We need a week off for Thanksgiving


Charles McKay, Staff Columnist

There aren’t many things Auburn University does better than us, but there is one: Thanksgiving break.

Every year over on the plains, students get a full week off for Thanksgiving. As it stands now, UA students are scheduled to get only three days off next fall, from Nov. 27-29. This abbreviated break unnecessarily complicates students’ travel plans, drastically shortens the amount of time they can spend with families and friends and generally wastes two days of classes.

Consider our student body. Roughly 60 percent of UA students come from out of state. For well over half of UA students, home is not particularly close to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. For students from California, Illinois, New York, Virginia, Texas and many other states, two

entire days are burned traveling home and back.

Students have a choice: either skip class (if you can) on Monday or Tuesday, or spend only three days back home. It is important to remember that the Iron Bowl is always scheduled for the Saturday following Thanksgiving. So, staying home for that entire weekend isn’t an appealing option for those who love the Crimson Tide.

Many students inevitably make the reasonable decision to bail on their Monday and Tuesday classes so they can leave the weekend prior. The rest of the students are stuck sitting in a half-empty classroom wondering why their professors couldn’t cancel class. All the while, professors have the frustrating task of lecturing to predictably empty classrooms.

The policy, not the teachers, are to blame.

It makes absolutely no sense that at Auburn, where only 40 percent of the student body is from out of state, Thanksgiving break is a full week. But at a school dominated by out-of-state students, our break is only three days.

Last semester, I had a test scheduled for the Tuesday on the week of Thanksgiving, meaning I couldn’t fly home to Virginia early. Like so many other students, this meant I spent the same number of days traveling as I did at home. Countless other students face the same issue when they’re forced to squeeze their break into three days.

Thanksgiving is a family-centered event. It is one of the few times out of the year when our cousins, aunts and uncles gather to eat good food, watch football and enjoy the blessings we enjoy in this country. Our administration should make it easier, not harder, for students to be home for such a holiday.

Thankfully, this year’s SGA president-elect recognizes the problem with the UA Thanksgiving calendar. Harrison Adams introduced a measure in the SGA Senate that proposed extending Thanksgiving break by two days. This resolution passed in the Senate on Jan. 17.

Given a full week for the holiday, students can spend time with their family and friends without skipping school, parents will have more time with their kids and professors won’t have to choose between losing a day of class or lecturing to an empty room.

Such a common-sense change is a no-brainer and long overdue. If Auburn can get it right, we’ve got no excuse.