As part of our initiative called Curious Cornhuskers, an anonymous reader asked The Daily Nebraskan, “Why do the dorms kick out residents who have nowhere else to go during break?”
According to interim University Housing director Charlie Francis, the amount of students that stay on campus during break is not high enough to justify, both financially and staffing wise, keeping every residence hall open. However, there are still options for students that wish to stay on campus over break.
“For the student that is in [a] hall that is not break housing and then they have to relocate, well, there’s an inconvenience to that student,” Francis said. “From that standpoint, I’d like to be able to alleviate that [inconvenience].”
Kauffman Residential Center, Harper Hall, Abel Hall, Sandoz Hall and Love Memorial are closed during UNL breaks, according to University Housing.
“Students needing break housing must select the designated break housing residence halls,” Francis said. “Students who select and reside in halls that close over the break periods will not have access to their room during the UNL breaks.”
According to Francis, UNL can make accommodations for students living in non-break housing who need a place to stay during the break.
“We are able to accommodate them in one of the other buildings that are open during that time,” he said.
Selleck Quadrangle, Schramm Hall, Smith Hall, Knoll Residential Center, University Suites, Eastside Suites, Massengale Residential Center, The Courtyards and The Village will remain open.
Francis said the break allows staff to go home and enjoy the holidays, as the time off is pre-approved by the university.
“We have staff that want to take those holidays … as leave,” he said. “The halls that are break housing, we staff them. So, we have to set up a staffing rotation to be able to do that.”
Additionally, Francis said students spend $225 more each year to live in a residence hall with break housing, and some services, including bathroom cleaning and hall front desk hours, will be limited or unavailable during breaks.
Francis said there is a trend to have more break housing on campuses and said that, while most of the university closes down over the semester break, there may be more options for break housing in the future.
Francis said students living in non-break housing that want to stay on campus during break can call University Housing to receive those accommodations.
“We feel a responsibility to be able to provide break housing to allow the students to be accommodated on campus,” he said. “Students work with us, and we find a space where they can live during that break time.No student is turned away.”