Ever wonder what goes on during the break? Wonder no more
It’s the holidays, the time of year when family and friends are the most important people in the world. To ensure that everyone gets to spend time with their families, the UVic campus closes for one week over the holidays and has a Winter Break Closure Policy for campus residences.
This policy affects all those who live on campus, especially residents in dorm units, as there are no residence staff and no food services available during the closure. Students living in residence and in cluster must ask for permission or special accommodations if they plan to stay — though cluster students require less accommodations, since they have kitchens in their units and are in charge of their own housekeeping.
According to UVic, typically 100 students stay on campus over the break. This is potentially due to students being unable to travel home or needing to work. Students can apply in October to remain in residence, with applications available for a limited time and late applications not accepted unless there are extenuating circumstances.
The question is, how do most of these students eat during the closure?
While none of the older residence buildings have kitchens in them, UVic recently renovated Robert Wallace Hall so that there is an externally accessible kitchen available for students with permission to cook food. This is relatively new, as prior to a few years ago, students would have been given access to empty clusters or apartments with kitchens in them. Moreover, the new Student Housing and Dining building has a community kitchen, which means that students living there do not have to use the Wallace community kitchen.
Over the holidays, UVic does employ some staff to clean bathrooms and the kitchen area where students cook. Residence Services also remains open on a limited basis, with staff working four hours a day at the front desk to allow students to pick up parcels that may have been sent to them.
Campus Security also remains staffed in case of any emergencies that occur. Likewise, Senior Management for Residence Services are also available for facilities or student-related needs and issues. While this is not news for those living in residences (at least I hope not, apparently there have been a lot of emails), it is interesting to think about campus being essentially shut down for a week.