Parents & Families

October 31, 2013

Many housing and dining options available during breaks

Michelle Primley Benton, an administrator in Housing & Food Services (HFS), talks about housing and dining options available to students during the upcoming winter break times. Within the Division of Student Life, HFS provides safe, convenient and affordable housing, as well as programs that promote personal development. The department also operates restaurants, espresso bars and markets across campus.

As we enter the second half of November, quarter and holiday breaks will be here before we know it. And for some of you, this is an exciting time because it means having your student back at home for a quick visit! For others, breaks are a time for students to visit friends, travel or enjoy the peaceful nature of campus when classes are not in session. During Thanksgiving break, all of our residence halls and apartment communities are open for students, with Residential Life staff on call. Desk services and dining locations will have limited hours and closures during the break, so students residing on campus will want to plan accordingly for meals on Thursday, November 28. Many of our communities host programs that feature a traditional Thanksgiving meal during that time, so encourage your student to check with their Resident Adviser (RA) if they plan to stay for the break.

Many of our international students look forward to the opportunity to enjoy a traditional American Thanksgiving holiday; if you live in the area and are interested in hosting a student for Thanksgiving, the Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS) coordinates a program that matches UW international students with area families to share in this tradition. For more information, contact You may also consider having your student invite an international or out-of-state friend home for the holiday. This invitation is a great way to connect and help spread a Husky welcome to students who are far from home during the break.

During winter break, our residence halls close promptly at noon on Saturday, December 14, and reopen for students at 8 am on Sunday, January 5. Please make sure that your student’s travel arrangements take this timeline into account, as the residence halls will not be accessible between these dates. (Terry residents moving into the brand new Lander Hall will be able to return to the hall on Saturday, January 4 – these residents will receive more specific, direct communication on this process.)

While students will not be able to stay in the halls during break, if they are returning to their same room on January 5, they only need to pack up items they will need while they’re away. Our apartment communities (Mercer Court, Cedar, Stevens Court, Nordheim, Family Housing) will remain open for their residents over winter break. During this time, dining locations will have significant closures and limited hours. For students in our residence halls who are unable to travel home for the break, there are several options available. Many students use that time to travel; this month, FIUTS helps us distribute a list of hotels and hostels in Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver, BC that offer exceptional deals for our students. In addition, there are many sub-lease options available within the University District for the break. Students may also opt to spend portions of the break visiting friends – another great opportunity to meet other Huskies! If your student has any questions about closures over the break, please encourage them to contact their RA or Resident Director – our staff is happy to help.