There will be no classes held on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving for the first time this year.

Finance junior Alex Tran said he will use the extra day to travel to Minnesota to visit his family for Thanksgiving.

Tran said he normally doesn’t travel for Thanksgiving, but the extra time off would be nice even if he weren’t traveling. He said the class day at the beginning of the semester is a good trade because students are more motivated at the beginning of the semester.

Toward the end of the semester, students are usually tired and want any extra time off they can get, Tran said.

He said he found out about the no class day earlier this week and didn’t know the day off was because of a Student Congress resolution. When he found out, he said he was thankful for students pushing for this issue.

A 2016 Student Congress resolution, titled “Turkey Day,” created the change, but it was originally supposed to begin in the fall of 2019. However, the Calendar Planning Committee managed to implement the day off a year early, said Samantha Sorensen, Higher Education Leadership and policy studies graduate student. 

The fall semester began a day earlier than usual in order for this day to be given off to students, she said. It is not a holiday, just a no class day. In other words, students have the day off, but not faculty or administration. The school is open, but no classes will be held, she said.

Research for the resolution included outreach to the Faculty Senate, Apartment and Residence Life, Student Activities, Student Affairs, and the general student population, Sorensen said.

As a member of the Calendar Planning Committee, Sorensen used her experience in Student Congress to access the resolutions research when the committee was trying to implement the change. Knowing where to access the research helped answer the committee’s questions faster, speeding along the process of implementation.

Sorensen now works as an Student Governance graduate assistant, and won’t have the day off. Her motivation to sponsor the resolution wasn’t about herself having the day off, she said.

“[The resolution] is really about the greater good of the students,” Sorensen said. 

Her brother and other students can now use this day to spend time with their family, prepare for Thanksgiving, travel home or just relax.

Computer science freshman Javier Gamez said he is looking forward to the extra day off to have time to relax. He said he is leaving Tuesday to spend time with family in Mesquite, Texas.

The extra time off can be useful to almost any student, Gamez said. Students can use the time to relax, travel, spend time with family or study, he said.

Gamez said the extra day at the beginning of the semester is a fair trade. 


Dalton Heitmeier is the 86th Texas Legislature beat reporter.

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