If you’re the only one currently sitting in your usually packed lecture hall, you may be wondering if you didn’t get the memo about class being canceled. The good news is that you were technically correct to go to class — there’s no blanket cancellation today. But there should be. Having class the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is an unnecessary inconvenience for all students, but especially for out-of-state-students whose delicious turkey dinners are a plane flight away and getting cold. The University needs to reform this ridiculous scheduling policy and give students the day off before Thanksgiving.

Under the current schedule, students can’t officially get out of class and start Thanksgiving break until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, the day before the holiday. This just happens to be the busiest travel day of the year, and many students have no choice but to book evening plane flights in order to get home. Plane tickets on this day cost hundreds of dollars more than they do even one day earlier, meaning that students who can’t miss Wednesday class are literally paying for it. With roughly one third of the student population hailing from places outside of Michigan, this is a significant inconvenience.

Another clear sign that Wednesday should be a day off is that many students just skip it anyway. And many professors and graduate student instructors have recognized this reality by canceling their classes ahead of time. Unfortunately, most teachers don’t notify their students of this until the week before Thanksgiving. Out-of-state students, the perpetual losers in this situation, have to book their plane flights weeks in advance, meaning that while other students just drive home a day early, these poor students’ schedules are already solidified.

The teachers who haven’t canceled class end up with lecture halls that are half filled at best. The resulting classes are generally a waste of time not only for the few students who show up, but also for the professors who feel compelled to follow the rules. And the University is taking a hit, too, because it wastes energy heating and lighting mostly empty buildings all day.

The solution to all of this would be for the University to just cancel classes on Wednesday. This would give all students more time to get home for break, and out-of-state students could buy plane tickets for Tuesday night when they aren’t nearly as expensive. And while planning the academic calendar may be difficult, it’s hard to believe that there’s no way to move a different off-day up to the beginning of Thanksgiving break, especially considering the fact that this year we have a longer winter break than we did last year.

Since not all students can benefit from their professors spontaneously canceling class the week before, the University needs to step in and just let Tuesday be the last school day before break. Or just give students the whole week off. This will allow out-of-state students to save money on plane flights and everyone can enjoy a break that’s a little longer. Now go home.

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