Break Housing

Residences close during winter break beginning at noon on Saturday, December 17 through Sunday, January 22 at 10 a.m. when they reopen for continuing students.

  • All students not returning the spring semester must completely move out and return their room key(s) to Residence Life no later than noon on Saturday, December 17.
  • All students returning the spring semester must be out of their residence during the entirety of winter break as all spaces are closed during this period; these students will leave belongings in their residence and lock their door upon departing campus.
  • See below for information regarding limited availability of winter break housing. 
Residences remain open during the following break periods:
  • Fall break (Saturday, October 8 - Tuesday, October 11)
  • Thanksgiving break (Wednesday, November 23 - Friday, November 25)
  • Spring break (Saturday, March 11 - Sunday, March 19)

Dining Services are closed during Thanksgiving break, winter break, and spring break. Dining Services are open during fall break.

After each break, all students must participate in mandatory COVID-19 testing when the academic session resumes. Review specific information regarding this required testing in emails at the end of each break.

Preparing your room before you depart for winter break

Before departing for the break, prepare your room as follows:

  • Empty all trash and remove all opened perishable food (to avoid attracting pests).
  • To help safeguard against damage to personal property in case of a maintenance emergency, remove all electronics and other valuables from the floor of your room. As always, ensure your floor is cleared near doorways and windows, with unobstructed pathways for emergency exits.
  • Unplug all appliances, clocks, computers, stereos, window air conditioner units, etc. Everything must be unplugged except your refrigerator and mini-fridge.
  • Remove batteries from alarm clocks so they do not sound.
  • Close all windows and blinds.
  • Turn off the lights and lock the room door as you leave.

All residence hall rooms will be visited at the beginning of winter break by resident advisors (RAs) for fire, health, and safety inspections and to ensure the bulleted list above was completed. These are done to ensure compliance with college policy and safety regulations. Hampshire College takes safety very seriously, and students are expected to do the same. During the inspection, two RAs will survey the entire residence to ensure it is safe and ready for the break period. Typically, it takes less than a few minutes. Be sure to review policies in the Student Handbook. Residence Life always has two people conduct these inspections so no one is in your room alone, and a notice is left so you know they were there. The campus and local fire marshals also inspect rooms over some break periods.

Winter Break Housing

Only a small number of students will be permitted to stay in their room assignment during winter break. For example, international students unable to leave campus housing and students taking fall semester classes at other nearby institutions ending a few days after winter break begins or a few days before it ends will be permitted to stay without charge. A few other exceptions may be made, such as those choosing to take a J-term course at a nearby institution, with the student being charged $1,000 for the entire break or $35 per day for portions of the break. Students wishing to stay at any point over winter break must submit a completed winter break housing application form by November 30. There are important terms on the form regarding expectations during this special period of time.

If you are a basketball or track athlete and your coach has asked you to stay on campus over winter break, you do not need to complete the form for those dates. Instead, your coach will provide your name and the dates you are staying on campus, and residence life staff will email you approval for those dates; if you need to stay on campus beyond those dates, you must complete the winter break housing form. Similarly, if you are a part of an established theater group in communication with residence life and need to stay on campus during the preparation period of an early spring semester performance, you only need to submit the form if you need housing beyond the approved communicated dates.

Winter Break Housing Application

International students leaving campus in December and returning in January should plan to arrive to campus on January 22; if this is a hardship and they must make flight arrangements a day or so earlier, they may submit the Winter Break Housing form to be able to return early.