At the January meeting of the Penn State Faculty Senate, the Senate passed a resolution reminding faculty not to cancel classes on the day before vacation.
The story from Inside Higher Ed is here. (thanks to Hillary Jones for this link).
The resolution, from the Senate Agenda, is here.
Now, when I went to college, on a snowy mountaintop -- Hamilton College, in Clinton, New York, where everything is uphill -- we had Saturday morning classes, and compulsory Sunday evening chapel (and we were not a religion-affiliated school). And we had a rule that if a student cut a class on the day before a vacation, he failed the course. Period. Those days are gone forever.
There is a lot of absenteeism in the days before a vacation -- and sometimes after. Penn State recently tried to repair the problem of late-Wednesday dismissal for Thanksgiving break by scheduling all of Thanksgiving week as a holiday. And then some students cut classes the Thursday and Friday before that long holiday.