University of New Hampshire (UNH) Housing recently announced via email to the UNH student body that 11 dorms will now be available to accommodate students during school breaks, compared to the current six dorms during winter break and nine dorms during Thanksgiving and spring break. The 11 dorms include Adams Tower West, Congreve, Devine, Fairchild, Hitchcock, Jessie Doe, Lord, McLaughlin, Randall, Sawyer and Scott halls.
“The objective of this new program is to make it simpler for students that need to stay over breaks,” said Victoria Perkins, Assistant Director of Apartments and Summer Conferences for UNH’s housing department. Currently, there are halls that provide housing to students over breaks, but the lengthy process, inconvenient deadlines and an additional payment has made it difficult for students to go through the application process. “With the new program, students only need to pay $50 upfront at the beginning of each semester and they can come and go as they please,” added Perkins.
UNH’s housing department was looking at a few aspects to consider before planning this program.
“The international students’ population played a major role in the planning process, that is why we chose these 11 halls as many international students were assigned there,” Perkins said.
UNH Housing is trying to be very transparent to market this program as there might not be a guarantee to provide students with housing during breaks if they did not choose to opt in this program in the beginning of the semester. This may result in students having to follow the previous system where they would need to move into a different dorm during the period of the break.
Sophia Moe, a student from Myanmar, has previously stayed on campus during breaks.
“I usually go back to my home country during the winter break but during Thanksgiving and spring break, I would stay in my dorm room due to expensive flight tickets,” she said.
Moe, a junior who is currently living in Congreve Hall, is pleased with the price point that was proposed for the program.
“$50 is cheap compared to what I have paid previously,” Moe said. “The 11 dorms are scattered around campus which is a good thing. Students do not have to travel far if they did not sign up for this program and would need housing during breaks.”
Alternatively, students also have the opportunity to stay at the Waysmeet Center on Mill Road if they need housing at any point in the year for as low as $500 per month and access to the food pantry.
“The Waysmeet Center is never closed, even during the summer so people can come in at any time,” Alissa Megee, the administrative manager at The Waysmeet Center, said.
Reshma Giji, a first-year student from India, is currently living in Hitchcock and prefers to travel during school breaks, but agrees that the price point set by the housing department for the new program is reasonable.
“I have read the email and I think that increasing the number of available dorms during the school break is great,” Giji said.
Unlike most international students, Katelyn King, a first-year student currently living in Williamson Hall, has the privilege of going back home during school breaks. However, the New Hampshire native said, “I have a lot of friends that live out of the state so I think this new arrangement could benefit them.”