For many students on the Northwestern campus, the small breaks, such as Fall Break and even Thanksgiving Break present an obstacle. Students are on campus, but all facilities are closed.
NWOSU recruits students from all over the United States and supports international students as well. With students from places as far as Florida and California, it is not feasible for them to fly home for the four-day weekend. Not only that, but also some students do not have access to an automobile or are not financially stable to drive home. Whatever the case may be, they remain on campus during the break.
While the dorms cater to these students, the other amenities on campus do not. For the course of Fall Break both the library and the cafeteria closed from Thursday through Saturday. Not only were they closed, but they did not post the closing until the week of. The students who remained on campus were trapped in their rooms for the weekend because they did not have access to the cafeteria or to the library.
It is not the first time that the cafeteria hours have presented a problem. The first two days of school, move-in days, the cafeteria was not open. Students were expected to go out and buy food when they did not anticipate that expense. NWOSU students spend $1,250 a semester on the minimum meal plan, that is required for students who live on campus, but it is not available to them at necessary times. Fall Break represents the same case. Students, who remained on campus that could not afford to make the drive home, are now required to purchase food with funds that are just not there.
Those students, who had a financial reason for not going home, are the same students who make use of the libraries computers and printing services. Fall Break is the first break since Labor Day, and is the first chance for students to work ahead in their classes to prepare for the next month, or catch up on what they missed due to fall sickness. Closing the library for those two days eliminates the option of homework.
Employees of both places would like some time off, but it presents an inconvenience for those forced to stay. Students are on campus, often with very few of their friends, and with no access to on campus amenities, remain in their dorm rooms. These students attempted to make a financial decision by staying on campus, but the closing of these facilities present them with a setback. Administration should actively search for a better way to provide employees with their vacation days without taking opportunities away from their students.