Students to stay in other’s rooms over break

It’s not the story of Goldilocks and the three bears, but it’s similar.

When some students return from winter break in January, it may look like someone has been sleeping in their beds – and that may have been the case.

The Community Living and Learning Center said about 60 students will be staying on campus between Dec. 22 and Jan. 14, when all other students not permitted to stay on campus have left. The University has asked those 60 students to find rooms in Guthridge Hall and Mitchell Hall to stay in.

GW charges $400 for students to stay in a room over winter break, regardless of whether it is their own. Students who wish to remain on campus and that do not live in either Guthridge Hall or Mitchell Hall are encouraged to find a friend or peer and ask to stay in their room over break, said Seth Weinshel, director of Campus Housing.

Community facilitators in Mitchell Hall have asked students to offer their rooms to others who know no one in the dorm. Some residents remain hesitant to give up their room for more than three weeks.

“We were all instructed to lock our bikes to a stationary object in the room over the break,” said Jordan Kaye, a resident of Mitchell Hall. “I think it’s odd that they would tell us that, and then expect that we would feel secure letting a stranger stay in our room.”

“I don’t like the idea,” said freshman Cliff Shapiro, a Mitchell Hall resident. “They tell us not to leave valuables behind, but I don’t know how they expect us to take all of our valuables with us.”

Weinshel said students choose to stay on campus over the break for multiple reasons, including travel constraints because of long distances and previous commitments such as jobs and internships.

Students staying over the break will only be allowed to sleep in Mitchell Hall, Guthridge Hall and the Greek-letter houses. Only members of a Greek-letter group are allowed to stay in that group’s house. Weinshel said in years past an average of 100 students have stayed on campus over winter break.

Weinshel said these dorms were selected to remain open mainly because they contain a large portion of the campus’ international students.

“This was the first year that we kept Mitchell open,” added Weinshel of the all-singles dorm, “And based on there being over 300 rooms in the building we thought it would be easier for students to find other students who would let them stay in their room.”

About two-thirds of the students who stay on campus over winter break are required to because of University jobs or involvement in athletics – these students do not have to pay the $400 fee. Students staying in the Greek townhouses on 23rd Street also do not have to pay the $400 fee, Weinshel said. The other third of students must apply to stay on campus and pay the $400 fee.

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