Changes coming to Winter Break housing policy

Residential+Services+is+planning+to+reevaluate+its+on-campus+housing+policy+for+Winter+Break.+Currently+dorms+only+open+at+10+a.m.+the+day+before+classes+begin+for+Winter+Quarter.
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Changes coming to Winter Break housing policy

Residential Services is planning to reevaluate its on-campus housing policy for Winter Break. Currently dorms only open at 10 a.m. the day before classes begin for Winter Quarter.

Residential Services is planning to reevaluate its on-campus housing policy for Winter Break. Currently dorms only open at 10 a.m. the day before classes begin for Winter Quarter.

Skylar Zhang/The Daily Northwestern

Residential Services is planning to reevaluate its on-campus housing policy for Winter Break. Currently dorms only open at 10 a.m. the day before classes begin for Winter Quarter.

Skylar Zhang/The Daily Northwestern

Skylar Zhang/The Daily Northwestern

Residential Services is planning to reevaluate its on-campus housing policy for Winter Break. Currently dorms only open at 10 a.m. the day before classes begin for Winter Quarter.

Sarah Tassoni, Reporter

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To better accommodate students, Residential Services will be evaluating its policy for access to on-campus housing during Winter Break.

Although plans are in their initial stages, Paul Riel, executive director of Residential Services, said his office is changing its policies in an attempt to better assist students, some of whom do not go home for the holidays.

“We realize that some students have unique circumstances that may prevent them from having a place to stay over a break period,” Riel said.

NU dorms close for the entirety of Winter Break and do not open until 10 a.m. the day before Winter Quarter classes begin. Some students say the small window of time for moving back into the dorms makes it stressful for both those who do not leave town for the holidays and those returning to campus from break.

Medill junior Danielle Kerani said it would be easier for students to prepare for classes if they had more time to move back into the dorms.

“Most people in apartments  get back two to three days before, so it should be the same for the dorms,” Kerani said.

Students are unable to stay in the dorms during the holidays because University staff would need to be present in the buildings, Riel said. For students who remain in Evanston over Winter Break, especially international students, finding a place to stay can be challenging. In extreme cases, Student Affairs refers them to potential lodgings, he said.

Weinberg freshman Shivani Kothari said her friend, an international student from South Korea, had to stay in a friend’s off-campus apartment during break because plane tickets were too expensive to go back home for the short period of time.

The Winter Break campus housing policy has been an ongoing issue in Residential Services. Riel said that when he was interviewing for his position in February of last year, both vice president of student affairs Patricia Telles-Irvin and assistant vice president for student auxiliary services Julie Payne-Kirchmeier brought up that they all needed to explore different accommodation options for students during Winter Break.

Communication freshman Kirra Silver ended up arriving back on campus too early this quarter. She managed to find a hotel to stay in, but it was initially a “scary” situation, she said.

“I was literally homeless for a while,” she said.

Medill juniors Jenna Frasier and Danielle Kerani agreed that NU’s policies can cause problems for traveling students.

“I’m only from New Jersey, but some students are from real far away, so I don’t get why they do that,” Frasier said.

Numerous students said the dorms should reopen for students at least two days in advance instead of the day before to be more flexible with travel plans.

“It’s ridiculous that they open at 10 a.m. on Sunday,” Kothari said. “Some flights come in on different days, and that some people have to stay in hotels is just not right.”

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