The Faculty Senate and Graduate Leadership Council have approved a movement to get rid of fall break. In exchange, Thanksgiving break would be extended from a three-day break to a full week vacation. The proposal is heading toward the University Cabinet and Student Confederation president, and if approved could take effect next year.
Without fall break, classes will run from Labor Day in early September straight to Thanksgiving in late November with no time off. Freshmen who have never been away from home before greatly appreciate fall break as a chance to relax and reconnect with family. Students also use it as a time to catch up on work.
Though a longer break for Thanksgiving seems good, it could actually hurt students. As the semester winds down in late November, final exams loom on the horizon, and it’s important to focus on studies, rather than family and food. The travel and time spent away would serve to distract students just before exam season. As much as students plan to get work done on breaks, other obligations often prove distracting at home.
There are definite benefits to the idea. For example, for students living far away from Washington D.C., a week-long break provides a better chance to go home than two smaller breaks. However, the current fall break system provides students with two chances to take a break from classwork, while not pulling them away from their studies just before final exams. The schedule should stay as is.