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Rwandan students stick together over winter break

Yasmeen Matthews
Tri-Towers dorms blocked out by the snow on November 28, 2023.

Over winter break, students are given the opportunity to stay in a dorm by filling out an application for $25 a day, or $725 for all of break. 

Ashley Andrews, assignments coordinator for University Housing, said winter housing is convenient for students so they don’t have to worry about moving. 

“They’re allowed to stay in the same room they’re currently residing in, they won’t have to move to a different space,” Andrews said. “Their [FlashCards] will still maintain access during the break period.” 

The university maintains a small presence on campus during break to assist students in winter housing. The housing office in Korb Hall as well as the Tri-Towers area desk remain open, and Andrews said certain staff live on campus. 

“Our live-in hall directors maintain an apartment on campus, and they’re allowed to stay in that space all year. In addition, we have safety assistants who will be living on campus,” Andrews said. “In the event that they do run into an issue, we have an on-call staff member so they can be assisted to get back into their room or any other issue they may have.”

Andrews said winter housing is typically used by international students arriving early or leaving campus late. 

“We have some folks who need it because they’ll be staying a few extra days once the break ends, they have a flight or they need to come back early,” Andrews said. “We have international students who will typically start coming to campus before the break period is over.” 

Rwandan students said they all gathered in Wright Hall for winter break. A typical flight to Rwanda can have up to four layovers and it is not feasible for many to fly across several continents for only a month. 

Joshua Mugisha, a Rwandan international student and sophomore nutrition major, and Shyka Emmanuel Adamz, a Rwandan international student and a sophomore biotechnology major, said the Rwandan students get together to keep each other company and help with food.

“Over the winter, we have to cook, and the kitchen in Wright Hall is bigger,” Mugisha said. 

The dining halls are closed over winter break, forcing students who stay to buy and cook their own food even if they have a meal plan. 

“I would like to ask for a dining hall, food is a problem,” Adamz said. “We cook every day and it’s pretty hard.” 

Adamz said adjusting to cooking can be a challenge, though they try to work together. 

“We have schedules for cooking, so if I’m cooking today Josh will be cooking tomorrow,” Adamz said. “I had a bad experience, I’m not used to cooking so I was messing up stuff, I’m not good at that.” 

Rwanda is in East Africa which maintains warm temperatures year-round. The pair, who stayed over winter break last year, said they were unprepared for the winter weather. 

“[Last year] was my first experience in winter,” Mugisha said. “It was all white, there was no one on campus moving around… you can’t even go for a walk or see the sun.” 

Even in the cold temperatures, the two said they enjoy being together with their friends over break. 

“[We enjoy] going to the movies and we play cards and video games so it’s cool,” Mugisha said. 

Andrew Bowie is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Andrew Bowie, Reporter
Andrew is a general assistant reporter at KentWired and a second-year Communication Studies major. He hopes to improve his writing skills here and deepen his understanding and connection with writing. He likes learning about people, and he always finds himself so impressed at all the things people can do – which is why he enjoys writing about them. "Ask me stuff, ask me to do stuff, ask me for help even though I don't know much yet. I'll probably say yes!" he says. Contact him at [email protected]
Yasmeen Matthews, Assistant Photo Editor
Yasmeen is a sophomore Photography Major and KentWired's Assistant Photo Editor. She enjoys taking photos of the various sports teams as well as student life on Kent's campus. Contact her @[email protected].

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