Thanksgiving break extended to a week

The Faculty Senate on Thursday endorsed a proposal from the Registrar's Office that would start the next Autumn Quarter two days early so that the Thanksgiving break can be extended to one week for students.

Although there will be no classes held during the next Thanksgiving break from Nov. 21 to 25, university offices will remain open as usual, university Registrar Roger Printup said.

A variety of factors went into the decision to start the quarter on Monday, Sept. 26 (instead of Wednesday), Printup said. Many faculty and students said they liked that classes began on a Monday this year instead of the traditional Wednesday because it allowed students to acclimate to their studies in a more serious way, it allowed classes to have their study sessions, and it calmed the usual "class shopping'' period that students engage in at the beginning of a quarter.

The decision to start classes on a Monday this academic year (due to Jewish holidays that occurred around that period), however, led to a shorter quarter of only 48 days, Printup said. By starting classes two days early in the next Autumn Quarter and eliminating the classes traditionally held during Thanksgiving week, the quarter would still have 10 weeks of five days of classes. The change would require minor schedule fixes to programs like Sophomore College that are held before the quarter begins, but administrators of those programs indicated that they could accommodate the earlier start of the quarter, Printup said.

Although some senators expressed concerns that giving students a one-week break from classes just before finals would be disruptive to their academic momentum, others argued that the break could give them time to catch up on their work and prepare for finals.

A divided senate approved the proposal to give the schedule change a try on a one-year basis, at which time it will come up for review as a permanent measure.