LTE: Classes on Election Day?

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To Whom It May Concern:

Earlier this semester, The DePauw Student Government (DSG) put together a proposal that would make election day a university holiday. Allowing students to take the time to vote. Whether that means physically heading back to their state/county of residence and voting in person or taking the day to fill out an absentee ballot. More than just the act of voting DSG acknowledges that there is a multitude of emotions that come along with this election. DSG wanted to provide students the chance to take a day to reflect on these emotions, cast their ballot, and utilize this time to keep their mental health in check.

One of DePauw’s core values is Student Focus. To me, this means that my needs, as a student, are at the forefront of DePauw University’s decision-making process. In many cases, I believe this to be true. Many of my professors have gone above and beyond to make sure that I achieve goals that I didn’t know were possible. That being said DePauw has proven once again that as an overall institute, this is not the case.

The faculty committee denied DSG’s request to have election day become a university holiday. Now I am sure this committee has their reasons, but I believe none of them are good enough to justify overturning DSG’s elections day proposal. By choosing to deny this proposal, I believe this committee is telling us a few things:

  1. Your Tuesday class is more important than voting in this election, an election that has been called by many the most important election of our lifetimes.
  2. Your Tuesday class is more important than taking time to cope with your emotions and check-in on your mental state surrounding this election. 

There are more than just two names on a ballot, things such as healthcare and coverage of preexisting conditions, the future of the supreme court, whether our government acknowledges that Black Lives Matter, and so many more topics that are on the docket. The people who made the decision not to make election day a university holiday are saying that your Tuesday class is more important than any of these topics.

On Tuesday, November 3rd I will be returning home to Tipton, Indiana to vote. I don’t know what I will do for the rest of the day, but I will be taking some time for myself, to think about my emotions. I would encourage all of you to do the same.

Sincerely,

Jonathon Tebbe 21’