Officials consider extending holiday break

The Student Government Association passed a proposal to abolish fall break in favor of a week-long Thanksgiving break. The change would go into effect for the fall 2019 semester.

“Hopefully, this change will give students that have to travel long distances more time to spend with their families,” said SGA President Hugo Dante.

Since SGA passed the proposal, the Faculty Senate, Staff Senate and the Shared Government Executive Committee look to approve it, Dante said.

Upon approval from all organizations, President Kenneth Kitts has the power to put the policy into action.

“I think they will approve it,” Dante said.

If the organizations find issues with this draft of the proposal, the vote will be postponed, he said.

“If there are issues brought forward, it will have to come back for revisions before it can be voted on,” Dante said.

Dante said he has heard very little student opposition to the change so far.

The proposal was approved after, “not a whole lot of debate,” Dante said.

“I think everyone was pretty much in favor of it,” he said.

SGA student senate passed the proposal unanimously at their meeting on Thursday, Nov. 16.

Sophomore Elicia Springer said she is in favor of the potential policy change.

“One day for fall break really isn’t enough to make a difference,” she said. “A full week out of class for Thanksgiving will give more people an opportunity to spend time with their families.”

Dante said he could think of a reason some students might not like the change.

He said some majors, like science majors who have mandated Friday classes, might have enjoyed fall break.

“Sometimes it’s a useful study break,” Dante, who is a chemistry major, said.

Some potential benefits to a longer Thanksgiving break include more time to prepare for final exams and more travel time for out-of-state students.

Dante said some staff complained because they did not get a real fall break while others faculty members did.

“Some students don’t even have classes on Fridays, so, fall break didn’t really affect them,” he said. “This change will affect every student, teacher and member of staff.”

He said SGA members gathered student feedback on the idea before a proposal was made.

“They were tasked with reaching out to students and finding out their thoughts,” Dante said.

He said the idea of a longer Thanksgiving break was an initiative started by SGA several years ago.

“They received a lot of student feedback about the proposal,” he said.

Junior Casey Borden said he wishes the change could go into effect sooner.

“I have to go to Huntsville for the holidays,” he said. “I don’t travel for fall break, so I wouldn’t miss it anyway.”

This change to the school calendar could also impose changes in other areas, such as students losing one day of registration prior to the start of the semester, according to the current proposal.