Discover more from Blue & Gold Media at Mississippi College
MC Extends Thanksgiving Break with Changes in the Academic Calendar
MC calendar committee shortens fall break and extends thanksgiving break in order to bring equal days off across campus.
In semesters past, the students of Mississippi College were granted the luxury of a four-day, post-midterm Fall break. Prior to the beginning of the Fall 2022 semester, however, the time allotted for this break was altered. These alterations shortened the annual Fall break to a total of three days, rather than four.
As a result, many students and faculty members are left with heightened stress, exhausted brains, and trouble comprehending the rationale behind the adjustment.
Upon further investigation, it was found that this decision in particular fell on not a single member of MC’s administration, but a committee. This calendar committee, held every academic year, is comprised of both administrators and faculty members.
The committee for the creation of this year’s academic calendar was chaired by MC English professor, Dr. Daniel White. When inquired of what ideas he had going into his task of heading up the committee, Dr. White expressed that one of his main concerns was the length of Thanksgiving break. “Fall break and Thanksgiving break are both essential moments of pause and rest in the academic cycle of the university,” says White. “When our Provost, Dr. Elder asked me to chair the Calendar Committee, I decided to look into this issue to see if we could extend the break,” White added.
The calendar committee then began to discuss the potential changes mentioned by Dr. White that major issues began to reveal themselves. Dr. White explains that the calendar is governed by two university policies: Academic Policy 2.12 and Professional Policy 3.22. Academic Policy 2.12 outlines the minimum number of collegiate hours that all courses offered at MC must meet. Professional Policy 3.22 outlines specific holidays in which university offices will be closed. “If we broke from the policy, our external accreditor - SACSCOC [Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges] - would cite us, and it would put the university at risk,” White says. It was this that brought the committee to the realization that the calendar couldn’t contain both a four-day Fall break and a week-long Thanksgiving break. “We had to pick one,” White notes.
In regards to the decision itself, Dr. White says that the decision to alter these two holidays was based on one thing: equity. “Already, many members of the MC family were choosing to take a full week for Thanksgiving or skipping Tuesday classes so they could travel home. This put extra pressure on those students and faculty. But, staff were not able to make that choice unless they used personal days or sick days,” explains White. “We saw this as an issue of fairness.”
In a professional attempt to allow everyone, faculty and students alike, to access the same amount of time for the Thanksgiving holiday, the decision was made. Fall break would be shortened to three days in length, and Thanksgiving break would last one week, rather than three-four days.
From the perspective of many students, it’s a common remark that the amount of time this new calendar template allotted for Fall break simply did not measure up to be enough. When asked what her feelings were towards the amount of time allotted for this semester’s Fall break, sophomore communications major Anna Grace Lane fell into this category. “I personally think it should be at least a day longer,” Lane says. “I am grateful they gave us a day off, but I feel as if we definitely deserve a longer break.”
Other students, however, feel as if the break was long enough. Sophomore Brian Hammond aligns himself with this perspective. Upon being asked the same question, Hammond says that he believes the time allotted for this semester’s fall break was adequate. When asked if he’d alter the break length, he simply notes that he would not alter them.
In regards to MC faculty members, it would appear as if the shortened length of Fall break affected them in a similar manner that it affected the students: there’s a united desire for it to be longer. Dr. Mignon Kucia, a professor in MC’s communications department, is amongst this group of those who desire another day for recuperation. “From the perspective of a faculty member, I feel that the break was a little shorter than I would’ve liked.” Kucia remarks. Despite her expressed desire for a longer break, Kucia balances her opinion by stating a reminiscence of a time when there was no Fall break at all. She continues, expressing her gratitude for the break time allotted, all while acknowledging how the shortened break affected her and her students. “Although I appreciate the effort, it did not accomplish the same results as did the two-day break.”
Following this semester’s three-day weekend of a Fall break, many students were left with question surrounding the reasoning for the shortening in the break’s typical length. After corresponding with academic calendar committee chair Dr. White, the committee’s decision was made with the best interest of the MC family at heart. “While we are all part of the MC family, not every member of that family has the same needs. As such, the calendar works on compromise.”
Thanks for reading! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support Blue & Gold Media.