This year, students have more time for Thanksgiving celebration than ever before. For the first time in the university’s history, Thanksgiving break has been extended to a full week, giving students a total of nine days off before returning for finals.
Provost Domenico Grasso and the Faculty Senate were all in favor of extending the break. The decision was made after faculty members and administrators noticed a burnout in students come this time of year.
Grasso said spikes in the number of students flocking to Health Services and student counseling were factors in this decision. The extension will provide students with that much needed break come crunch time as the end of the semester approaches.
Grasso said the extension was also spurred as a response to students skipping class on days leading into break. By extending the break and starting it on the weekend, students may not feel as inclined to skip class.
“We need to make sure our students are well taken care of and can return to school ready to take on the remainder of the semester with full bellies and also fully energized,” Grasso said.
Junior Caly Bones said the longer break is good because she will feel less rushed during her time off.
“Time away from school will allow me to fully relax, decompress and talk with my family about school and concerns,” she said.
Senior Tom Cooksey said he, too, is glad to have the time off to de-stress. He is feeling anxious about upcoming exams, especially as a final-semester senior.
“Having a couple extra days of down time to study and get ready for exams will be very appreciated,” Cooksey said.
The idea of an extended break is not new. Universities such as Yale, the University of Vermont and Illinois have extended breaks to give students a much needed relief come exams.
The break will also aid professors. Considering most professors live near, if not on, campus, the extra time and quiet campus will allow them to catch up on grading and prepare for the upcoming exams. The extra time, Grasso said, is mostly geared toward students who do not have as many opportunities to return home during the school year.
Whether or not the results prove to be successful as the administration, faculty and Provost Grasso wish, the break will provide a longer respite before the crunch of final exams sets in.