By Ronny O'Leary, Special to The Chronicle
As written in The Chronicle a couple weeks ago, we do not have the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off this year. This likely comes as a disappointment to students who want that extra time to relax or catch up on homework.
However, this can be particularly inconvenient for people who are not local. I talked to students in these situations, like Sarah Travaglini of Massachusetts who is driving home Tuesday night in order to avoid the traffic resulting from people traveling on Wednesday.
Another girl I talked is from California, and she is flying home. She needs to take the entire week off to save money; the closer a flight is to a holiday, the more expensive it is.
Meanwhile, others are not going home at all because they do not see the point of leaving for a couple of days then coming back. In short, students are being forced to choose between missing class and returning home in a timely manner, staying on Wednesday then dealing with traffic or expensive flights; or not seeing their families for the holiday.
I went to the Provost's office to talk to Dr. Liora P. Schmelkin about how Hofstra makes the schedule. Apparently, it is a complicated process, but it seems like part of the reason we have classes that Wednesday is because we did not have classes on Rosh Hashanah.
Personally, I believe that we should have the Wednesday off rather than Rosh Hashanah. If the University respected the holiday of one group of people by cancelling classes, shouldn't they show respect to every other group in the same way? This day off would give non-local students time to pack and to return home on time for the holiday.
So what will happen on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving this year? Some professors are putting that day's lecture online for students who must miss class. If we cannot have the day off, this is definitely the next best option.
I personally do not mind this year's schedule because I think I will have enough time to get all my work done, and I live on Long Island, which means that returning home is not a problem. But giving us that Wednesday off, or at least working around students' plans, would alleviate the concerns of any students who find the situation difficult and inconvenient.