What you need to know about spring break 

Spring break is March 2 through March 10 for students and staff at Point Loma Nazarene University. The campus will be closed for that week and residents are not allowed to remain in their dorm over the holiday. As PLNU finishes up this week, Residential Life is asking students to help prepare for spring break by completing a checklist in their dorm rooms. 

An email was sent out by Residential Life to all residence halls on campus regarding the closure. The email contained the times and days the campus will close and reopen. On Saturday, March 2 at 12:00 p.m., the campus will close and all students are expected to be out of their dorms. On Sunday, March 10 at 12:00 p.m., the campus will reopen. The email also stated that there will be a $50 fine for leaving after or entering before the given time on either of those dates. There will also be a $200 fine to anyone who attempts to re-enter the building prior to March 10. 

According to the email, it is recommended by Residential Life that students take home any valuable items or lock them in their closets. There is also a checklist given to each student with instructions on what to do before leaving on break. Students are expected to have their windows shut, blinds lowered, heater turned off, trash and recycling bins emptied and doors locked. Once students have left the building, the residential staff will conduct a health and safety inspection to make sure all of these tasks have been completed. For each incomplete task, each person in the room will be fined $15. It is also advised that students fill out any work orders they need completed prior to leaving for break. 

As a result of the campus closure, students are expected to find somewhere to stay during spring break. For some students who are international, live across the country or do not have the means to return home or go on a trip, this can be a challenge. 

Leila Domen, a third-year biology major and resident assistant (RA), has been stressed about the campus closure. 

“I am from the Philippines, it is about a 12-14 hour flight,” Domen said. “The last time I went home was the summer of my freshman year. I think during my first year it was pretty hard to figure out what I was going to do for spring break and seeing all my friends go home, but it is not possible for me because it is just not visible. I do have family here which makes it easier.” 

According to Domen, international students do have the ability to request to stay on campus during spring break; however, after reaching out to Residential Life that has not been confirmed or denied, they said it really depends on the circumstance. 

Residential Life coordinator Heather McClary said there is no protocol for students who do not have a place to go. 

“Residential Life does everything in its power to work with students to navigate this situation,”  McClary said via email. “It is also recommended to students that they reach out to trusted friends, staff or faculty if they are needing a place to stay. Please note, there are ongoing conversations in regards to what future breaks look like and how to best take care of our students.” 

As an RA, Domen hears about other students’ circumstances. 

“I am not sure how it works for people who are from the States but just don’t have the means to go back, but I think maybe PLNU should have more consideration for those students,” Domen said. “For my residents, most of them live nearby but I know in Finch [Residence Hall] there are a couple of students who do not have a place to go for spring break.” 

Carly Coble is a first-year health and human performance major and New Jersey native. She said the distance and financial aspect make it hard for her to go back and forth often. 

“Since Easter break is shortly after spring break, I decided early on that I would stay out here in California during our spring break to keep up with my studies and avoid the hefty financial costs,” Coble said. 

Coble said she has figured out a spring break plan to do some camping and road-tripping. 

“I definitely feel that PLNU should have an option to stay on campus,” Coble said. “Even though a majority of students live in California, it would be nice to have a sense of comfort in knowing that if you couldn’t make a plan to stay with someone who lives nearby, you had a place to lay your head at night without worrying about additional costs.”

McClary clarified that all dorms are closed over break; however, there are exceptions for students who are required to stay for student employment and athletics. Those who stay due to a school-related requirement must have a staff/faculty advisor to take on the role of a Residential Life representative when Residential Life staff is not present.

“During closures, there are usually a fair amount of maintenance needs, low staff coverage (including our RDs [resident director] and RAs), our dining facilities are closed and our on-campus/off-campus transportation is not running regular hours,” McClary said.