Making Spiders feel at home

December 20, 2021


The University of Richmond is hosting more than 200 students on campus throughout the winter break this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Director of Residence Life & Housing Patrick Benner.

“We want them to know that we are here for them — whatever they need,” he said. “If it’s safer for them to stay here over break, we want to provide that space for them, and we have the resources to do it.”

Dozens of international students remain on campus after classes and exams finished, Benner said, as well as athletes who will be practicing or competing during that time.

Krittika Onsanit, director of international student and scholar services, strives to make sure the international student population feels at home when on campus during break. She and her team provide programming to make sure the students can get together. 

“We have a game day with spike ball, giant Jenga, and board games,” she said. “Our space in the International Center is set up to welcome everyone, so students can be together. We don't want them to feel isolated, we want them to know that they’re not alone, and we are always here for them.”

Students will have access to an on-campus kitchen with, as Benner describes it, “every spice imaginable,” for cooking during the time when the dining halls are closed. He’s encouraging students to connect in the kitchen, at the programming from the International Center, and at the Spider basketball games in December.