News

Election Day proposal rejected

Faith Desautels, Student Government (SG) senator for Eaton Residential College, was not able to volunteer as a poll watcher during Election Day last semester.

“I had to choose between studying for exams and being in the poll lines,” said Desautels, who also serves as SG’s vice chair for the public relations committee.

The experience prompted Desautels to partner with Tyler Franz, an SG senior class senator, and write a bill that would give students more flexibility to vote and participate on Election Day.

“It didn’t make sense to have tests that day,” said Franz, who also serves as the vice chair for the university affairs committee. “The University of Miami, as a national, leading college, should be encouraging its students to be politically active.”

They drafted the bill on the night of Election Day to be ready to present it to the SG Senate. The initiative would have limited professors from issuing exams on presidential and mid-term elections.

SG approved the bill, and it was later sent to Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia Whitely.

Over winter break, however, Whitely vetoed the bill.

“It is simply too early in the academic calendar cycle to even consider it for 2016,” she said.

Had Whitely approved the bill, though, it would have then been sent to the Faculty Senate for final approval.

SG President Nawara Alawa met with Whitely to discuss the decision. Alawa agrees with Whitely that the bill should be considered near the next presidential election in 2016 because changes in administration can occur.

“Dr. Whitely discussed the matter with me, and we came to the agreement that with a bill like this, it is more effective when passed in a specific time frame,” Alawa said. “We don’t know who is going to be leading campus administration in four years, and whether they will even be aware that the bill was passed.”

The bill will be proposed again in 2015 to ensure that “changes could be implemented for the next election more smoothly,” Alawa said.

Desautels and Franz are not the first to propose an Election Day bill.

In 2008, Colleen Clark, a junior at the University of Virginia, created an online petition that advocated for leniency from professors if students miss class to vote, according to an article reported by Inside Higher Ed, a daily online publication based in Washington, D.C. that specializes in higher education topics. Currently, UVA does not have a policy on classes during Election Day.

Other universities in Florida, such as Florida International University, University of Florida and Florida State University, did not cancel classes for Election Day and have no confirmed policies about professors’ leniency on Election Day.

January 20, 2013

Reporters

Alexander Gonzalez

Assistant Editor

Stephanie Parra

Editor-in-chief


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It’s the play Miami Hurricanes fans will never forget — and Florida State fans are trying to forget. ...

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

UM dining services team earns national recognition for special event catering. ...

From hammerheads to great whites, University of Miami researcher Neil Hammerschlag is a dedicated sp ...

An ACLU report authored by UM sociologists documents racial and ethnic disparities in Miami-Dade Cou ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

Miami senior Tyler Gauthier was named to the 2018 Fall Watch List for the Rimington Trophy presented ...

Miami junior wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was among those named to the watch list for the 2018 Bile ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.