EDITORIALS

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November 20, 2009

Give us a break

Canceling classes the Wednesday before Thanksgiving would make holiday travel easier.

Thanksgiving break brings with it several tough choices. With the winter holiday just a couple weeks away, many students, as well as parents, are unsure whether the plane ticket home is worth the cost. At the U of C, students who do choose to go home are faced with a second, similarly difficult decision: to skip class on Wednesday or to attend, but deal with the hassles that come with traveling so close to the holiday. It doesn’t have to be that way, however. The U of C should make life easier for students and follow the lead of many other schools by canceling classes the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

As it stands, some professors don’t hold class that Wednesday; others do. Classes that day are often frustratingly devoid of content, as the reluctant-to-cancel-class instructor quickly realizes that half of the class didn’t care and flew home early anyway. This leaves the more devoted students upset, wishing that they had had the nerve to leave Hyde Park on Tuesday.

Without a top-down response, this cycle will likely continue. Professors may feel like they’re not giving students their money’s worth if they nix a potential class period; ditto for students who might feel obligated to attend on a day they’d rather be home. The solution is an easy one—canceling Wednesday classes.

Moreover, making this change would not put Monday–Wednesday classes behind Tuesday–Thursday ones—the fall academic calendar already allots an extra Monday-Wednesday class session as compared with the number of Tuesday-Thursday sessions.

The U of C continues to make pushes toward improving student life. Easing the stress of Thanksgiving-break travel plans would be a small but nevertheless significant step in that direction.

The Maroon Editorial Board consists of the Editor-in-Chief, Viewpoints Editors, and two additional Editorial Board members.