Campus Will Open Early for Students Before End of 2011 J-Term

During next year's January Term, undergraduates will be allowed to return to campus eight days before classes begin, Dean of the College Evelynn M. Hammonds announced Friday.

The College will be closed to students from Dec. 22 to Jan. 15, 2011, but the campus will open for their return on Jan. 16—approximately a week before second semester classes commence, according to Hammonds' statement to the undergraduate community.

As was the case last year, students with specific needs—including varsity athletes, international students, thesis writers, and students conducting lab-based research—will be able to apply for permission to stay on campus during the period, according to Hammonds' statement.

But in a change from this year’s winter break—when students without explicit approval were not permitted to stay on campus—all undergraduates will be able to return to Harvard about a week before classes begin on Jan. 24. The administration is hoping to facilitate student group-initiated programming during that week-long period.

The College administration is planning to build an “online portal to encourage broad dissemination and participation in these activities,” according to Hammonds' announcement.

Before the announcement was made, groups such as the Institute of Politics and the Phillips Brooks Association House had articulated a desire to organize their own events over winter break.

The longer winter vacation, often referred to as January Term, was created as part of the University’s calendar reform, which took effect this academic year.

—Staff writer Melody Y. Hu can be reached at

—Staff writer Eric P. Newcomer can be reached at