Tuve will be offline during the upcoming academic year for renovations. Students discovered the news through an email from Augustana CFO and executive vice president Shannan Nelson on March 23, after many had already decided to live in the building.
Director of housing operations Jenna Bump said the housing department originally planned to keep Tuve open for the 2023-2024 school year. As such, she continued to do her housing placements as normal, with selections for students already in Tuve to keep their rooms scheduled for March.
According to Bump, once Augustana realized that Tuve’s renovations were more complicated and would take longer than expected, staff discussed the idea of keeping part of Tuve open during renovations but worried it would disrupt the students living there.
“After looking at the space we have available with Solberg coming online and our numbers of students living on campus, we realized the numbers work out that we can just take Tuve offline for the year,” Bump said.
Seniors Kate Brown and Phillip Floyd found out their same-room application for Tuve was denied when they received the email from Nelson.
“I was pretty disappointed,” Floyd said.
Floyd was planning on living with Brown in Tuve next year because they both liked the gender-flex floor and the layout of the rooms.
Brown has lived in Tuve for three of her four years at Augustana and was hoping to stay in Tuve for her final semester, but she said she understands that Tuve needs to be renovated.
“Tuve has a lot of issues, but it’s home, so I’m very disappointed that we have to go somewhere else,” Brown said.
Lead maintenance technician David Tuschen said in an email that maintenance is in the process of gathering information and contractors, so there is no set timeline yet for Tuve’s renovations. Upgrading the bathrooms and plumbing will be the main focus of the renovations.
Brown said there were many maintenance problems in Tuve, specifically with the lights and bathrooms.
“I’ve had the handle break off in my hand numerous times [in the bathroom],” Brown said.
Brown also mentioned a toilet in Tuve nicknamed the “infinite flush” by its residents because once it was flushed it would continue flushing.
Brown said she received another email from Bump in which Bump said that gender-inclusive floors will move to the east wing of Bergsaker’s first floor, as well as the first floors of Granskou and Stavig.
Brown and Floyd said they are glad the gender-inclusive floors are moving to other buildings, and they hope it will continue to expand to other residence halls.
“I wish all of [the dorms] had the flex housing option because there’s more of us than you think there are,” Brown said.
Viking Advisor Elliot Doyle said director of residence life Danny Sandberg and the residence hall directors selected VAs before the announcement of Tuve’s closing. Bump said the hired VAs would not lose their job and will be moved to other residence halls, so some floors will have two VAs working together.
Bump also said that Sandberg has reached out to leaders of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance to identify a new meeting place for their group on the south side of campus, which currently meets in Tuve.
“We are looking at what else is in that building — who occupies that building — and helping find new spaces for anything else [in Tuve],” Bump said.
Brown said she and Floyd are still “housing hunting” and have not decided on a dorm for next year. Both said they are going to miss the setup of Tuve rooms and the supportive community they had in their building.
“Tuve was very kind to me,” Brown said. “I came here not thinking I would make any friends and I met my first friend in Tuve, and we would go to GSA together in Tuve.”
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