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Say goodbye to Fall Break

Written by: Rebecka McAleer

Last week, a proposal hit the floor of the Faculty Senate about possible schedule changes designed to allow for both Fall Break and a full week of Thanksgiving break. While there has been no official decision, the responses from around campus have been interesting.

Many questions have arisen regarding the matter, starting with, “Where has this discussion been the whole time?” One would assume that if it were possible to have our cake and eat it too, someone would have suggested it before now. Is the new proposal just too good to be true?

In both student and faculty bodies, there are voices for each side. Some miss Fall Break and the opportunity it provided to catch up or relax before midterms. Students who used Fall Break to finally study the material they’d been avoiding all semester are clearly unhappy. This is understandable. We would feel that way too if we were convinced that school provided breaks in mind of procrastinating students. Other students who have heavier workloads or multiple midterm exams use the free time wisely, and it could be considered cruel to refuse them the study time they have earned.

However, the full week of Thanksgiving break is an enticing thought, especially for students and faculty with family out of town, or even out of state. Four days of break (realistically two days of travel and two days of break) makes it hard for some people to spend the holidays with their families. It doesn’t feel much like a celebration when you’re sitting alone in a dorm room because there wasn’t enough time to reach your family.

The new proposal involves moving the start date of fall semester back, providing three extra days at the beginning to let us take off two in the middle. It sounds like a good idea, but how feasible is it in reality? Given how much time Faculty Senate has spent tossing the ball back and forth about Fall Break, can we reasonably expect that a universally satisfying conclusion can be reached?

It is our belief that both faculty and students deserve to spend the holidays with their families without being asked to sacrifice the well-being of their grades in trade. There should be a way to do both, and we wish well those who attempt it. Please pardon us for crossing our proverbial fingers, though. Dealing with school scheduling is sailing through treacherous waters. We hope the Faculty Senate has life

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