In light of unease world-wide about computer systems' transition into the 21st century and despite extensive preparations at Vassar for "Y2K," students were not permitted to reside on campus between December 22 and January 4.  The main concern was the possibility that one or more "Y2K bugs"—unknown errors or omissions in computer coding—would render systems incapable of recognizing times and dates beyond 12PM on December 31, 1999.  "The range of possibilities," explained Diane Balestri, the director of computing and information systems (CIS), "[is from] essentially nothing to catastrophic....  We have to decide if we should have a New Year's party on campus or close everything down and have a SWAT team investigate."

In the end, Balestri and her colleagues were quite certain that the college's computer systems could manage the date change, but she was not as confident in the power company or other off-campus resources on which the campus system depended.  Thus, CIS requested that the campus close and that everyone unplug everything before leaving.  "But the college sailed into the new century without a hitch. Was it because of all the preparations?  According to Maureen Romey, associate director for administrative systems, 'Definitely.'"     The Miscellany News, Vassar:The Alumnae/i Quarterly.