Packing up for winter break

What does this mean for the likelihood of students returning in the Spring?


Photo Courtesy/ Unsplash Michal Balog

In an email sent to resident students on Thursday, Oct. 22, the Office of Residence Life announced new winter break check-out procedures, which includes resident students packing up all of their belongings in their rooms. Yes, that means everything must be packed in boxes or bins, everything must be out of drawers, cabinets, closets, etc. and everything must be off the walls. So what does this mean for the likelihood of students returning in the Spring?

While students do not need to bring all of their belongings home with them over break, their items will need to be completely boxed up to prepare for the possibility that students may not be permitted to return in the Spring. 

In the event of new federal, state, or city guidance regarding COVID-19 while we are closed for Winter Break, all resident students are required to pack up their personal belongings,” the email from Residence Life said.  

I do understand getting a head start on packing to make it a quicker process if we do not return, but, again, it just seems a little much to me to have us pack everything. Completely packing up my room and suite to return in two months and have to unpack and redecorate again seems a tad overkill to me. Sure, taking my decorations down will take a grand total of 10 minutes, but that’s something that could easily be done if we do not return in the spring and I have to come pick my belongings up.

I can’t help but wonder if this is truly a precautionary measure or if the chances of us returning in the spring are low – with flu season approaching and other countries experiencing  a second surge of COVID-19 cases, I worry that the pandemic will get worse and cause us to revert to completely virtual learning again come the spring semester. Residence Life’s decision to require students to pack up all of their belongings only makes me more concerned that we may not return next semester.  What I perceive to be procedural overkill could be Residence Life anticipating students not returning in the spring.

As sad as it is to think about, the new winter break procedures  have me considering the likelihood of students returning to campus in the spring, and I feel that the decision to have students pack up all of their belongings is simply not a good sign.