A planner marked with the day of Thanksgiving break in 2019. (Photo/Rebecca Wright)

Every year, students at UGA look forward to Thanksgiving break, which for several years has been Monday through Friday. However, the University Council has decided the 2019 break will only last Wednesday to Friday.

According to a report from the University Council, the Educational Affairs Committee recommended the fall semester to begin later than usual — on or after Aug. 15 — and the fall commencement to occur no later than the second Friday in December.

In order to meet the University System of Georgia Board of Regents requirements and federal guidelines about what completes a semester, the 2019 Thanksgiving break will only be three days.

The changes are reflected in the 2019-2020 academic calendar, with classes beginning on Wednesday Aug. 14 and ending Wednesday Dec. 4. Thanksgiving break will last from Wednesday, Nov. 27 to Friday, Nov. 29, followed by the weekend.

Despite a full week off for Thanksgiving, this year’s fall semester was similar in length — classes began on Monday Aug. 13 and will end Tuesday Dec. 4.

Sydney Dorawa, an in-state junior international affairs major, always spends her Thanksgiving break in North Carolina with her aunt and the rest of her family.

“Out-of-state students face many more challenges than in-state students already, and this change makes the campus less welcoming to the already disadvantaged out-of-state students."

- Charley Claudio, an out-of-state sophomore

“Since it’s a long drive from home, having the extra days off makes it possible for us to do that every year. It seems like the university added two extra days of class during Thanksgiving break but didn’t shorten the semester anywhere else,” Dorawa said.

The shortening of the break will affect out-of-state students who rely on Thanksgiving break to spend time with the family they may not have seen since the beginning of the semester.

Hailey Goldberg, a junior applied biotechnology major, finds this change to be particularly stressful because she travels to New York City, her hometown.

“Because of the difficulty of my classes, I cannot afford to skip a day of classes to go home for the weekend. I look forward to the week I get to spend at home with my family before finals week picks up,” Goldberg said.

"I won’t be able to see my family until winter break [next year]."

- Charley Claudio, an out-of-state sophomore

Charley Claudio, an out-of-state sophomore international affairs major, gets to see her family for the first time since August this upcoming Thanksgiving break. She said the change will be a financial and emotional burden.

“I always watch students from Georgia go home and spend relaxing time with family, and I am jealous of the luxury,” Claudio said. “With a shortened Thanksgiving break, it is not financially efficient to fly home for a four-day weekend. I won’t be able to see my family until winter break [next year],” Claudio said.

Goldberg echoed this sentiment about flying home to New York.

“Making Thanksgiving break shorter not only gives me less time to decompress at home, but it also puts a larger financial burden on my family,” Goldberg said. “Buying expensive plane tickets to go home for that short of a time would not be economically possible for myself and for other students.”

As a result, Goldberg said she does not plan to go home during Thanksgiving break in 2019.

“That’s four months without going home,” Goldberg said.

Claudio said this change adds to the already existing list of disadvantages out-of-state students have.

Claudio said this change shows the disadvantages out-of-state students face.

“Out-of-state students face many more challenges than in-state students already, and this change makes the campus less welcoming to the already disadvantaged out-of-state students,” Claudio said.

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