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The Dartmouth
April 18, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Hundreds of students remained on campus for winterim

During Winterim, the six-week period between fall and winter terms, students participated in a series of College-hosted events, such as pup therapy and bingo nights.

Roughly 275 students stayed on campus for the entirety of winterim, a period that begins after the fall term and runs to the first day of winter term, with many participating in a series of events coordinated with community partners and house communities, Dean of the College Scott Brown said. Brown added that between 300 and 550 students lived on campus for at least a portion of the break. 

The President’s Office kicked off events with a tree lighting ceremony on the Green on Dec. 1, with cookies and hot chocolate served, according to an Allen House newsletter. On Christmas day, the First Generation Office and the Office of Pluralism and Leadership co-hosted a community Christmas meal at the Church of Christ. 

Allen House also hosted therapy dog nights every Thursday — during which students played with puppies — as well as bingo games, cookouts and movie nights, according to David Mukuruva ’27, who noted that all undergraduate students could attend these events regardless of their house affiliation.

According to Brown, reasons for being on campus included athletics participation or travel and financial constraints. Some students also participated in the Tuck Bridge Business Program, which ran from Dec. 1 to Dec. 20, while others took an accelerated EMT course. Ahmed Chaudhry ’27 said that he came to campus a few weeks prior to the start of winter term to save costs on flight tickets, which can “get expensive” during New Year’s time. 

“I’m from Lahore, Pakistan,” Chaudhry said. “I was here during winter and for the first two weeks [of winterim] and then the last 10 days. Tickets from Pakistan get expensive during New Year’s time. So it just made sense to leave a little bit later and come a little earlier.”

Mukuruva said that he stayed on campus because he “was not ready” to go back home to England, having “acclimated” to the Hanover cold. He added that he plans to return home this summer. 

Mukuruva said that he enjoyed winterim, during which he played squash with friends, took walks on campus and participated in activities hosted by the Dartmouth Outing Club. He noted that he went to Mount Cardigan Oats Lodge and hiked to the Holt’s Ledge on Dec. 21.

“[The trips were] such a wonderful experience but quite challenging to a certain extent because most of the water on the mountain was frozen over,” Mukuruva said. “So it was very slippery and pretty dangerous out there.”

In addition, Mukuruva said that he had a positive experience with housing on campus, saying that his one issue was the low frequency of bathroom cleanings. Chaudhry agreed, adding that another difference between living on campus during the term and winterim was reduced noise levels over winterim. 

However, Cal Shin ’27, who was interviewed while she was on campus during winterim, said that she took issue with the limited hours of the dining halls, noting that students could only eat in the Class of 1953 Commons from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m on regular days, excluding holidays. 

“I am a little disappointed that [the Class of 1953 Commons] opens so late,” Shin said. “As a morning person, I tend to first initially wake up at around 6 or 7 a.m. and have breakfast. That’s a good way to start my day, and it gives me something to do. But because [’53 Commons] isn't open until noon at the earliest, that window of time where I would usually eat breakfast is just gone.”

During the last week of December for Christmas and New Years, ’53 Commons was either closed or on a modified schedule. However, for additional food support, Dick’s House Food Pantry was open 24/7 during winterim, restocked with fresh foods and shelf stable foods twice weekly. Mukuruva noted that the Church of Christ held a food pantry every Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. He added that Dartmouth Student Government gave students coupons and a gift card to buy items at the Hanover Co-Op Food Stores. 

Shin said that she also wished there had been more food options for her during winterim, since the allergy station at ’53 Commons remained closed. 

“I’m allergic to a lot of different foods, so I really enjoyed eating from the [allergy] station, but that station is unfortunately not open during [winterim], so I feel like that really restricted what I could eat,” Shin said. “And so it gave me a lot fewer options than what I would have liked.”

For Mukuruva, staying on campus during winterim “was a very enriching experience.” 

“With less people on campus, we got to know each other on a deeper level,” Mukuruva said. “We’d spend about 50% of our time together. I made a number of bonds that I never thought I’d make. The experience ended up being a very unifying experience … I really got to connect with other people.”

Correction Appended (Jan. 6, 4:50 p.m.): A previous version of this article used incorrect pronouns when referring to Shin. The article has been updated, and we regret this error.