Living in University Place during the Christmas break


Karley Martinez

While University Columns residents decorate for the holidays, University Place residents are preparing to leave.

My freshman year of college, I roomed with a friend and lived in the University Place dorms in a private suite. This meant I had total privacy in my room and the adjoining bathroom, and all we shared was the common space. Now, of course, this was the year of COVID-19, so everything was a little out of the ordinary when it came to the rules.

Needless to say, my first and only experience at the dorms was incomparable but hearing about some of the rules set in place on campus from my friends leaves me wondering about other procedures the dorms have in place, which I have since been unaware of after moving off campus.

Well, if you’ve never done the process, campus housing first requires you to sign a school year-long lease, from August to May, and you sign your responsibility onto that paper. You must keep it clean, undamaged and unaltered when you leave. But for the University Place dorms, things change.

Not in the sense of responsibility, but when it comes to what exactly you are signing up for. The holidays are a busy time for all of campus, so Varnado Hall and University Columns will not require students to leave the dorms over break, but if you live at University Place, you will have to leave your dorm for the break.

You can leave your stuff, but that does not mean maintenance won’t be in to do random repair works on this or that, of course with notice beforehand. Still, it does not make sense for the school to allow all other living residences to stay on campus for the break but require everyone in University Place to leave.

According to the housing FAQ 2021 document found online, “Residents at University Columns and Varnado Hall are allowed to stay over all University breaks and holidays. Residents at University Place are required to leave during the winter break (Christmas) only. They will not be required to remove their belongings over the holiday break.”

This whole idea baffles me. I never knew about this rule, and despite having the ability to research, I did not expect to be kicked out of my dorm at all. When Christmas time came and my roommate and I were made aware of our move-out date, I was very worried. I did not want to return home because I did not have a way there, and I enjoyed the freedom I had on campus. Plus, I was paying a good amount to call this place my home for the year and was almost embarrassed to say I was kicked out over break.

My plans ended up working out for the better though, seeing as I was able to go visit family in Colorado for the break, but it does not change the fact that I felt very strongly in my opinion that no students should be forced to leave their dorms over holiday break unless there is financial compensation or some other plan set in place that all leasing residents are made aware of when they renew their housing applications every year.

This is what I believe should happen, but of course, it does not apply to me anymore since I live off campus, happily and healthy. But I am curious as to others’ opinions on this matter, as well as curious to know what housing would say should I approach them with my questions. But alas, with the holidays soon approaching, no changes will be happening during this school year.

Stay safe and stay stuffed over the break!