A GVSU student’s guide to gearing up for winter break on campus

GVL/Kevin Sielaff - Grand Valleys South Apartments as seen from above on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016.

Kevin Sielaff

GVL/Kevin Sielaff – Grand Valley’s South Apartments as seen from above on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016.

Sanda Vazgec

As final exams come and go, students at Grand Valley State University are gearing up to head home for the winter break.

Those living in on-campus residence halls have a bit of housekeeping to do before they leave. The housing and residence life department urges all students to take care of their units before leaving them unoccupied for the next three weeks.

Residence halls will close Friday, Dec. 16 at 10 p.m. and will reopen Saturday, Jan. 7 at 8 a.m. All students who have not filled out a break stay request form are expected to leave their units during this time.

Before leaving, the housing and residence life department recommends students to empty all trash and recycling bins in the unit, discard any perishable food, unplug all electronics (excluding the refrigerator), turn thermostats down to 55 degrees, remove valuable items and shut and lock all doors and windows.

For the students staying in their units throughout the break, they must keep in mind the university is closed Friday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Jan. 2.

So far, the central housing office has received 564 break stay requests. This form must be filled out if a student plans to occupy their unit at any point of the winter break, even if only for one day. The form can be found online via the housing page of GVSU’s website. The form will close Thursday, Dec. 14.

“I recommend for students to get prepared knowing the university will be closed,” said Dena Willis, occupancy manager for housing and residence life. “We will have professional staff on duty in case students need assistance so they should make sure they have the duty number for their community saved.”

Students living in the following living centers can call (616) 889-0254 if they need assistance after residential desk hours: DeVos, Frey, Hills, Kirkpatrick, Laker Village, North C, Pew, Pickard, Ravines, Seidman, South C/D/E, Swanson and Stafford.

Those living in Calder, Copeland, GVA, Hoobler, Johnson, Maple, Kistler, Murray, Niemeyer, Oak, Ott, Pine, Robinson, Secchia, VanSteeland, Weed and Winter can call (616) 889-0280 for assistance.

The GVSU Police Department will still be available for emergencies

Residential desks will operate from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17 with the mail and package center open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The mail and package center will be closed Sunday, Dec. 18 but all residential desks will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The mail and package center in addition to the Holton-Hooker Living Center and Winter Hall desks will be the only residential desks in operation from Monday, Dec. 19 through Thursday, Dec. 22, open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Students are encouraged to pick up all mail and packages before leaving for the break as all residential desks, including the mail and package center, will be closed from Friday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Jan. 2.

Some residential halls may undergo maintenance and repair throughout the break and there will be scheduled power outages campus-wide.

“We will be doing some electrical testing which will result in power outages for some of the residence halls,” said Adam Tate, facilities manager for housing and residence life. “We will notify any residents staying in those areas via email or signage in the building before the power is shut off so they can prepare.”

As for food options, the only campus dining locations students will have access to for the majority of the break are Papa John’s, Subway and the Lobby Shop in the Kirkhof Center. These locations will have limited hours, students should refer to the campus dining website for a more detailed list.