As the on-campus portion of the semester ended Nov. 20, a number of students remained on campus through the week of Thanksgiving, and some through Christmas as well. Ten students stayed the entire break, while around 80 were on campus for different time frames. Additionally, more than 125 student-athletes remained for different time periods related to practice schedules and games for their sports.
Aside from athletics, reasons for remaining on campus included international students unable to return home, students in quarantine or isolation, those completing student teaching requirements or other work commitments, as well as some who required internet access to complete the semester remotely.
“I stayed because of work, so it was just me in my apartment for the break,” Alexis Smith, a senior social work major, said. “It can get pretty lonely being on campus by yourself, but honestly the Christmas lights on campus kept it feeling a lot more homey. You can see the lights from off campus, and it just reminded me of lighting ceremonies and hanging out with friends.”
The dining hall was open between Thanksgiving break and Christmas break. The numbers during each break were low enough that each
student received individual communication to ensure they had access to food. These students also stayed in touch daily with a residence life coordinator over the holiday breaks. According to Dean of Students Zach Neal, a special meal was offered to those interested at Thanksgiving and at Christmas, and most, if not all, students made other plans.
“I am very thankful that the University was able to offer this opportunity,” Neal said. “We are in conversations now to create a way for students to have this option when gaining their housing assignments in the future.”