When breaks are imminent, posters appear in residence halls with instructions that concern living on campus during breaks. While few students choose to do so, there are still students who extend their stay because of the distance between their homes and campus.
Lorenzo Nave, freshman premedical major and international student from Italy, stayed on campus over Thanksgiving break from Nov. 21 to 25.
“I basically focus[ed] on studying, and at night, I watch[ed] movies,” said Nave. “It was creepy, like it was too quiet.”
Nave speculated that five or six other students had also stayed on campus. However, he only saw one other student during the entire break when he went to the cafeteria for dinner one evening.
Dining service hours were cut back by one hour; brunch was served from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., and dinner was offered from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
“Food is offered,” Nave said, “but you have to pay for it separately. Brunch is seven dollars and dinner is nine dollars.”
The food was also limited. According to Nave, there was one main dish and one side prepared, and the meal was not at its usual quality either.
Due to the reduced hours that food was available, Nave missed brunch on one occasion when he locked himself out of his pod.
“It was sheets laundry day,” Nave said. “I got all my sheets, and I put my keys on top and walked out without noticing I dropped them.”
When he realized he did not have his keys in his possession, Nave assumed he had thrown them in the washer with his sheets. However, after checking, he realized the keys must have fallen as he took his sheets to the laundry room. Nave then attempted to call Public Safety. However, his call would not go through due to cellphone trouble, and Nave then turned to his pod mates for assistance.
“I texted them in the group chat, and they were going to drive up and let me in,” Nave said. “But then, I just asked them to call Public Safety for me.”
Once Public Safety had been contacted, Nave’s pod mates let him know via the group chat that a Public Safety officer would open the door from the booth in five minutes. Nave waited and then tried the door. After a few minutes of trying to open the door to the pod, Nave asked his pod mates to call Public Safety again and see what was going on.
There had been a miscommunication, Nave explained, and the Public Safety officer had opened the main doors to the entrance of Saint Benedict Hall instead of the pod door. After the second call, Public Safety opened Nave’s pod door and Nave was able to retrieve his keys. However, due to this incident, Nave missed the brunch hour in the cafeteria.
“I was upset,” Nave said.
Bob Baum, dean of students, said that it is important to note the flyers about breaks because they contain all the information a student would need to stay on campus. However, there are exceptions to those who can stay, and the reasons for staying must be approved.
“If there is an approved reason for the extended sta
y, there is no cost,” Baum said, citing examples such as academic work with approval or supervision of a faculty member, and work study needs.
As the impending Christmas break moves closer, students who are planning to extend their stay on campus should start to pay close attention to the flyers posted in the halls.