For some, holidays a dorm affair

Ding Ma, from China sits in his dorm room on Sunday. Ma is one of the many international students who will remain in the dorms during the campus’ winter break.

Ding Ma, an international student from China, is one of the many students who will remain in the dorms during the campus’ winter break. Darlene Wendels/The Collegian.

As students rejoice over the arrival of winter break and the prospect of returning home, others will stay behind and spend the holidays on campus.

One of these students is Ding Ma, a foreign exchange student from Qing Hai, China.

“There’s nobody here, so it’s going to get lonely,” said Ma, a junior plant science major.

As for staying in touch with family and friends back in China, Ma is looking to connect with them via Facetime.

“They’ll probably have friends over, big meal – except of course without me,” he said with a smile.

Yet having stayed in the dorms during the holidays before, Ma has plans on how to pass the time.

“It’s been tough adjusting to the culture here, but I’ll probably go to San Francisco and spend a few days there with my Uncle.  Maybe go to my friend’s house at Bulldog Village for a party,” Ma said.

Erin Boele, director of housing for University Courtyard, said students such as Ma can still be provided with food and safety during winter break.

“They are allowed to stay free of charge.  Despite the dining hall being closed, there are kitchens available within the dorms,” Boele said.  “Residential advisers will be on duty and hold events for students; there is never a time they can’t get a hold of somebody.”

Boele added that public safety assistants will also do their rounds every night, just like during the academic year.

“Most students are working and have to be here. There are over 200 to 300 students coming in and out around campus over break, and a lot of them are domestic working students,” Boele said.