By Vivienne Clark
Thanksgiving break is a treasured time for many students relax and recuperate with their families after a long semester. But for some, it is also a time of worrying about how they are going to get home, and even get to see their families. These concerns may not be on the radar of every Baylor student, but they are especially important for those of us who are not from Texas and have a long way to travel home.
According to Baylor Institutional Research and Testing, one out of every four Baylor students is from out of state. For many of us, going home over Labor Day or Fall Break simply isn’t an option. Thanksgiving break is the one time we will see our families in the four months between the beginning of the term and winter break. Why not allow students to make the most of this time and extend Thanksgiving break to include Monday and Tuesday?
One major problem with a short Thanksgiving break is the cost of traveling. For an out-of-state student, flying home for Thanksgiving may cost anywhere from $350 to $700. For me, flying home to New Mexico generally costs $400 to $500; for my friends on the East Coast, flying home over Thanksgiving costs $600 or more. Since my brother is also at Baylor as a freshman this year, it would have cost nearly $1,000 for the two of us to fly home for a mere four days of Thanksgiving break.
This year, I was fortunate to have a car here at Baylor, so my brother and I had the substantially cheaper option of driving home for Thanksgiving. However, this left us with only three days at home — the twelve-hour drive between Waco and Albuquerque requires two full days on the road. For those who live even further from Texas, traveling by car would take up most of the break. If we had the whole week of Thanksgiving off, we could easily spend six or seven days with our family rather than three or four.
Some may object to the week-long holiday on the grounds that such a long break is disruptive to the learning process. However, many students already skip class on the Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week due to travel plans.
Furthermore, many of us already spend a substantial part of our Thanksgiving breaks studying or working on assignments, and this takes away from the already limited time we have with our families during the holiday. Would it not make more sense to extend the semester by two days instead, to let us make the most of our Thanksgiving break?
If you feel strongly about this issue as well, contact your Student Government representatives and urge them to work with the Academic Calendar Committee and consider the benefits of extending Thanksgiving break for all of us.