Holiday breaks are often known as a time to travel home and enjoy a home-cooked meal with family.
But some students have to—or decide to—stay on campus during school breaks.
Reasons to stay on campus vary from being an international student who simply can’t go back home, athletes with games during break, or an independent student with no one to visit.
Senior Sunday Okello has spent the last three Thanksgiving breaks on campus.
This year will mark the fourth time Okello has made the decision to stay on campus.
“Unlike a majority of [Franklin College] students, I come from over 7,000 miles away,” Okello said. “Going home just for Thanksgiving is not only a complete waste of time, but also extremely expensive.”
Director of Residence Life Jacob Knight said students who decide to stay on campus must submit a form that describes their purpose for staying on campus.
Knight reviews the forms and approves or denies the student’s request.
“About the only thing that we will say ‘no’ to when it comes to this application is people trying to do social activities during that break period,” Knight said. “On occasion, we have a party that’s happening. We’re going to turn you away, unfortunately.”
Knight said athletic coaches and staff will contact him on behalf of student athletes if they have a scheduled practice or game.
Students who plan to stay on campus because of their local job may have to ask their employer to write a letter saying the student is scheduled to work during break.
The cost of staying on campus varies depending on the student’s situation.
During breaks, international students, student athletes and students going on an academic trip stay on campus for free.
Other students will pay 10 dollars for every day they stay on campus.
Knight offered a few suggestions to make the most of staying on campus during break.
- If a student doesn’t have a car, go with a friend to the store before they leave. Sodexo’s dining hall and Ben’s Den is closed Wednesday to Sunday of Thanksgiving break.
- Take advantage of Franklin’s public transit system, Access Johnson County. The bus pickup and drop-off location is in front of the Dietz Center.
- Make sure you have some movies, video games or books so you have something to avoid boredom.
If any trouble arises during the days of break, students can contact the on-duty residence life assistant and the counseling services.
Some students, like Okello, consider staying on campus the best option for their situation.
“I would encourage those [who] can’t go home—especially international students—to apply [to stay on campus],” Okello said. “This would save oneself from the struggles of looking for places to stay during Thanksgiving.”