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OHIO residence halls to remain open over Spring Break

A change in business operations within Ohio University’s Department of Housing and Residence Life will allow Bobcats to remain at their home away from home during the University’s upcoming Spring Break.

For the first time ever, all of the residence halls on OHIO’s Athens Campus will remain open during Spring Break, slated for March 6-10.

According to Jneanne Hacker, director of business and conference services for Housing and Residence Life, the department has been monitoring the need for on-campus housing during Spring Break since the University converted from quarters to semesters in 2012. In recent years, the department has observed an increase in students wishing to remain on campus during Spring Break as well as an increase in students returning to campus early during the break period.

“We collectively as a department determined that it was in the best interest of our students and our department to keep the residence halls open over Spring Break,” Hacker said.

Hacker added that the department has heard from some of its campus partners who currently are or who plan to create service-learning experiences in the Athens area over Spring Break. In keeping the residence halls open for the break, Housing and Residence Life also hopes to encourage and help facilitate those opportunities, allowing the University’s departments and classes to pursue outreach to the local community.

Hacker noted that the department has developed a staffing plan that ensures adequate staffing in the residence halls while also allowing some of its staff members to leave the campus for the break.

Students wanting to stay in the residence halls during Spring Break will not incur any additional fees but will be asked to register with Housing and Residence Life. Students living on campus will be receiving an email in the coming days asking if they intend to be on campus at any point during Spring Break. Hacker noted that while registration is not required to remain on campus, that information will assist the department with its staffing plans and help the department plan for any programming and activities that will be offered during the break.

All of the venues operated by OHIO’s Culinary Services will be closed over Spring Break, but Housing and Residence Life does anticipate offering one or two opportunities for food and engagement as it did for students remaining on campus during Thanksgiving and Winter Break. Those activities will be advertised on Housing and Residence Life’s website and through its social media accounts. 

Hacker noted that students who plan on being on campus during Spring Break should continue to monitor their OHIO email accounts during the break period as some work within the residential facilities will occur as scheduled. As an example, Hacker said that fire alarm testing will occur in Bromley Hall over Spring Break, requiring staff within OHIO’s Environmental Health and Fire Safety departments to enter all of the rooms within that facility. Students in Bromley Hall who plan on staying on campus during the break will be provided a sign indicating that their room is occupied, but will be subject to the normal “knock, announce, key in” protocol used during fire alarm testing.

“We’re looking forward to having our halls open during Spring Break,” Hacker said. “There’s a certain level of energy when the students are here on campus, and we feel that having the residence halls open during break will provide the best overall experience for those students who don’t have an opportunity to leave campus or go home.”