One more day, please

There are many things to love about UVM, but the ResLife hall opening and closing policy is not one of them.

Whether it is reopening the residence halls after winter break or closing the halls after finals, students are given little time to vacate or to remain in the dorms.

For in-state students, the time requirements may not be an issue. However, for those who have to travel far to get home, checking out by 8 p.m. at the end of the semester is a major hassle.

After a grueling week of final exams, the last thing a student wants to worry about is moving out of the residence halls by Friday at 8 p.m.

Its especially cumbersome during the week of May when you have final exams on that Friday and then have to move everything out of your room before catching a flight home.

Apart from the end of the year closing, the dates and times that students must return to campus from Thanksgiving break, Winter break and Spring break are inconvenient.

Students returning from winter break this year could check into the dorms at noon, the day before classes start.

While this does not give students much time to settle in and purchase books, this time is feasible for those in the New England area.

But what about the students who fly from all parts of the U.S. and internationally?

Travel delays, flight cancellations and other obstacles put unnecessary pressure on students to make sure that they are on campus for the first day of classes.

With the Sunday noon check in time, all it takes is a major airport to close for traveling students to potentially miss classes.

This year, as I traveled through the Philadelphia International Airport to return to campus, all flights were canceled to Burlington from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. due to excessive fog.

Arriving back on campus at the wee hours of the morning is hardly the ideal way to start the school week, let alone the first week of classes.

It is not fair to those students who miss important classes because of unexpected travel delays.

If the dorms were open one day earlier, it would give students more time to settle in and it would give those traveling more wiggle room to choose flights.

Other universities have more lenient, flexible residence hall policies to accommodate students.

According to the 2013 Penn State University housing website, finals end May 3 and students must check out by May 5 at 4 p.m. This is far more reasonable than UVMs check out time on May 10 at 8 p.m., the last day of final exams.

At Dartmouth College, residence halls close for mid-semester breaks at noon the day after classes end for all students.

For spring break, Dartmouths residential life website indicates that classes end March 15, and that students must be out of the halls by March 16 at noon.

If this were UVM, students would be required to leave by 8pm after Friday classes, unless a special late stay form had been filled out and approved.

In fact, students who do not specifically fill out the online late stay forms and are found on campus after 8pm are charged a $50 fine, as the UVM ResLife website states.

Instead of forms and fines, why not have the deadline for leaving campus the day after classes end? It would be easier for ResLife staff and RAs, and it would be far more convenient for students.

The Universitys ResLife policies are outdated, but the good news is that the solution is relatively simple just add 24 hours to the checking in and checking out times.

At this point in the Universitys history, more students are from out-of-state than in-state.

It is time that ResLife hall policy accommodates all students and their travels.