By Karina Sprague, Staff Writer

‘Tis the season for earmuffs, heavy jackets, final cram sessions, and long holiday vacations. For many University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) students, the long vacations mean packing up and heading home to fill up on home cooking, walk around without pants, and sleep until 3 p.m. in your childhood bed. However, for some students, long vacations mean cramming in more work hours, taking a winter term class to get ahead on credits, or spending the class-free time practicing with their sports team. Thankfully, UMF has those students covered.

   Students who wish to stay in the dorms over extended vacations, such as Thanksgiving break or Winter break, can do so by filling out a break-housing application in the Student Life office. Melissa Campbell, director of housing at UMF mentioned a few appealing details about UMF’s specialized lodging. “Break housing for Thanksgiving and Winter are free” said Campbell.”[And] Students can stay in their own rooms”.  In previous years, students who wanted to stay on campus during vacation periods had to reserve a room in Dakin or Mallet halls. Students were also charged a small nightly fee to stay in the dorms during the month long Winter break.

   Very few students stay on campus over break. The new changes that allow students to stay in their own rooms makes it feel even emptier since students are spread out over the campus. Rebecca Slack, a junior at UMF, stayed in Dakin hall during Spring break her freshman year and noticed the unusually calm atmosphere. “All my friends went home so it was really quiet and lonely” said Slack.

   There are also positive aspects to staying on campus over break. “he best part about it was that it was I got to stay for a club activity,” said Slack. Staying on campus also saves on traveling expenses, offers a free place to stay if students have to work close to campus, and allows students to spend less time packing and moving and more time to relax.

   Although the halls might be filled with less students, Community Assistants (CAs) are still around to keep an eye on things. “We have 4 current CA’s that work in each of the areas. Two for Scott, one for Mallett, Purington, and FAB and one for Dakin and Stone” said Campbell. “They sit duty one hour a night and have the duty phone on them should any assistance be needed. They do rounds in all the halls as well.”

   If you choose to go home over break, CAs ask that you follow the closing directions that will be posted on the doors prior to the halls closing. Some of the basic procedures include closing and locking the windows, emptying the trash, and setting the thermostat to a designated temperature. Some of the rules for Thanksgiving break and Winter break differ due to the time the occupants will be absent.

   Applications for Thanksgiving break are due in the Student Life office by 4 p.m. on Monday, November 25th. Applications for Winter break are due by Monday, December 18th at 4 p.m. “We want to ensure their swipe cards are activated in enough time to ensure they still have access to their buildings, so it’s important to know the deadline” said Campbell.

   Halls close for Thanksgiving break on Wednesday, November 27th at 9 a.m. and are set to re-open at 9 a.m. on December 1st.