Thanksgiving Break

Opinion columnist Brennon Hipsher discusses the unaccommodating nature of a three-day Thanksgiving break.

With Thanksgiving approaching — and more importantly, with Thanksgiving break approaching — it seems that the University of Kansas is behind the times in regards to the fall semester academic calendar. The University gives just three days for Thanksgiving. My friends at other schools leave for family vacations and trips much earlier.

This has led me to consider whether our University’s two-day fall break and three-day Thanksgiving break is giving students enough time to travel home to their families and experience the holiday at its fullest. 

In my experience as a student, all fall break accomplishes is a four-day-weekend that is almost entirely spent on homework. Even professors know that fall break is out of place and creates an unnecessary interruption as we are nearing midterms. I think I speak for all students when I say that fall break is more of a four-day, work from home weekend than an actual break.  

The trade-off does not seem to benefit students and may put our out of state and international students at a disadvantage. Given that our Thanksgiving break is two days shorter since the introduction of fall break, students who are required to spend a considerable amount of time traveling to get home are put into a tough situation.

Hypothetically, either they dedicate two of their four days of break to travel and get the most out of the remaining two, or they spend a holiday based on being thankful away from their homes, friends and families.

When you consider the travel needs of an international student, the disadvantages of a shorter Thanksgiving break are even more extreme. Spending thousands of dollars to spend half of break traveling is simply not feasible.

While the majority of University students are from Kansas, roughly 41% are from out of state or are international students. 

If it were up to me, I would allot fall break's two days off to Thanksgiving break to give students more time with their loved ones during a family-oriented holiday.  

Brennon Hipsher is a senior from Overland Park studying English.