Demand LOYNO Provides a Day of Asynchronous Classes or Class Cancellation on Election Day

Demand LOYNO Provides a Day of Asynchronous Classes or Class Cancellation on Election Day

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Jackie France started this petition to Tania Tetlow and

With the upcoming 2020 elections, it is clear that young people will play a critical role in the outcome of this pivotal and unprecedented election. Traditionally, the youth vote turnout has been abysmally low. According to a Pew Research Poll, only 46.1% of eligible voters between the ages of 18-29 actually turned out to vote in 2016. As a Jesuit institution that promotes the importance of civic responsibility, it is critical that Loyola University not hinder its student's ability to vote. Because of this, we demand that the university require all undergraduate, graduate, and law classes shift to either a day of asynchronous instruction or cancelation on Tuesday, November 3rd. Fundamentally, no student should have to choose between exercising their civic duty and risking penalty or missed information in a class. 

First, this decision does not exist without precedence. Brown University and other universities have recently announced class suspension on Election Day. Additionally, choosing between the polls and English class is not the only concern for this election. In the age of COVID-19, the voting landscape has been dramatically altered. For one, the role of the poll worker is more vital than ever. Poll workers are typically elderly members of a community, but they are also particularly at risk of the deadly effects of COVID-19. Therefore, there is a special need for young people to not only vote but also serve as poll workers to ensure a smooth voting experience while protecting elderly community members. Loyola students, known for their dedication in serving the New Orleans community, would be able to fill this roll perfectly. However, attendance requirements might prevent a student from volunteering to fulfill this role. Loyola also believes in caring for the "whole person." Part of this is recognizing the emotional and psychological toll this election might have on a student, and the mental health aspect of an asynchronous day cannot be understated. 

Higher education should not be a barrier for the voting process, and it is essential that a university like Loyola do its part in this election. Without synchronous classes on election day, no student has an excuse to not vote in an undoubtedly pivotal election. We believe that Loyola University administration and Tania Tetlow must promote its values and encourage all students, regardless of political affiliation, to vote without any hinderances. 

 

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At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!