Housing During Breaks

Western’s academic year contains three major breaks when classes are not in session. Residential buildings remain open, but the majority of residents leave campus for most or all of the break. Many campus services are suspended, including meal service in the dining commons. To see special break schedules for other campus services, visit Dining Services, the Student Health Center, Western Libraries, and the Wade King Rec Center.

  • Thanksgiving Break is Wednesday, November 21 through Sunday, November 25. Meal service in the dining commons ends at noon on Wednesday and resumes with dinner on Sunday.
  • Winter Break starts at 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14 and ends at 10 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 6. Meal service in the dining commons ends at 1:30 p.m. on Friday and resumes at 5 p.m. on Sunday.
  • Spring Break starts at 4 p.m. Friday, March 22 and ends at 10 a.m. Sunday, March 31. Meal Service in the dining commons ends with lunch on Friday and resumes with brunch on Monday, April 1.

Housing fees are billed to your student account one quarter at a time and they do not include the winter and spring breaks. This is because housing is free during winter and spring breaks—as long as you remain an on-campus resident for the first 14 days of the new quarter. If you move out during the break or within the first 14 days of the new quarter, you will be charged a checkout penalty for each day of the break, up to and including the day of checkout, even if you did not stay in your room for any part of the break. The purpose of this policy is to encourage students who are planning to move off campus, to do so at the end of the quarter.

To support the small number of residents who remain in the halls during break, a reduced number of staff are on call and desk services are centralized with reduced hours. If you plan to leave for part of break, check your community page for break desk hours.

Room Inspections

At the start and end of winter and spring breaks, staff will enter your room and inspect it for health and safety hazards, especially those involving window locks, electrical outlets, heat controls, pests and prohibited items. At no time during the inspection will staff open or move anything. Please note that if policy violations are found, it may result in conduct action.

Room Vacancy

If there is a vacancy in your room, be sure to leave the vacant side clean and empty so it is ready for a new roommate to move in and feel welcome. Your side of the room should also be tidy and presentable. Failure to leave your room properly prepared may result in conduct action and additional housing charges. A new roommate may arrive at any time during the break. You can monitor your roommate assignment over the break on MyHousing.

Room Cleanliness

Even if there is not a vacancy in your room, you are advised to leave your side tidy and presentable. It is common for a roommate to unexpectedly move out during the break and for a new roommate to be assigned. In the event a new roommate arrives to your room and finds it extraordinarily messy and unwelcoming, you may be subject to conduct action and additional housing charges.

Bathroom Cleaning

If you are in a suite-style room, your bathroom may be cleaned or repaired over the break. Please remove all personal belongings from your bathroom area to allow access by custodial and maintenance staff.

Meal Service

Meal service in the dining commons is suspended during breaks. Brunch/lunch on Friday is the last meal served in the dining commons before closing for the break. Meal service for winter quarter resumes with dinner on Sunday; meal service for spring quarter resumes with breakfast on Monday. Check Campus Dish to see updated hours and locations of food services across campus.

Checklist Before You Leave

  • If you have live plants or fish, take them with you or arrange for their care.
  • Take out your garbage and recycling, and remove any perishable food from your fridge.
  • Lock your windows and close the blinds. Notify staff immediately if your window lock is broken.
  • Leave your heat on. It will be controlled from a central location.
  • Unplug electronics and turn off the lights.
  • Lock your door.

Break housing is available only to students who are continuing at Western for the upcoming quarter. If you are graduating or leaving Western, you are not eligible to stay over break and you must be officially checked out of your room by 4 p.m. on Friday of finals week to avoid the Winter Quarter Checkout Penalty.

To support the small number of residents who remain in the halls during break, a reduced number of staff are on call and desk services are centralized with reduced hours. Check your community page for break desk hours.

Room Inspections

At the start and end of winter and spring breaks, staff will enter your room and inspect it for health and safety hazards, especially those involving window locks, electrical outlets, heat controls, pests and prohibited items. At no time during the inspection will staff open or move anything. Please note that if policy violations are found, it may result in conduct action.

Room Vacancy

If there is a vacancy in your room, be sure to keep the vacant side clean and empty so it is ready for a new roommate to move in and feel welcome. Your side of the room should also be tidy and presentable. Failure to leave your room properly prepared may result in conduct action and additional housing charges. A new roommate may arrive at any time during the break. You can monitor your roommate assignment over the break on MyHousing.

Maintenance and Custodial Projects

Maintenance and custodial projects often occur within the residential buildings during break. These projects may involve noise, utility outages, detours and entry into student rooms.

Bathroom Cleaning

If you are in a suite-style room, your bathroom may be cleaned or repaired over break. Please remove all personal belongings from your bathroom area to allow access by custodial and maintenance staff.

Mail Delivery

Mail is delivered to all residential buildings during breaks with the exception of when the desk is closed. Students are notified when a package is ready for pick up, but can only claim them during the reduced Intersession desk hours, posted at the front desk. If you have any questions please contact Housing-Mail@wwu.edu or Mail Services (360-650-3770).

Special Desk Hours

Be aware of special desk hours on your community page and how to contact the RA on call. The information is also posted at your front desk.

Meal Service

Since meal service in the dining commons is suspended during break, cooking in your residence hall can be fun and easy. To locate the kitchens in your community, explore your hall directory. Cooking utensils are available for checkout at your front desk.

Check campus dish to see updated hours and locations of food services across campus.

Lockout Assistance

If you need lockout assistance or a safety escort, contact University Police at 360-650-3555.

Because residential staff are on call at a reduced level during breaks, checking out during break requires you schedule an appointment with Residence Life at 360-650-2960. Please abide by the Proper Checkout Procedure which involves vacating and cleaning your share of the room, completing a room inspection, and handing in your keys.

  • Failure to follow the Proper Checkout Procedure may result in a $35 improper checkout fee, key charges and additional room rent.
  • Moving out before the end of the school year may result in a contract breakage fee up to $400 except in cases of school withdrawal, graduation, internship or study abroad.
  • Moving out during winter or spring break may result in a checkout penalty.