Bennett Clary and Kenley Cotter
After a semester without any days off, students may be eager to return home for a long break.
However, some students may not want to go home or they may not have somewhere to return to. For these students, USD offers the opportunity to stay on campus for as long as students need during winter break.
USD Housing will be available for students to stay over the holiday break. With a longer break than usual and COVID-19, there have been accommodation put in place to ensure the students feel safe if they choose to live on campus.
Any student is allowed to stay on campus over break if they are signed up by Nov. 20.
Kate Fitzgerald, the Director of University Housing said on-campus living this year will be very quiet. There have been students living in on-campus housing since last spring so this transition for some is not new.
“Some of the international students have been with us since spring when we closed,” Fitzgerald said. “Often International Student Services does something for Thanksgiving, I don’t know if with COVID that will happen.”
For students living on campus over break, there will be no meal service. In return, Fitzgerald said Housing will be available to help students get their groceries delivered to the building that will be staying in.
“We will have RAs in all buildings, the desks will be closed for the most part, mail will be delivered, sorted, and students will be able to get packages through the RA on duty,” Fitzgerald said.
Ashleigh Rodriguez, a sophomore accounting and finance double major, is staying on campus during the break.
Rodriguez has been an RA for two semesters, starting the spring semester of her freshman year. She said she’s never stayed on campus for a break before but is ready for the solitude to study and lounge.
“I will be doing winter break duty so I’ll be on call for those days that I’m here,” Rodriguez said. “I’m also staying the first week after Thanksgiving so that I can have solitude to help study for finals.”
Although Rodriguez said COVID-19 has made it harder to be an RA, she said her floor was able to get together and paint pumpkins in October.
Rodriguez also said not much will change for next semester when students come back.
“We’ll go through all the rooms,” Rodriguez said. “Some people revamp their floors over the semester so you might see a change in theme on your floor but there’s really nothing changing.”
Rodriguez said she encourages students to plan on staying over break have someone to talk to because it can get lonely.
“Know that people are here for you,” Rodriguez said. “Even if the desk isn’t open, you can still call the RA on call and somebody will come help you if you need it.”
The cost of staying in student housing over break depends on if the students are here for an obligation, athletics, or a research student, or choose to stay for other reasons.
“If a student wants to know an exact cost based on their circumstances, I suggest that they contact our office,” Fitzgerald said.
Over the break, students will be asked to stay in their rooms as a safety precaution, Fitzgerald said.
“If a student is exposed to or comes down with COVID-19 over the break we still want them to reach out to us so we can get them quarantined/Isolated and protect the pack,” Fitzgerald said.