Student Life

The purpose of Student Life is to make Graceland a home for all students. We collaborate with the Graceland community to cultivate a culture where students discern who they are called to be, and where resources, support and opportunities are provided to help them answer that call.

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Residence Life

The House System
Graceland’s basic unit of student life is known as a “house”. The house system is a unique program based on the principle of inclusion that recognizes the importance of each student attending the university and celebrates the individuality of each person. Members of each house elect seven students to hold dual house/student government leadership positions for each house. Under their direction, social, religious, and academic support activities are planned for the house members. In addition, through the leadership of those seven student leaders, the student voice is effectively communicated to the six student government organizations.

House membership cuts across academic classification, geographic regions, socio-economic backgrounds, racial and cultural backgrounds, as well as across all interest areas. This diversity ensures full-time students have the opportunity to examine long-held belief systems and to learn to appreciate and celebrate diversity in a supportive caring environment.

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The Room Placement Process
Graceland University believes a significant portion of a student’s learning experience can be achieved through association with other students in residence hall living. At the beginning of their first year of enrollment, all full-time students (whether living on or off campus) are assigned to a house during the room placement process. They will remain members of that house through the duration of their education at GU.

The process of placing new students in rooms begins in May. At that time, the Residence Life Office generates reports about the returning members of each of the 16 houses. Those reports gather the following information: academic areas of study, athletic team membership, and home towns. New incoming students are then placed in a manner which spreads out those groupings as evenly as possible, thus helping ensure the richness of the Graceland residential experience. The first round of placement is completed in June, and is sent out to students via their GU e-mail account. For help logging into GU email accounts, students may contact Tech Support at 641-784-5400.

Housing requests can be completed online after a student has received their My Graceland username and password, through the last Early Orientation, usually early June. Roommate requests are considered when the request is received from both parties and space is available. Chances of being placed with the roommate of your choice are greatest if the request is submitted prior to June 9.

The On Campus Living Policy
On the Lamoni campus, residence hall living is required of all students unless approval is received from the Residence Life Office. Students exempt from this policy are: students who are 23 years of age or older, military veterans, married students, or students living with legal dependents. Students who qualify for one of these exemptions need to complete an Off Campus Application along with the necessary documentation to verify their exempt status, i.e.: copy of marriage license, dependent birth certificates, military ID card.

Students who live with their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) within a 45 mile radius of the GU Lamoni campus may qualify for a local vicinity exception. Student and parent(s)/legal guardian(s) must complete and submit a signed notarized copy of the Local Vicinity Exception Form. If a notary is not available, all parties can sign in the presence of designees in the Offices of Residence Life, Dean of Students, and Student Financial Services Students who are found not living with their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) will be billed full room and board for the semester in question.

Other exceptions to the On Campus Living Policy are rare, but are considered on a case-by-case basis. Students who do not meet the above exemptions to the policy need to submit an Off Campus Application to the Residence Life Office for consideration. The deadline for returning students to apply to live off campus is in March of the previous academic year. Students living off campus are responsible for their own arrangements, however; the Residence Life Office keeps a list of the names and contact information of local landlords willing to rent to college students.

The Housing Contract
Students are required to sign and submit an online housing contract. The online form is available on My Graceland. A link to the form will be included on the Enrollment Checklist. Signed housing contracts are valid for the academic year unless canceled under the terms of the contract. A Notice of Housing Cancelation form is to be completed by those students who are graduating or who will be doing student teaching at a location away from the Lamoni area.  Returning GU students sign contracts in the Spring during the Spring room selection process for the following academic year. Returning students who do not select a room nor turn in a signed room contract during the Spring room selection process, will be placed where rooms are available by the Residence Life Office.

Residence Hall Closures

University-owned traditional residence halls are closed during the official breaks of the university, with the exception of Fall Break. However, if students have no other alternative, they can request approval to stay in the residence halls for a fee. As the dining facilities are closed during breaks, meals are not provided. Students living in the Small & Thomas Apartments or College Avenue Residences are not required to leave their residences during official breaks of the university.

Meal Plans

All of GU’s housing facilities are located near the Floyd M. McDowell Commons. Students living in the four traditional residence halls (Graybill, Gunsolley, Tess Morgan and Walker Halls) as well as the College Avenue houses, are required to purchase a full board plan in the Floyd McDowell Commons. Additional information regarding dining options available online ( Students residing in the Small & Thomas Apartments are required to purchase the 5-meal plan, but may also choose to purchase the full board plan. The full board plan, the 5-meal plan, and Gbucks are available to students who reside off campus. Gbucks are dollars which can be loaded onto a student’s Graceland ID card and can be used on campus for food, or at five Lamoni restaurants for food, as well as the Lamoni Coliseum movie theater. Gbucks are available to all students.

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Campus Ministries

Campus Ministries engages students in building community, sharing faith, and creating peace at Graceland. We merge two partners through who we are and what we do: Graceland University and Community of Christ, the university’s founding and sponsoring Christian denomination. We provide student ministry and leadership development, pastoral care and counseling, spiritual formation and assistance for basic living needs.

Campus Ministries strives to create a spiritual home for students. A spiritual home is courageous space where each person can explore and deepen their relationship with God, and if a disciple of Jesus Christ, can live out more fully Christ’s mission of invitation, compassion, evangelism, justice and peacemaking, and disciple formation. We encourage all students to discern their vocation and calling through academics, interfaith activities and their own faith tradition.

Graceland is non-sectarian, which means that students have the choice to participate in on-campus spiritual and religious practices. Most weekly activities and worship, offered in the Community of Christ tradition, are student-led. We collaborate with other faith traditions for both on-campus and off-campus options for students. Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights are reserved when possible for students to find relaxation, renewal and restoration. Campus Ministries and others on campus sponsor activities during those times to help students meet those objectives.

Campus Ministries also oversees SafeRide, to provide students with transportation to campus on Fridays and Saturdays, 10 PM to 2 AM within a 10 mile radius of campus; SafeWalk, to provide assistance to students who would otherwise be walking by themselves across campus at night; SafeTravel, afternoon and evening transportation, Monday-Friday, for medically related appointments; and the Student Help Desk, staffed Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 4 PM.

Campus Ministries is part of the Student Life team. Through collaboration, we uphold the worth of all persons, and the importance of balancing academics with co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.

Campus Ministries is located in Newcom Student Union, offices 36-38.

Our team includes

  • house chaplains, elected by their respective houses, to offer spiritual friendship and support, led by the president of the Council of House Chaplains; house chaplains are part of Graceland Student Government,
  • student chaplains, employed in specialized areas of ministry and service to the Lamoni campus,
  • students in InSpire, a ministry and leadership development initiative sponsored by Community of Christ, offering new and creative approaches to ministry (see below),
  • student employees for SafeRide, SafeWalk, SafeTravel and the Student Help Desk,
  • the graduate assistant for campus ministries who serves part-time and is enrolled in the Community of Christ Seminary, and
  • the full-time Campus Minister, director of spiritual and religious life on campus.

InSpire: Missional Ministry and Leadership
nSpire prepares students for lifelong service in missional ministry and leadership. Through a formational process, the missional ministry and leadership program guides students through their on-campus ministry. The goal is to merge fields of interests and education with theological and ethical understanding into relevant ministry. The practicum is a one-hour for-credit experience offered every semester. Contact the Campus Minister for more information.

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Graceland Student Government (Lamoni Campus)

All students enrolled at Graceland are members of the Graceland Student Government (GSG). Student government is involved in all campus areas which affect students. The GSG is organized to express their views on issues of institutional policy and on matters of general interest to the student body. The branches of student government and their corresponding bodies include:

  • Executive — The executive authority and responsibility of the Graceland Student Government will be vested in the GSG president, the GSG Leadership Council, and Council of House Presidents.
  • Legislative — Student Senate
  • Academic — Academic Student Council (ASC)
  • Social — Campus Organization for Social Activities (COSA)
  • Intramural Athletics (IM) — Intramural Council and IM’s Board
  • Judicial — Council on Student Welfare (CSW)
  • Spiritual — Council of House Chaplains

Each body has specific functions and responsibilities.

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Academic Advising

If a student is exploring the value of a liberal arts education, developing meaningful educational goals, or making course selections, they should visit with an academic advisor. Academic advisors at Graceland build collaborative relationships and empower students through academic counseling.

An academic advisor guides students through course planning and teaches students how to make the most of their college experience. Academic advisors will discuss life goals with students and assist with exploring available education programs and courses that support these goals. Academic advisors are granted formal authority by an academic unit to approve the student’s academic program of study. The ultimate responsibility for making decisions about education plans and life goals rests with the student.

More information about academic advising can be found on the Advising and Registration page.

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Mental Health Specialist

If a student has questions, problems or concerns, they are not alone. The Mental Health Specialist provides confidential mental health counseling and education to help you maintain mental wellness throughout the college experience.

The Mental Health Specialist helps all students with problems such as depression, anxiety and other behavioral and emotional concerns that interfere with their academic and social life on campus through individual or couples counseling and crisis intervention, as needed. Through the counseling process, students may explore their interpersonal relationships and their college experience. The Mental Health Specialist is also available for presentations on topics such as sexual consent awareness, how to recognize and treat depression, setting boundaries for good relationships, assertiveness, conflict resolution, and other mental health issues. The Mental Health Specialist may refer students to other professional services when necessary.

Office Hours: Weekdays 9 am – 5 pm by appointment
Office: NSU Room 20
Phone: 641.784.5463

Student Media

The Student Media team includes students who engage in producing The Tower, the online and print student newspaper, the Acacia, the university yearbook, and KBUZ, the online student radio. All three media platforms work collaboratively and support students through student employment, academic credit, and scholarship opportunities. The student team works with a team of advisers and a faculty member.

Music Groups

Graceland’s Music Department offers a variety of ensembles for students to participate in, including Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble, The Marching Yellowjackets, Percussion and Steel Drumming Ensemble, Concert Choir, and Chamber Choir. Ensembles perform at a wide variety of events both on and off campus throughout the course of the academic year. Graceland students, regardless of major, may also register for applied lessons in voice, piano, woodwinds, brass, and percussion.

Recreational Facilities

The Morden Center includes a 200 meter indoor track; weight room; and badminton, basketball, tennis and volleyball courts. Outdoor facilities include two small lakes, an 18-hole disc golf course, Tennis Courts and the Bruce Jenner Sports Complex with the Ackerley 400 meter outdoor track, the Rasmussen soccer field, and the Huntsman football field. By special arrangement, Graceland students are welcome to join the Lamoni Golf and Country Club.

Fitz Center

The Fitz Center is a state-of-the-art facility equipped with cardiovascular equipment (treadmills, elliptical machines, stationary bikes, stair climbers and rowing machines), weight equipment (including free weights), and a group fitness studio for group fitness classes. Full-time students have access to this facility with payment of their student activity fee. The center is open 5:30 am – midnight seven days a week.

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Student Health

Community Health Centers of Southern Iowa, a local medical clinic, is available to service the health needs of Graceland students.  Their office is a short walking distance from the campus.  The address to the clinic is 802 East Ackerly Street, Lamoni Iowa  50140.  Phone number is 641-784-3371.

Health and Immunizations Forms
All students entering Graceland for the first time are required to complete an electronic Immunization Record to be stored digitally on a secure Graceland University server.

Immunization Requirements
Each student will be required to have proof of two measles vaccinations if he/she was born after 1957 and has not had the active disease. Exemption from the measles vaccination will be permitted to those for whom the immunization is contraindicated and verified by a doctor. Students from countries with a high prevalence of Tuberculosis are required to have a TB test done within the past year.

Health Insurance
All full-time students are REQUIRED to have an insurance plan that is valid in the state of Iowa. Please note: Many policies, including Medicaid, are only valid in the home-state. Students are responsible for complying with this requirement.

Health Insurance for International Students
All international students, including Canadians, will be automatically enrolled with LewerMark Health Insurance which will be charged to their student account each semester. For more information about the International Student Health Insurance plan, please visit My Graceland.

Student Handbook

A student handbook is available online. This handbook includes the Code of Conduct, campus policies, and general information.

Student Persistence

39% of new high school graduates who entered Graceland University in Fall 2017 graduated by 2023. 78% of the transfer students who entered Graceland in Fall 2017 completed the baccalaureate degree at Graceland by 2023.  Graduation rates of students with athletically related aid are available here.

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2023-2024 Cumulative Summary of Enrollment
Independence 132
Total Undergraduate 989
Total Graduate405
Total University Enrollment 1394
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Cumulative Geographical Distribution of Undergraduate Students for 2023-2024

(Lamoni and Independence Campuses – Fall and Spring Semesters)

39 States plus Puerto Rico are represented. 40 Countries are represented.

United StatesCountries
Alabama1Antigua & Barbuda2
Arkansas2Bosnia & Herzegovina1
Hawaii21Costa Rica4
Idaho2Dominican Republic6
New Hampshire1Mexico4
New Jersey4Montenegro1
New Mexico1Morocco1
New York2Netherlands2
North Carolina3Panama2
North Dakota1Paraguay1
Puerto Rico7South Africa5
Texas61St. Lucia1
Virginia2Trinidad and Tobago1
Washington3United Arab Emirates1
Wisconsin7United Kingdom12
Wyoming1United States866
{bold] TOTAL UNITED STATES[/bold]866{bold] TOTAL COUNTRIES[/bold]985