While most Waynesburg University students are preparing to head home for Thanksgiving dinner with their families, some end up spending holiday breaks on campus. Thanksgiving break begins Wednesday, Nov. 22, and classes resume Monday Nov. 26.
To stay on campus during holiday breaks, students must submit a form to the Housing Dand meet campus requirements Matt Pioch, director of Housing, said.
“We have two types of breaks on campus,” Piochsaid. “There are open and closed breaks.”
The notice determines if students are permitted to stay on campus throughout the holidays or if they are required to leave. An open break allows students to stay on campus if they choose. A closed break means campus facilities are closed and students must go home unless there are extenuating circumstances.
“Depending on particular situations, we do allow exceptions,” Pioch said.
Pioch said the university evaluates each case individually. There aren’t a set of rules for students who are permitted to stay on campus.
The university prefers to limit the number of students who are allowed to stay on campus over Thanksgiving and winter breaks.
“We always take the health and safety of our students as a major concern. The last thing we would want is a student getting hurt in their dorm with nobody else there to help them,” Pioch said. “Even though public safety is on campus, that is still too much of a risk.”
As of this publication, , only six students have applied to spend Thanksgiving break on campus, Pioch said. For some Waynesburg students, particularly international students, distance from the university to their home prohibits them from traveling back to their families during the break— especially as airline fares peak near the holiday.
Other students stay on campus for academic, co-curricular or employment reasons. The majority of students who spend their breaks at Waynesburg are athletes.
The basketball team, for example, is scheduled to report back to school the day after Thanksgiving. The players will also spend almost the entire Christmas break at school, other than a week-long stretch when they can return home.
Clay Carper, a senior basketball player, has spent several holidays at Waynesburg.
“The biggest adjustment of being at school for break is knowing your family is there without you and that your friends are all catching up while you are at school,” Carper said. “Being on campus alone can be pretty fun, just spending time with the team and building camaraderie. We just get to spend time together, or sleep, which is what we tend to do with all of our free time.”
The biggest downfall of staying at school over a break, Carper said, is the limited access to dining services. Normal hours of operation aren’t always available during breaks.
“If we aren’t able to make it to the dining hall because of practice, or if it isn’t open, our coach usually will buy us dinner. We don’t mind it, but it can be inconvenient,” Carper said.
Students can sign up to stay over break by going to the Residence Life tab on myConnect. Students can also talk to Pioch for additional questions.