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Students cut class to prolong Thanksgiving time with family

DAVID HARDEN/Arizona Daily Wildcat
ASUA president Doug Hartz speaks at the Arizona Board of Regents meeting in the fall of 2003 at ASU in Tempe. Hartz proposed a fall break that was rejected by the regents.
By Jennifer Amsler
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
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Some students are prolonging their Thanksgiving break this week by skipping classes and traveling out of town early, despite failed attempts by student leaders in past years to officially cancel classes.

Stephanie Schroer, a molecular and cellular biology freshman, said she will skip class tomorrow so she can get home to Sierra Vista earlier. She said she is not the only person skipping class this week.

Schroer said everyone wants to travel home earlier for the holidays and many students don't see this week as academically important.

"It's only a three-day week," Schroer said. "A lot of teachers know people aren't going to be there, so they've cancelled class."

For the past couple of years, some ASUA student leaders have attempted to make the entire Thanksgiving week an official break.

Doug Hartz, ASUA president in 2002-2003, proposed a "Fall Break" for the week of Thanksgiving, which, if it had been implemented, could have saved the university up to $846,000, according to past reporting in the Arizona Daily Wildcat.

After months of researching and planning, the Faculty Senate rejected the proposal in March 2003, citing it would reflect poorly on the university's academic mission.

Some students said the extra three days off before Thanksgiving would have been beneficial.

Jacqueline Rovinsky, a pre-education freshman, said the break would have been nice because it would give students more time to travel home.

"It's too expensive to just fly home for a weekend," she said.

Rovinsky is from Dallas and hasn't been home since she started school in August, so she said she is skipping the rest of her classes this week.

Rovinsky said she doesn't think students care that much about missing class this week.

"I would miss Monday classes if it came down to it," she said. "My flight was just scheduled after my Monday classes."

She said she thinks instructors should cancel classes this week, especially on Wednesday, so students don't have to accumulate absences just for going home.

Pete Sherman, an Arizona International College professor, said it is not his policy to cancel class because students are paying for their education and should have the opportunity to receive that class time.

"I've decided not to cancel class because I don't believe in canceling class," he said.

Jessica Munson, a second-year anthropology graduate student, said none of her classes were cancelled this week. As a graduate student, this didn't surprise her.

"This is kind of our job; we're expected to go to class," Munson said.

Cesar Bustamante, a studio arts freshman, said he will not skip class this week because a few of his instructors assigned homework and he is only going home to Rio Rico, Ariz. for one day.

He said most of his friends couldn't get flights out of town, and he plans to go out with them tomorrow night when most students have already left.

Tyler Zmick, a political science freshman, said only one out of three of his Wednesday classes was cancelled, but he scheduled a flight home to Chicago tomorrow and will skip regardless.

"I want to be home longer," he said.

He said if a fall break were implemented, it would have given him more time to search for cheaper flights and he wouldn't have to worry about being absent from class.

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