Scheduling changes allow for just one week of class after Thanksgiving

Mock Convention affects usual winter term scheduling, too


Washington Hall, from the steps of Lee Chapel. Photo by Hannah Denham.

Jin Ni

The average student who likes to plan ahead may have noticed something different about their schedules this year: there is only one week of class in between Thanksgiving break and finals.

In previous years, there have usually been two weeks of classes before finals began. That meant more time to prepare for exams as well as more time to spend with friends before winter break.

This year, students will be pressured to prepare for finals week before they can even start thinking about a turkey dinner. Ensem-bles and choral performances will also feel the stress, as students prepare for concerts without much time for final rehearsals.

Other events, such as the holiday candle-light service and weekend parties, may also be affected.

“[Having] one week after Thanksgiving is…enormously difficult from a teaching per-spective,” said Dr. Shane Lynch, the direc-tor of choral activities. “You literally go nine days without seeing students in the best case scenario, and then have to do a final/capstone event/exam for the term after one to three-days of coming back together before finals begin.”

Some students feel that the change may ac-tually be beneficial, however.

“Many students will feel more refreshed and less stressed following the Thanksgiving break,” said MacKenzie Van Meter, ‘22. “It’s better to use that [one] week to prepare [for exams] rather than having that awkward pe-riod of time between break and finals prep.”

The changes were approved for this year since Thanksgiving Day falls on Nov. 28, the latest possible week to have Thanksgiving Break.

“Since the November holiday is so late and faculty didn’t want grades to be due in the midst of holidays, they approved the model… of only one week of class meetings after Thanksgiving and before exams,” said Uni-versity Registrar Scott Dittman.

Other changes to the academic calendar in-clude the start of winter term and graduation.

Winter term will start on Thursday, Jan. 9, instead of the typical Monday. The reason? Mock Convention, one of the biggest events occurring on campus this year, takes place on Feb. 14 and 15. There are no classes on Friday the 14th, so that students may fully engage in the event.

As a result, the university had to add one more day of classes in order to meet criteria set by the accrediting body for days of formal instruction.The one additional day would have been Friday, Jan. 10.

However, faculty and staff discussions de-cided against it.

“The faculty didn’t think asking students and faculty to come back for just Friday was a good idea,” said Dittman. “We wanted to ensure an opportunity for first classes on Thursday and Friday for as many faculty and students as we could.”

For seniors, that means graduation will be the last Thursday in May this year.