Friday, December 1, 2023

Winter Break is just around the corner. The residence halls will close on Saturday, Dec. 16 and re-open on Saturday, Jan. 13. However, students are welcome to stay on campus if they’ve registered to do so.

If you’re leaving campus for Winter Break, don’t forget to lock your doors and take your keys with you. Here are a few additional tips for a safe time away, whether you live on campus or off:

Tips for Residence Hall Rooms

Complete this checklist before you leave your room for winter break. 

  • Help is available. Winter can be a stressful and challenging time of year with midterms, finals, and holidays. Remember there are resources on campus to support your mental health as well as your academic success.
  • Close, lock, turn off. Close your windows to secure your space and avoid frozen pipes. If you plan to be away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55 degrees. Lock your doors, and turn off alarm clocks, lights, etc. Take out any trash to avoid pests or unpleasant smells upon your return.
  • Secure your personal belongings before you leave town. Don’t leave your valuables in plain view in your home, residence hall room, or vehicle. Be sure to lock your doors, and don’t leave your keys in your car, even for a short time. Let someone know you are leaving town, such as a trusted neighbor, family member or friend. Plan care for your pets, especially if you are leaving the country.
  • Plan ahead for snow and snow emergencies. No matter where you go, it's important to prepare your home for your absence, especially during periods of cold and snowy weather. If you live off campus, arrange for someone to shovel your sidewalk during your absence. If you're leaving a vehicle behind, move it off the street to avoid being towed during a snow emergency. More tips from the City of Iowa City can be found here.
  • Take your bike home if it’s not your primary mode of transportation. If you don’t plan to ride your bike during the winter months, it’s best to take it home during break for safe storage. Whatever your decision, remember you can register your bike on campus for free using Bike Index.
  • Plan ahead to mitigate risks for safe travel. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and road construction and avoid driving during dangerous winter weather conditions. Make sure your gas tank is full. Keep a windshield scraper, jumper cables, a small shovel, flashlight, phone charger/battery pack, blanket, additional warm clothing, drinking water, and snacks in your vehicle. Make sure a friend or family member knows where you’re going, your planned route, and your estimated time of arrival.
  • Stay in your vehicle if you are involved in a crash or experience car issues while driving on the highway. Pull your car into the emergency lane or shoulder if it is safe to do so, turn on your hazard lights, and call 911 to report the accident and request roadside assistance. While it may be tempting to inspect your car for damage or issues while you wait, doing so can put you at risk of getting struck by of oncoming traffic.
  • Dress for the weather! As winter weather becomes the norm, it’s important to keep an eye on the forecast and dress in layers. This is a great time to make sure you bring warm clothes back to campus (coat, hat, and gloves, scarf, boots).

Remember, we’re here to help

Campus is sometimes less populated during this time, but Campus Safety is always open. NITE RIDE will continue operation from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. every day during break.

If you see something, say something

You can reach our non-emergency line by dialing 319-335-5022. In an emergency, call 911. Download the Rave Guardian app to text tips to police, set a safety timer for your walk home, and call Campus Safety with one click.