As reported in The Red & Black, according to a report from the University Council, the Educational Affairs Committee recommended the fall semester to begin later — on or after Aug. 15 — and for the fall commencement to begin no later than the second Friday in December.
To be able to meet the University System of Georgia Board of Regents requirements and federal guidelines about what completes a semester, the 2019 Thanksgiving break can only be Wednesday through Friday.
The changes are already in the 2019-2020 academic calendar, with classes beginning on Wednesday Aug. 14 and ending Wednesday Dec. 4. Thanksgiving break will be Nov. 27 to Nov. 29, followed by the weekend.
Despite a full week off for Thanksgiving, this year’s fall semester is the same length — classes started on Monday Aug. 13 and will end Tuesday Dec. 4.
The break shortening will affect out-of-state students who look to Thanksgiving break to spend enough time with the family they may not have seen since the beginning of the semester.
Hailey Goldberg, a junior applied biotechnology major, thinks this change is stressful because she travels to her hometown of New York City.
“Because of the difficulty of my classes, I cannot afford to skip a day of classes to go home for the weekend. I look forward to the week I get to spend at home with my family before finals week picks up,” Goldberg said.
Charley Claudio, an out-of-state sophomore international affairs major, will get to see her family for the first time since August this upcoming Thanksgiving break. She said the change will be a financial burden as well an emotional one.
“I always watch students from Georgia go home and spend relaxing time with family, and I am jealous of the luxury,” Claudio said. “With a shortened Thanksgiving break, it is not financially efficient to fly home for a four-day weekend. I won’t be able to see my family until winter break [next year],” Claudio said.
Goldberg agreed with this sentiment about flying home to New York.
“Making Thanksgiving break shorter not only gives me less time to decompress at home, but it also puts a larger financial burden on my family,” Goldberg said. “Buying expensive plane tickets to go home for that short of a time would not be economically possible for myself and for other students.”
Claudio said this change demonstrates the disadvantages out-of-state students deal with.
“Out-of-state students face many more challenges than in-state students already, and this change makes the campus less welcoming to the already disadvantaged out-of-state students,” Claudio said.
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