Though it may not feel like fall in Athens just yet, the University of Georgia’s upcoming Thanksgiving holiday break is already on students' minds.
The move to a shorter Thanksgiving break this year has caused controversy on campus.
Compared to week-long breaks in years past, the 2019 Thanksgiving break will span only Wednesday, Nov. 27 to Friday, Nov. 29, followed by the weekend.
The switch to a shortened break was made last year when the UGA Educational Affairs Committee recommended this semester to start later than in years past. UGA spokesperson Greg Trevor told The Red & Black in an email this decision was also made in conjunction with student and faculty discussions.
Some students “requested that the fall semester begin later in August to better accommodate the completion of internships and other experiential learning opportunities,” Trevor said in an email.
The 2019 fall semester, though, runs Aug. 14 and ends Dec. 12th, compared to last year classes which started Aug. 13th and ended Dec. 12, 2018.
To accomplish this request for a later start time and meet University System of Georgia Board of Regents requirements and federal guidelines as to what constitutes a semester, the break will begin later in the week.
Some students have expressed concern about being able to travel home and see their families. The Red & Black spoke to students to get their thoughts on the shortened break.
Mary Catherine Meno, sophomore computer science major, from Seattle, Washington
Meno said she is frustrated with the changes as she always spends Thanksgiving with her family in Washington. A flight to Meno’s home in Seattle is six hours, and with a three hour time difference, it essentially takes a full day of travel for her to get home. A five day break, taking away two days of travel means only three days at home for her. Due to these issues, Meno plans to only go home for Christmas and spring break this school year.
“Traveling across the country at the busiest time of the year is very expensive so it’s not really worth it for me to go home for three days,” Meno said.
Celeste Norton, senior Asian languages and literature, political science and international affairs major from Dahlonega
Although Norton is an in-state student, she echoed Meno’s frustration regarding the break. White works at dorm Building 1516. This will be the first year that the dorm will be staying open for Thanksgiving break.
“I feel like this is a time when many students go home for the first time in the fall semester. This will be the case for many of my friends so the change is definitely not ideal,” White said. “It almost seems like it affects everything now because now I have to stay and work over the break.”
Hannah Stockdale, junior psychology major from Atlanta
Stockdale said that the change adds unnecessary stress to many students.
“I don’t like it. I think that it just gives more incentive to go to the home football game the Saturday before,” Stockdale said. “Honestly, I think the change will encourage many students to skip classes the following Monday and Tuesday, especially those who are out-of-state.”
Karli Lavender, sophomore early childhood education from Santa Barbara, California
Lavender plans to skip class on the Monday and Tuesday after the break to fly back from California.
“The time that I get to spend with my family is already extremely limited as it. It puts out-of-state people in a really tough position. I have mandatory classes on Monday and Tuesday that I will have to miss because I will be traveling back to Athens,” Lavender said.