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Dorms undergo maintenance, close for residents over break

| Thursday, December 6, 2018

As students pack up to go home for winter break, many people wonder: “What happens in the dorms over break?” As all students are required to vacate the residence halls at the end of the final examinations period, few students, if any, have been inside a dorm during this annual three-to-four-week vacancy, and what goes on during this time remains shrouded in mystery for many students.

“Many of the residence hall common spaces, including kitchens, restrooms, et cetera, are cleaned over break,” Kimberly Kolk, the assistant director of space planning and logistics for the Office of Residential Life, said in an email. “Occasionally, maintenance and residence hall improvement projects are scheduled during break as to provide minimal student disruption during project completion.”

While winter maintenance and improvement projects may vary from dorm to dorm, Kolk said, all residence halls adhere to general practices.

“We ask our hall staff to be diligent in informing students about required practices for leaving the hall for the break,” she said. “Some of these practices include: closing and locking windows, unplugging electrical items and refrigerators, emptying trash and recycling, properly sealing food and drinks left in the room, turning off lights and closing and locking room doors. Hall Staff members in each hall will check all rooms after students depart to ensure compliance with these requests. These practices are also followed as applicable in common spaces of the buildings.”

While all students must vacate the hall, Kolk said “live-in professional staff members” have the option to remain in the dorm and retain access over break. Other individuals with this access, she said, include Notre Dame Security Police officers, Residence Life staff, Building Services staff and staff involved with building maintenance.

According to the International Student and Scholar Affairs website, Notre Dame International and the Office of Housing are currently considering providing winter housing for students who are unable to stay elsewhere over break.

“This option will only be for undergraduate international students who have significant financial need (as determined by the Financial Aid Office) and have no other option over winter break (i.e., to fly home or stay elsewhere in the U.S.),” according to the website. “We cannot guarantee this to everyone who applies or is interested and will work with Financial Aid to determine the level of documented student need.

“Students who accept winter break housing are responsible for all meals during break; no dining hall service is available during this time. You may be asked, but not required, to work five hours a week for the Office of Housing over break.”

It is not clear if this policy will be introduced for applicable students for the upcoming break since no announcement has been made. It appears that, at least for now, the residence halls will remain student-less for the holidays.

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