Campus during the holidays

Pierce+hall+has+a+common+room+in+which+students+would+spend+time+socializing.++Most+students+went+home+for+the+holidays%2C+leaving+the+space+empty.

Keri Kelly

Pierce hall has a common room in which students would spend time socializing. Most students went home for the holidays, leaving the space empty.

By Emily Driskel, News Editor

 

During Thanksgiving and winter breaks in the past at EWU, the campus has been empty as students left to spend time with their families. With the COVID-19 restrictions allowing limited access to campus buildings, these breaks have been affected more so than in recent years.

The dorm buildings at EWU have gone through many changes during Thanksgiving and winter break as well. Deb Stafford, interim director of Housing and Residence Life, said the numbers were drastically lower over the breaks than fall quarter. 

“In general, the halls are quieter and there is less activity,” said Stafford. 

Other campus buildings also had limited hours over the break. Stafford said the PUB was open during Thanksgiving with limited hours on Thanksgiving day and Native American Heritage Day. Closed on weekends and holidays, the PUB was open with limited hours throughout winter break. 

Stafford said the break did not have a significant impact on housing. 

“Most students opted to leave campus.” -Deb Stafford, Interim Director of Housing and Residence Life

“We thought more students might remain on campus during this year’s break because of COVID restrictions and family health and safety,” said Stafford. “However, most students opted to leave campus.” 

All students lived in Pearce over winter break, said Stafford, unlike years in the past when multiple residence halls were open over the break. 

“We decided to do this as half the break housing requests were from Pearce residents [who] could just remain in their room,” said Stafford. “We were able to spread students throughout the building.” 

A total of 32 students lived in Pearce Hall over winter break which was a much lower number than those living in the residence hall over the quarter. 

Our student and professional staff is very limited this year so we wanted to make sure that we were able to support the students, which could not be done in four different halls,” said Stafford. 

Gerald Maib for The Easterner

Mary Blockhan, a freshman living in the residence halls, said her dorm was very quiet over Thanksgiving break. 

“I think there was one or two nights where I was the only person on my floor,” said Blockhan. 

There was limited access to interacting with other students within the building.

“People aren’t supposed to go to halls that they do not live in,” said Blockhan. “Everyone must wear a mask if they are not alone in their dorm room.”

Stafford said it was important to keep at least one residence hall open during the breaks.

“We offer break housing in an effort to provide a safe, comfortable place for students to live when they may not have anywhere else they can, or want, to go during that time,” said Stafford.