While most students spent their spring break vacationing or at home with family, there were some who had to stay back at Troy for various reasons such as work or, as was the case for some international students, the unfeasibility to go home for such a short period.
Overall, there were adequate provisions made for those who stayed back. The Barnes and Nobles bookstore cafe was open the entire week. Moe’s was open the first weekend and Einstein’s Bros during the weekday. The school also provided a shuttle service to Wal-Mart and Publix one day of the week.
The main problem for most students was the lack of dining options for the week, especially for those who did not own a car.
“Not having a car was horrible, as I had to walk to Wal-Mart twice,” said Gina Girgis, a freshman computer science major from Alexandria, Egypt, who decided to stay in Troy to focus on her summer internship applications and save money.
“I think it would really help if the students were given accessibility to common kitchens or provided with transportation to different parts of Troy,” she said.
“I think there should be community activities planned for students who are on campus during breaks.”
Girgis also stressed that she would have felt better had the campus gym been open over the break.
“The dining facilities could use some improvement. I do not understand why the meal plan was not honored unless the student ran out of flex points,” said Sahil Hamal, a junior computer science major from Kathmandu, Nepal, who serves as a resident assistant at Gardner hall.
“I did not have anything much to do, so I stayed back and was able to catch up with my studies and was also working as a resident assistant,” he said.
Universities across the nation have had logistical issues with providing dining options for students during breaks. Harvard University decided to provide students who were under financial aid or scholarships with stipends to cover their meal costs this year during spring break.
Grant Robinson, a sophomore nursing major from Birmingham, said he was fine with having only a few campus dining places open, as he understood the challenges of operating over the break.
“I decided to stay over the break because I wanted to work. Since no one usually stays over the break, I could get some extra hours and overtime pay,” he said.
“Honestly, I think the university did a fine job. I realize a lot of campus workers are also students, so I did not mind having only a few places open. As a current employee of a fast food restaurant, I understand that opening places like Moe’s or A&W the entire week would have been a tough decision because of how strenuous the job is.”
I believe there are a few things the University could implement during short breaks when students would be on campus. While Einstein Bros Bagels was opened for most of the week, it did not provide the best dining option for meals and some place like Moe’s would have been more convenient for students.
The bookstore, while providing great options for beverages and quick bites, can be expensive when it comes to purchasing meals.
It would help students who do not own a car if there were a shuttle service to select off-campus dining locations at least once every day during these breaks, as that could help them with meals as well.
Open-access kitchens are also helpful, and while some residence halls have kitchens, the university should consider installing one in every hall or giving students access to the ones already in place.
Implementing some of these changes would drastically help improve the living situation for students who have to stay back, and while this may not be done right away, the university should consider ways to gradually work toward making living on campus during breaks more convenient.