Residential Services revamps Winter Break housing


Sean Su/Daily Senior Staffer

South Mid-Quads Hall will reopen this Winter Break. All residential students can stay at either SMQ or North Mid-Quads Hall over the break for the first time.

Alice Yin, Assistant Campus Editor

All undergraduate students living on campus can now apply to stay in Winter Break housing for the 2014-15 academic year.

This is the first time Northwestern is offering housing to all residential students during the break. The plan was announced over the summer. Last year, Residential Services only allowed international students to stay over Winter Break.

“In conversations with other members of the Residential Services team, it was seen as a way to provide more of a service to all residential students,” said Mark D’Arienzo, senior associate director of University Housing Administration.

Applications are open until Nov. 28 and students can request to stay for any amount of time on campus during Winter Break. Students are approved for a spot on a first-come, first-serve basis and will stay during the break at South Mid-Quads Hall and North Mid-Quads Hall.

D’Arienzo said housing all students who are staying over break in SMQ and NMQ allows the University to consolidate resources, such as energy usage, resident assistants and University Police staffing.

“If we let everyone stay in their original dorms it’s inconvenient,” D’Arienzo said. “You’d let one person stay in the building themselves. This is an opportunity to pool resources.”

Last year, international students stayed in the Foster-Walker Complex. Prior to the 2013-14 school year, NU did not offer any student housing over Winter Break. All other residential students were required to evacuate their rooms by 12 p.m. on Dec. 14, the Saturday after finals, and to return no earlier than noon on Jan. 4, the Saturday before Winter Quarter.

D’Arienzo said that this year, 160 bed spaces are available, in either single or double rooms. The total cost of a staying for the entire break will range from $714.38 to $844.10, depending on whether the student stays in a single or a double.

So far, the number of applications hasn’t “come close to exhausting” the spaces available, D’Arienzo said.

Residential Services will assign rooms toward the end of the month, matching double applications with other double applications.

D’Arienzo said Residential Services has not decided whether or not to open dining halls during the break.

Meal plan availability depends on the number of students who apply for housing, he said. There is a question on the application asking if the student would be interested in a two-meal-per-day plan, if offered. Prices would depend on the number of interested residents.

McCormick junior Nevil George, who was a RA in Plex last year, stayed on-campus for the 2013-14 Winter Break period. He oversaw four people who also remained at NU.

“I think personally that it’s a good thing,” George said. “I come from Mozambique, so I don’t go home that often at all … I think the new changes are cool. If someone wants to stay then they should.”

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