Students plans for Winter Break may include binge-watching Netflix, eating holiday meals and catching up on sleep—but this won't be happening on campus. 

Rick Johnson, associate vice president for student affairs in Housing, Dining and Residence Life, sent an email to students Friday explaining that students will no longer be able to stay on campus during Winter Break. Instead, the University has secured several room blocks in area hotels for those remaining in Durham. The change comes as fewer beds remain available on Central Campus due to the closing of some apartments last semester, Johnson noted.

“This year there are no vacant apartments available, so Housing worked with Financial Aid and International House to take care of all students needing Winter Break accommodations,” he wrote in an email Friday. 

International House has been working with its students for more than a month, Johnson added.

The hotels are available from Dec. 20 to Jan. 7 and include Residence Inn Durham, Extended Stay America, University Inn and Millennium Hotel Durham. Johnson explained that one of the hotel options charges the same price that HDRL charged in the past to rent students rooms on Central Campus during Winter Break. That hotel also provides a shuttle service to campus and “free, light continental breakfast.”

The prices for the hotels range from $71.50 to $108.96 per room per night.

Alison Rabil, assistant vice provost and director of financial aid, noted that her office is working with students to assist them in reserving rooms for Winter Break. Students receiving financial aid will have the expense covered and will receive a meal stipend. Those not receiving aid will have to pay their own way or travel home. Merit aid students will have housing covered as well.

“I think it was a great solution and one that we plan to keep using for the foreseeable future,” Rabil wrote in an email.

Students are not permitted to stay in their normal living spaces during break due to “safety and security” concerns, Johnson noted.

In past years, students were housed in apartments on Central Campus during break. In March, the University announced that approximately 160 students would be relocated elsewhere as some apartment units on Alexander Avenue and Anderson Street would be vacated because they had out-lived their usefulness and required extensive maintenance.