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Thanksgiving Piece

May 26, 2009

I wanted to start posting a few journalism stories. Some I am sure you’ll enjoy or relate to others I’m sure you won’t, but constructive criticism is always appreciated.

With airfare prices reaching the highest rates in more than a decade it is no surprise that more students are spending their Thanksgiving Break in the Boston area than ever before. Approximately 2% of Emerson students stay on campus during break while countless students find themselves unable to go home for the holiday. This number has not increased significantly since last year. Instead students are choosing to stay with family and friends who live in the area.

This lack of interest in housing at Emerson College is a probably a good thing. Acquiring housing for break periods is no easy task. Housing is limited to rooms in the Little Building. Emerson students wishing to receive housing are required to fill out an application demonstrating need as well as submit employment papers. These items are necessary not simply to discriminate who receives housing, but also to ensure that once you do receive housing you will be able to work on campus during break.
It’s not the application process that makes staying on-campus during break so difficult, however, it’s finding a room at all. Students must find Little Building residents who are willing to ‘rent out’ their rooms for the week.

Most students that find it impossible to go home for break find it easier to stay with friends or relatives who live in the Boston area. Staying on campus is for most is a last choice chosen only once they have exhausted all other options. It is surprising then that not all students are staying on campus simply because the cost of going home is too high.
Several students came to Emerson this year knowing that they would not be able to travel back home until December break. For the more than ( ______ ) Emersonians that hail from West Coast states like California buying a plane ticket home for break would cost you on average more than $100 dollars for each day you were gone.

Chelsea Graven a third year Marketing student, said that going home for Thanksgiving break was never going to be an option for her this year.
“I’m from California and even in August tickets to go back home were around 600, when they were around 400 last year, so financially it seemed ridiculous to spend all that money to go home for 5 days when Christmas break is only a couple weeks later.”

Financial reasons were not the only causes of students staying on campus for the holiday, however, some students stayed for more personal reasons. Derrick Cheung, a freshman Marketing student, said that though going home was an option he decided to stay on-campus.

“It’s a long and complicated story… basically I’m staying here to see a girl who I’m in love with.”
Criticism from students about housing procedures during school breaks usually have nothing to do with staying on-campus or not being able to take place with festivities of home. Instead students often complain about more practical things such as the loss of their meal plan or being required to work at the reception desk during the week.

When asked Chelsea Graven said that her reasons for staying are somewhat moot because although she won’t be paying for a plane ticket she still has to find off campus restaurants to eat in during the week.

“It’s frustrating that we can’t use our meals, since it’s pretty difficult to cook food if you don’t have pots and pans, which a lot of us don’t, and it probably won’t end up being all that much less expensive to stay here than go home at the end of the day with the cost of eating out all the time.”

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