Winter Break

Winter Break Period

 The Winter Break period runs from the last Friday of exams through the Thursday prior to the start of the Spring Term.

Eligibility to Stay Over Winter Break

Students are only eligible for Winter Break housing if they are in housing for both the Fall and Spring terms of the Academic Year. Students withdrawing, studying abroad during the spring term, or graduating in February are not eligible for Winter Break Housing and are expected to fill out the Housing Portal Cancellation Step for New and Returning Students or the Housing Portal Cancellation Step for Upperclass Students and vacate their current assignment by the Fall Check-out date. Students returning from a Fall study abroad experience, new Spring visiting students, and those students readmitted for spring semester may not move in until 9:00am on the Thursday prior to the start of Spring term classes.

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Information for Students Who Remain in the Residence Halls and Brownstones During Winter Break

  • Students in residence are responsible for knowing that resources are structured differently during the winter break period and that the Guest Policy is modified during this period.
  • Occupancy is generally minimal during the winter break period; students should take safety and security precautions by locking room/suite doors at all times and learning which friends/neighbors plan to remain on-campus.
  • Public Safety is available 24/7 by calling x99 from a residence hall phone or 212-854-5555 from a cell phone.
  • RAs/SRAs do not serve on-duty during Winter Break. There are Residential Hall Directors (RHDs) and Associate Directors (ADs) on call throughout Winter Break. Public Safety will assist students in contacting the appropriate staff member on-duty if necessary. 
  • No Guest Passes are available through Public Safety during Winter Break. Guest Passes will resume at 9:00am on Thursday, prior to the start of Spring term.
  • Guests can be signed in at the residence hall front desk and MUST be escorted at all times. A student may sign-in no more than 3 guests at any one time during Winter Break. 
  • The Wallach Hall front desk will close throughout Winter Break. All residents and guests entering Wallach must do so through Hartley or John Jay Hall. All other residence hall desks remain open throughout Winter Break.
  • Facility Emergencies: Please contact the Hospitality Desk at 212-854-2779.
  • Escort Shuttle: Please visit: Evening Shuttle Service for more information. 
  • Health Services: Medical Services in John Jay Hall remains open throughout the break, with the exception of University holidays. Hours are limited.

For after-hours medical concerns, call 212-854-7426. For after-hours mental health care, contact the clinician on-call at 212-854-2878. Student concerns will be assessed by a telephone triage specialist and recommendations for care will be provided. For immediate medical or psychiatric care, students may also go directly to St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital ER located at 114th Street and Amsterdam Avenue (212-523-3347).

  • Dining: Most Dining locations are closed throughout Winter Break. Please visit Dining online for a full listing of opening and closing dates and times. Off-campus flex continues to be available throughout Winter Break.
  • Mail: Please visit Columbia Mail.
  • Library: Please visit the Library online to determine specific library openings and hours.

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To-Do Before Leaving for Winter Break 

Residents may remain in residence halls during intersession and holiday breaks. However, residents who leave should remember to do the following:

Housekeeping To-Dos

  • Dispose of all garbage in your room/suite properly, especially perishable items in your refrigerator.
  • Close and lock all windows and security gates. Lock your door when you leave.
  • Remove any flammable items from radiators/heating units.
  • Remove all cash and valuables from your room.
  • Notify family and friends of your intended whereabouts and contact information during the break.

Environmental To-Dos

  • Unplug all appliances, including refrigerators, microwaves, and fans. Don’t forget the alarm clocks and chargers.
  • Make sure your refrigerator is empty and defrosted prior to leaving.
  • Turn off your computer. Better yet, unplug it!
  • Make sure the windows are shut tight.
  • Turn off your lights when you leave.
  • Donate coats, unwanted clothing, canned goods and other working household items during Facilities and Operations Clean + Go Green at the end of the Fall Term. Facilities and Operations staff will be on hand to help with unloading and recycling.

In addition, please note “live” holiday decorations, such as cut trees and wreaths, pose a potential fire hazard and are not permitted within the residence halls. For more information about decorations, please visit the Policies section of the Guide to Living.

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Winter Break Office Hours

The Hospitality Desk will be open and available 24 hours a day during Winter Break if students need assistance.

Please note: Columbia Housing Offices will be closed from Christmas Eve through New Year's Day.

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