Dorms to serve as a home away from home over Thanksgiving break

Danite Belay, Reporter

There may be no place like home for the holidays, but Marshall University’s dorms sometimes have to suffice if that home is far away.

“This year for the first time for the fall break and also for the spring break, all of the residence halls will be open,” Gabriel Poindexter, area coordinator for Marshall University Commons and Holderby Hall, said. “Normally, in the past, they would only have certain halls that would be open, and so that would leave some students displaced.”

Marshall University’s Housing and Residence Life is allowing students living in any dorm to stay on campus during breaks that last one week or longer.

Poindexter said keeping all of the dorms open is not only helpful to students, but is a “customer service measurement” Housing and Residence Life wanted to conduct.

Previously, students who requested to stay on campus in a dorm that was closed for break were required to move out of their current room and into another building for the week. Students who live on campus will no longer have to leave their residence hall and will not be charged an extra fee if they decide to stay.

Poindexter said all of the dorms will not be staffed at all times, but there will be select buildings that will have designated staff assigned to assist students at any time throughout the week.

Stevanna Scott, resident advisor, said this new policy will allow students to not feel as stressed about finding living arrangements for break if their home is not near.

“We have a lot of students who aren’t local and are from far away, so this is great for them because they can’t afford to go home or have no way home,” Scott said. “So, it’s really nice that they don’t have to worry about finding a place to stay for the week.”

While there are many benefits to keeping all of the dorms open for students, Scott said the only downside to the new policy is that during these week-long breaks, the dining halls will not be open, so students will have to find their own meals throughout the week.

Some students, like Emily Mathias, said she can’t imagine not having anywhere to go for break and Marshall should have made it a necessity earlier to keep the dorms open as a home for students during these times.

“I think it’s important because we have a lot of international students who go here,” Mathias said. Where else would they go? They have to stay here. They have to provide somewhere for them to stay because they literally can’t go home.”

Students who plan to stay on campus during breaks will not have to fill out any paper work but need to inform their resident advisors.

Danite Belay can be contacted at [email protected]