Thanksgiving break arrives at a critical time for students at the University of Michigan as finals week quickly approaches. However, to the dismay of many students and faculty, the University of Michigan allows merely two days of break in honor of the holiday. Approximately forty percent of the University’s student population lives out-of-state. Therefore, traveling home for Thanksgiving becomes a difficult task, especially when classes continue to be held until 5:00 PM on Wednesday.
If a shortened Thanksgiving break is not bad enough, the inconveniently scheduled Michigan vs. Ohio State football game simply adds to students’ frustrations. Students who arrive home Wednesday night would have to return Friday night or Saturday morning to attend the game; this is not much of a “break.” Therefore, many students have decided to sell their Michigan vs. Ohio State tickets. As a result, this has led to an influx of student tickets for sale, with a decreased population of buyers. While some football fans remain dedicated to Team 134 and refuse to miss the game, others are willing to sacrifice their tickets for increased time with family and friends.
To further add to the stress of Thanksgiving break, this particular Thanksgiving holiday is special for Jewish Americans. Thanksgiving directly corresponds with the Jewish Festival of Lights, Hanukkah. The Jewish holiday begins Wednesday at sundown, and lasts for eight days. Thanksgiving is the first full day of Hanukkah. The correlation of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah is extremely rare; it last happened in 1888, and will happen again as early as 2070 (HuffingtonPost.com). In fact, this year’s Thanksgiving and Hanukkah mash-up has been given a name: “Thanksgivukkah.”
The allotted time for Thanksgiving break is hardly a “break.” With the impending OSU football game, as well as Hanukkah, many students will skip class in order to recover lost time. While many students plan to skip classes on Wednesday, in some cases students will skip the entire week. This is quite unfair for the students who cannot skip class for various reasons. How can the University prevent this inconvenience?
When taking into account these various complications during Thanksgiving break, the University should allot student and faculty at least one extra day of break. This generosity would be greatly appreciated by students and faculty, especially out-of-state students. Everyone needs a mental break, and the University’s schedule forces its students to make difficult decisions during a supposed time of rest and relaxation.