Luther students tend to lean to the left more often than not.
  • "Luther hates Wartburg.": True in every way.
  • "Luther is a gay school.": True. Luther does have a larger than normal homosexual population, at least visibly. The campus PRIDE group is very active on campus in promoting tolerance and raising awareness.
  • Luther is thought to have ghosts in both Larsen Hall and in the Regents Center.
Favorite Things To Do
Luther features many events of student involvement, which bodes well for the student who wishes to contribute on campus. Whether you want to toot your own horn at an open-mic night, get your Shakespeare on in a theater production, or just take in a movie or concert courtesy of SAC, Luther students will find plenty of entertainment from their contemporaries. If you’re looking for a hotbed of activity from outside Northeast Iowa, you’ll have to travel outside of Northeast Iowa to find it. When it's warm: Hiking, biking, and sand volleyball. Ultimate Frisbee practice and touch football on the library lawn go on with regularity, and many students also enjoy working out, running or doing intramurals in Legends. When it's cold: Football also makes an appearance, along with skiing (downhill either in Rochester or LaCrosse, or cross-country on Luther's campus). Those with sleds have no shortage of hills to choose from.
Student Organizations Web Site
Student Activities Offered
  • Campus ministries
  • Choral groups
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • International student organization
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Model UN
  • Music ensembles
  • Musical theater
  • Pep band
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student newspaper
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Yearbook
Air Force ROTC: No
Navy ROTC: No
Army ROTC: No

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 36 responses

Very poor
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

What are your favorite things to do around campus?    Based on 18 responses

  • 23% Go to campus events
  • 14% Hang out wherever with friends
  • 12% Go on walks or runs
  • 12% Play music
  • 11% Watch movies
  • 9% Drink
  • 5% Enjoy time outdoors
  • 5% Attend musical performances
  • 5% Sand volleyball
  • 2% Recreational Services activities
  • 2% Frisbee golf

What are your favorite campus events or traditions?    Based on 17 responses

  • 31% Christmas at Luther
  • 12% Nordic Fest
  • 12% Just being with friends
  • 10% Flamingo Ball
  • 10% Fall and Spring Concerts
  • 8% Family Weekend
  • 8% Focus Student-Led Worship
  • 4% Sporting events
  • 2% Traditions from sports teams/ other curriculars

How accommodating is this school to students with physical disabilities?    Based on 20 responses

  • 40% Very accommodating. The school does everything in their power to make sure the needs of every student are met.
  • 50% Pretty accommodating. The school has taken a lot of steps to accommodate the needs of students, but they've missed a few things.
  • 10% Slightly accommodating. The school has taken a few steps to accommodate students, but not nearly enough.
  • 0% Not accommodating. Students with physical disabilities are practically ignored here.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 32 responses

  • 50% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.
  • 44% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 3% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 3% I hate my school and have no school spirit.


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