Professors encouraged to be flexible with election day attendance

Photo+credit%3A+Maria+Paula+Marino

Photo credit: Maria Paula Marino

Chloe Caudle

Provost Tanuja Singh encouraged professors in an email sent out to faculty to allow “as much flexibility as possible” in attendance this election day, Nov. 3.

Attendance for both classes and work-study will not be required due to Loyola wanting students to get and vote, according to the email.

While this is not a university holiday, the provost asked teachers to be flexible with their attendance that day.

“Exercising our right to vote is one of the most sacred rights enshrined in our constitution,” Singh said.

This initiative was pushed forward due to college-aged students historically having a low turn out rate in past elections. In recent years, there’s been a push for increased voter participation, resulting in a 19% increase in 2018 from 2014 in local elections, according to a study conducted by Tufts University. Therefore, some colleges have decided to either not count attendance Nov. 3 or give the day off to encourage college students to vote.

Other colleges such as UNO chose to make attendance an option that day so their students can vote.

SGA passed an initiative encouraging the university to make attendance optional for election day because the issue was brought up by multiple parties, including the vice provost. SGA also prepared Loyola’s shuttles to be used for early voting in October for those who vote in the city.

In the future, an SGA spokesperson said the organization is trying to get every even year from here on out to be a day-off and said the only reason that this year students don’t have off election day is because of hurricane days.

They said they also want to do events in the future to get students registered and make absentee ballots available to out-of-state students. SGA said their goal is to get students involved in the democratic process and get young people’s voices heard.