By Nicole Stewart, Contributing Writer
UMF offers break housing, which allows students to stay on campus during break, but compared to the lively campus, students find the atmosphere like a ghost town in the cold, wintery months.
Kelsey Champagne-Smith, Assistant Director of Housing and Academic Success explained the purpose and logistics of break housing for students who may not to be familiar with it.
“Break housing during the school year is an alternative housing option for UMF students,” said Champagne-Smith. According to Champagne-Smith, many students benefit for signing up to stay over break. “It provides students the flexibility to stay on campus if they would like to or need to, while also enjoying their time off from classes.”
While the dining hall and snack bar are closed, stores like Rite-Aid and Tranten’s are right around the corner. Students can also access the restaurants in town and the kitchens provided in the dorm halls for meals.
Corynne Zinni, a Community Assistant and junior at UMF, believes that students should not be afraid to stay on campus, despite the quiet atmosphere. “I don’t think living on campus and being in a residence hall during break is as scary as people think it is,” said Zinni. “I know a lot of people are always worried because the dining hall is closed and nobody else is around, but honestly, it’s not as scary as it’s made out to be.” According to Zinni, students should be able to feel comfortable being on campus over the break.
Sarah Cookson-Gillis, a second semester freshman has stayed on campus during break and weighed in on what some days can be like during the long winter break. “There was one day that it was snowing and I woke up pretty late in the morning,” said Gillis, “there were no tracks in the road. I was thinking ‘I am the only one who has been up at this moment, this is crazy, it’s like a ghost town here.’” UMF is known to be a bright and lively campus, but during break, students may feel a sense of eeriness, with only a few students in each hall.
Students who would like to stay over break, but not the entire time should fill out a form regardless. “What students should do is sign for the whole break, because if you don’t, you get charged for scanning your card. If you are coming early, you should sign it,” said Gillis.
Another activity students can partake in is a winter course during break when staying in the dorms. According to Champagne-Smith, students that stay for winter break can easily take courses during the term. Taking a winter course can help pass the time while staying at UMF during break and also can help them earn a credit towards their major.
Zinni believes students who stay on campus during break have an easier way of bonding. “When nobody’s here, it’s weird. You walk down and expect to see people around. You don’t seem them and then you’re like ‘it feels like something is missing,’” said Zinni. “I think, when you miss that element of other people always being around, it makes you want to be closer with the people who are around.”