It is hard to believe that winter break is already upon us. Due to the current state of the world, Mercyhurst’s winter break will look a lot different this year as opposed to past years.
An email was sent out to students on Oct. 26 from the Office of Student Conduct & Residence Life about closing plans for winter break.
With the exception of international students and students who are required to stay out of athletic or academic necessity, all students are to be moved off campus for winter break by Nov. 25 at 7 p.m., the day before Thanksgiving.
“Students are expected to pack up and leave campus within 24 hours of their last class – the department has made the decision that this should help students space out their departure times,” Sidney Rice, assistant director of Residence Life for the Briggs Neighborhood here at Mercyhurst, said.
For the students who need to stay on campus after Nov. 25, there is a Semester Break Stay Request that can be found on the Housing and Meal Plan Portal using the link given in the email sent by Res Life.
Prior to leaving campus, students will need to make sure that they throw away any trash, close and lock their windows, close the blinds, turn the thermostat to 65 degrees, turn off all of the lights, unplug everything from electrical outlets (with the exception of a refrigerator and/or aquarium) and lock their doors.
This ensures that all residence halls and apartments are safe and prepared for students’ return in January.
There will also be a Winter Break Checklist which students will need to sign and leave on their doors before leaving campus. Residence Life will be doing Health and Safety checks, so students should make sure their rooms are clean and tidy.
It is mentioned in the email that students should take any valuable possessions with them, as Mercyhurst is not responsible for lost or stolen items. This also ensures that students have everything they need for the extended period of two months.
If students do not plan to return for the spring semester, they are to remove all personal belongings from their room. If they fail to do this, their belongings will be donated.
They will also need to turn in their room keys and report any damages to their room or apartment since moving in. This is to prevent additional costs to the students. In addition to vacating their residences, students will also be expected to follow the COVID-19 protocols set forth by the World Health Organization and CDC.
It is no surprise that students will need to wear masks, practice social distancing and wash their hands or use sanitizer as necessary. Unlike move-in day at the beginning of the semester, students will not need to sign up for a time to move out, as long as they are moved out by November 25.
Please remember that residence halls and apartments will be closed as of that date and will not reopen until Jan. 23, so it is important that students take all necessary belongings with them.
RAs and other members of the Res Life team are resources to students who may have questions. When safely moved out, enjoy winter break and take time to relax and be away from any college stresses you might have!