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Thanksgiving and Winter Break Announcement

Updated October 28, 2020

In order to protect the safety of our campus community, all undergraduate and graduate residential students are required to inform the University of their Thanksgiving break plans.

Please note: All instruction after Thanksgiving break will be taught remotely until the end of the fall semester, regardless of whether a student is living on campus.

The three options are:

  • Go home for Thanksgiving break and return to campus after break
  • Go home for Thanksgiving break and stay home after break, completing courses remotely for the remainder of the fall semester
  • Stay on campus over Thanksgiving break and remain on campus after break

The form you need to complete to inform us of your plans can be found under “applications” in THD and must be completed by November 9, 2020. Students who would like to remain on campus during the break should use the form to make the request. While all requests will be approved, please note that dining in the University Commons will be closed for Thanksgiving break and reopen for dinner on Sunday, November 29.

Don’t wait! Complete the form and inform us of your plans today so we can facilitate a safe and orderly process for all students. Those who fail to register by November 9 will be notified by email. ID card access may be deactivated if students do not complete the form by November 12.

What should I do if I am returning to campus after Thanksgiving break?

Residents who are returning after Thanksgiving will keep their key until they officially check out at the end of the semester. Residents must indicate on their registration form in THD when they will check out.

All students returning to live on campus after Thanksgiving break must be tested for COVID-19.

Post-Thanksgiving Break COVID-19 Testing Plan for Students Returning to Campus

  • Residence halls reopen at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 29.
  • Residents who register to return to campus after Thanksgiving break will retain their key prior to break and be allowed to move back in before testing.
  • Testing will take place on Monday, November 30 and Tuesday, December 1 in the CSP 200 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Residents will be assigned to testing blocks alphabetically by last name between 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. both days. Health Service staff will take a lunch break from 12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m.
  • Residents who have a class conflict during their assigned time are asked to report for testing between 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. on their assigned day.
  • Testing block schedules will be posted on the University’s COVID-19 website and on THD by November 23.

What should I do if I am not returning to campus after Thanksgiving break?

Residents who leave for the semester before Thanksgiving and are not returning until the spring semester will officially check out and must return their key before leaving campus.

Can students stay in the residence halls during winter break?

Residence Halls are closed for winter break effective December 18, 2020 at 9:00 p.m. Residents who need to stay over winter break must submit a winter break housing application/request through THD by December 9. Students will be notified by December 11 if their request is approved. Not all requests will be granted. The cost for winter break housing is $200/week (billed to the student account) and residents may be required to move to a different building/area for the break. Graduate students living in Gateway are approved to stay in their apartments at no additional cost but still need to submit an application/request.

How do I check out of my residence hall?

When checking out (either before or after Thanksgiving), keys must be returned to the RA, the Residence Life Office, or Public Safety via express check-out envelope before leaving campus. Residents who fail to return their key will be issued a $200 fine. Residents are not required to remove their belongings from housing if they are continuing as a residential student in January.

When do Residence Halls open after Thanksgiving?

Residence halls will reopen after Thanksgiving at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 29. All students who return (or stay during break) will participate in required COVID-19 testing on either Monday, November 30 or Tuesday, December 1 in the CSP building from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Specific day and testing time frames for students will be posted in THD and on the COVID-19 website by November 23.

What is the COVID-19 testing plan for when students return in January?


In January, students will be required to be tested for COVID-19 before they move back into the residence halls. The process will be the same as what was done in August. If you do not take a COVID-19 test (or show negative results of a test taken within 72 hours), you will not be issued a key. Return dates and testing schedules will be posted in THD and on the COVID-19 website by the first week of January.

Undergraduate residential students will be assigned testing and move in days beginning on January 20, 2021. Undergraduates who were approved to stay for winter break and kept their keys will be tested according to the schedule in THD.

Undergraduate commuter students taking in-person classes will test January 18 and 19 anytime 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Graduate students will be scheduled and tested as notified by their Deans.

Do I have to show proof of having received a flu shot prior to returning to campus for the Spring term?

Yes, per MA law the influenza (flu) vaccine is required for all students to attend the University and must be received prior to January 1, 2021. If you received a flu vaccine in Health Services we have it recorded. If you received a flu vaccine off campus please provide documentation from the provider or pharmacy to Health Services.  You may bring in the documentation of vaccination or send in a PDF to healthservices@wne.edu. Be sure include your first name, last name and WNE ID Number.

Don’t forget Massachusetts travel restrictions! Students are reminded to check Mass.gov Travel Orders before returning to campus after Thanksgiving or winter break. Those returning from high risk states must complete a Massachusetts Travel Form and provide a negative COVID test result taken within 72 hours of arrival or expect to quarantine for 14 days (or until their WNE COVID test comes back negative). They may also request to come back early after winter break to start quarantine while they wait for their WNE COVID test results.

If you have any questions about break housing or returning after a break, please email Residencelife@wne.edu or call 413-782-1317.