Make Attendance Optional at Boston University on Election Day

Make Attendance Optional at Boston University on Election Day

Started
October 6, 2020
Petition to
President Robert Brown and
Signatures: 679Next Goal: 1,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Arlo Hatcher

Boston University is home to 34,589 students, all of whom are required to attend classes on Election Day rather than vote. This creates a conflict of interest, do students attend class, or do they participate in their democracy? This conflict of interest is undemocratic and provides incentives for students to not have their voices be heard politically.

As students of Boston University, we feel that being forced to make this difficult decision is unfair to many of our students, and runs contrary to the goals of the university. The most frequent reason that people do not vote in the United States is that they are "too busy" - and people aged 18-29 vote at a lower rate than any other age bracket. By requiring attendance on November 3rd, Boston University is a piece of this problem. However, we can also be part of the solution

In order to create a campus culture that promotes political participation and democracy, we propose that Boston University continues in the footsteps of schools like Brown University and Columbia University, by creating a flexible model for classes on November 3rd, 2020 that does not require attendance.

With less than a month until election day, we recognize the difficulties associated with the cancellation of all classes - professors have already created syllabi and have plans for that day. However, given the success of the LfA model so far, we believe that it should not be difficult for professors to record zoom sessions to allow for a completely remote day with optional attendance. This will give students the ability to vote and simultaneously stay up to date with their course work. Political participation is essential to the function of our democracy, and it is imperative that Boston University students are able to vote on election day.

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Signatures: 679Next Goal: 1,000
Support now