As PLNU approaches the end of the semester, students are busy not only studying for finals but packing bags for the upcoming three-week break. Unlike Thanksgiving break, however, all students living on campus must vacate their dorms by noon on Saturday, Dec. 21.
Why are all students who live on campus required to leave the day after finals and not return until the Sunday before the spring semester starts? In an email interview with The Point, Jake Gilbertson, Dean of Students and Director of Residential Life, said the residence halls are closed over the Christmas break because staff are off, and there is no one to supervise or maintain campus facilities for students to remain in the dorms.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Athletes, according to Gilbertson, are allowed to stay on campus to continue training and competing. Their coaches provide oversight for student athletes in this circumstance. Another exception to the rule are certain student employees who have been pre-approved to work on campus over the holiday. Their employers provide the oversight necessary that enables them to remain on campus as well.
Yet some students who are outside of these categories would prefer to move back on campus sooner than the given date.
Jemima Goodson, a freshman graphic design major, said, “If I could, I would move back on campus a week earlier than the date students are actually allowed to come back.”
Not only is three weeks a long time for some people to be at home, but it also proposes a challenge for those trying to maintain off-campus employment. Students like Goodson who have off campus jobs but live on campus are at risk of losing their jobs over the holidays.
“My manager basically told me that they’d have to replace me during the three weeks I’m on break,” Goodson said. “If I wanted to come back after the break, they couldn’t guarantee that they would be able to hire me back if the person that replaced me decided to stay.”
Three weeks is also a long time for students who are used to a regular paycheck from on campus jobs. Fernanda Santillan, a freshman applied health major, works on campus at Point Break and Bobbie B’s. Santillan said the lack of income puts a strain on saving for tuition and other necessary expenses.
According to Santillan, “Jobs on campus are very convenient because they give us the same breaks as the school does. But on the other side, it’s our only source of income, so it’s three weeks of no income as well.”