University of Wisconsin–Madison

Important Reminders

Residence Hall Exam Period and Winter Break Move-Out Reminders


Exams begin for UW–Madison students on Friday, December 13, and continue through Thursday, December 19. Students can find the amended dining hall hours during this time listed here, under Winter Break.

Students living in University Housing residence halls should check bulletin boards for information regarding quiet hours and details specific to their hall during the exam period. Violation of the exam period quiet hours can lead to immediate, serious discipline.

Students can direct any additional questions to either their House Fellow or Residence Life Coordinator (found by clicking on the individual residence hall here).

Winter Break

All University Residence Halls will close for winter break at Noon on Friday, December 20, 2019, and re-open for the spring 2020 semester at 9 a.m. on Saturday, January 18, 2020.

Students not signed up for winter break housing should vacate their room within 24 hours of their last exam, or by Noon on Friday, December 20 (whichever is earlier). They should also complete the following checklist before leaving their room for winter break:

  • Room Keys: If students are cancelling out of their contract or moving to a different room, they must turn in their old key at their hall desk before they leave for winter break or they will be charged $50 for a core/lock change. Students do not need to turn in their room key if they are returning to their same room for the spring 2020 semester.
  • Storage: If students need to retrieve anything from storage before leaving, they can contact their hall desk for assistance from 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
  • Repairs: Winter break is a perfect time for students to report any needed repairs so that Housing staff can fix them while they are gone.
  • Mail/Packages: Mail and packages will not be forwarded to a student’s home address during winter break. Students should notify senders or change their address for winter break if they are expecting anything during that time.
  • Pack Belongings: Personal belongings that may be needed during winter break, such as those below, should be taken out of the building. There will not be access to the building during winter break. Other personal items may remain in a student’s residence hall room without signing up for winter break housing, as long as they are returning for the spring 2020 semester.
    • Necessary medications, passports, important documents, etc.
    • Remove plants and fish
    • Bikes — To allow for snow removal, students should not leave their bike outside on campus over break.
    • Mopeds – Students should not store mopeds in their rooms, or they will be removed at a cost to them.
  • AUTHORIZED ACCESS: Authorized personnel may enter a student’s room over winter break as needed. For further information, students can see Section 17. Room Entry of their University Residence Halls contract.
  • PREPARING FOR THE ROOM TO BE VACANT: University Housing will not be responsible for damage to items left in rooms. On a student’s way out the door, they should remember to:
    • Remove items on or near radiators
    • Turn off all lights
    • Close and lock all windows and doors
    • Empty all trash and recycling containers
    • Leave the refrigerator on and plugged in, and remove all perishable items — do not defrost
    • If a roommate is moving out and not returning next semester, students should be sure that one bed, bookshelf, closet, desk, and dresser are available so that the new roommate can move in and feel welcome. Housing staff will enter rooms to inspect for any damages after a previous roommate has vacated. Students expecting a new roommate should be sure to check their email account for notification.

Again, students can contact either their House Fellow or Residence Life Coordinator (found by clicking on the individual residence hall here, and scrolling to the bottom of that page) with any additional questions.

Preventing Winter Break Theft

With classes about to break for the winter recess, the UW–Madison Police Department reminds our community to take a few steps to help reduce thefts. During winter break, UW police officers are doing their part by increasing patrols around campus, but they need the campus community to help.

As parents and family members, you can help remind your students to keep their belongings safe. Start by having your students bring valuable items such as headphones, laptops, and tablets home when they leave campus. Other potential targets include cash, bikes, jewelry, and electronics. Remind your students to not leave attractive items out in plain sight; instead, store the items in a locked drawer, closet, or interior room. And students should take small valuables with them when they leave for the break.

While it may seem obvious, reminding your students to lock their residence is helpful. In their excitement to return home, students may forget this easy and important step. Have your students check apartment and office doors, as well as windows. Students should also draw any shades or curtains in their residence, to further keep things out of sight.

It may also be a good idea for your students to let a landlord, property owner, or coworker know how long they will be gone and how to be reached if there’s a problem.

Recovering stolen items does not happen as often as hoped, but it is almost impossible unless a student is able to provide the police an item’s serial number. Have your students keep a log of their valuable property. Include the item description, value, and serial numbers. This information helps the police to track and recover stolen property, and assists with any insurance claims. If your students experience a theft, remind them to call the police immediately. Some students wait days after the crime occurred to contact police. Immediacy is valuable in a police investigation.

Flu Shot Reminder

University Health Services (UHS) offers seasonal flu shots for all registered students at no cost — and it’s not too late to get a shot. Encourage your students to make an appointment by calling UHS at 608-265-5600 or logging on to MyUHS.

UW Holiday Gift Guide

Every year, UW–Madison publishes the Holiday Gift Guide, featuring unique gifts with connections to UW–Madison. You’ll find gift ideas from all corners of campus, including good eats, event tickets, educational items, Badger memorabilia, and more. The 2019 gift guide is now available at

Student Food and Financial Resources

Beyond the costs of tuition and books, day-to-day expenses like food, clothing, and rent can make it challenging for students to make ends meet. University Health Services provides an overview of resources and student organizations available at no cost to all students, including the Open Seat food pantry.  

Consent Hearts Campaign

Affirmative consent is a knowing, voluntary, mutual, and retractable decision among all participants. The Consent Hearts campaign helps build a culture of consent on campus across the spectrums of friendship, dating, work, roommates, and more. The UW has several agencies that work to create a culture of consent on campus. Learn more about their work and the campaign.

SHIP Spring/Summer enrollment begins December 15, 2019

SHIP (Student Health Insurance Plan) will begin accepting Spring/Summer enrollments from registered students beginning December 15, 2019. Find out more information about SHIP here.