Student’s voices have been heard and starting in the 2018-2019 calendar year, a travel day will be included in Thanksgiving break.

A common complaint among the student body at Concordia is that there simply isn’t enough time to get home before Thanksgiving without rushing. Since classes run through Wednesday, many students struggle to get home in a timely manner for Thanksgiving the next day.

Senior Katrina Shumway plans to make the trip back to her hometown in Terry, Mont., which is a six-hour drive from Concordia.

This year without the travel day you go home and bam it’s Thanksgiving,” Shumway said. “You don’t have any down time between stuff.”

The reason behind there not being a travel day this year is simply because of how the calendar fell, said Ericka Peterson, a Concordia registrar and scheduler.

It’s the same reason that some years Christmas break is closer to three weeks, and others it is closer to four.

There are national and state guidelines set for how many weeks a class must meet in order to fulfill requirements. This year, Wednesday classes must meet before Thanksgiving in order to do this.

However, beginning in the 2018- 2019 school year, students can expect to have the Wednesday before Thanksgiving break off Peterson said.

“Not having a travel day is a huge concern,” Peterson said. Student safety is something that the Academic Policies and Procedures committee, who discusses the academic calendar, is concerned about when it comes to not having a travel day built in this year.

“We definitely don’t want anyone’s safety in concern,” Peterson said. “Safety is number one. The other part is if students are skipping class to get home we don’t want that to negatively impact students.”

Dr. Amy Watkin, chair of the English department, has cancelled one of her classes on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving break. It simply worked out that she was able to do this due to the schedule for that class. The students are working on a project and will be meeting with her separately to go over their drafts.

Although this was not planned, students may be able to use this as an opportunity for travel time.

“Its unfortunate for students who have long drives to get home,” Watkin said. “Its tough to do that overnight. I know there has been an issue with weather in the past.”

Although the weather this year has been mild, that could change by the time Thanksgiving comes around.

“If you add in bad weather and ice or bad conditions or a lot of rain suddenly your six-hour drive turns into a seven-and-a-half hour drive or eight,” Shumway said.

This makes an already rushed break even shorter.

“We have traditions in my house,” Shumway said. “We wake up and watch the parade. We do things throughout the day. Thanksgiving dinner is at noon. I feel like everything is squished and fast forwarded to make those traditions happen in half the time.”

Although this year and next students won’t have a travel day to space things out, a travel day will be built in starting in 2018.

“We’ve heard concerns and we have made changes,” Peterson said.

Anna Erickson

Anna Erickson is a Multimedia Journalism major and an Art and Writing minor. She is from Alexandria, Minnesota and is a part of Concordia’s class of 2017. She is also a lifeguard, swimming lessons teacher and member of CEC. She loves photography, writing, and being on the lake.

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