US institutions working to shed "suitcase school" label

February 1, 2013

Nearly half of Central Connecticut State University's 7,700 full-time undergraduate students live in residences or near campus. But most disappear each Friday, joining the army of undergraduates at "suitcase schools" across the US who desert their campuses on weekends for family, friends, or jobs. The suitcase culture has educators concerned, and many campuses are working to reverse it. For example, Central's VP for student affairs and student leaders began a campaign last year to revitalize weekends. The university has created a $20,000 pool from which to distribute mini-grants to help students subsidize events. Each residence adviser must plan a weekend activity once a month. In a recent success, a Saturday flag football game attracted more than 200 to the usually empty campus centre. New York Times