The University Senate voted for the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to be an academic holiday starting next year.
The resolution, which was passed at the senate plenary on Thursday, was proposed by the Student Affairs Committee over a year ago in response to student complaints about not having sufficient time to travel home for the holidays, as well as faculty complaints regarding low class attendance on the Wednesday before the break.
The Student Affairs Committee worked on the resolution for 18 months, collaborating with the senate’s education committee, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of the Registrar to investigate whether taking the day off would affect the University’s accreditation because of the reduced class hours.
“This really comes from a place of wanting people to have the opportunities to be with their families on the Thanksgiving holiday, and I think it’s a very nice victory,” University Senator and Student Affairs Committee Co-Chair Sean Ryan, CC ’17, said.
In the past, classes on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays met a total of 13 times during the fall semester, while Wednesday classes met 14 times. The change will therefore bring the number of class meetings for Monday-Wednesday and Tuesday-Thursday courses to parity.
As this is not a change to the University-wide calendar, the day off will not impact the students and employees of every school. It will only affect Columbia College, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, General Studies, Barnard College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the School of International and Public Affairs, the School of Social Work, the School of the Arts, and the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.