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


ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Election Day proposal rejected”

  1. Sebastian the Ibis says:

    There will be a gubernatorial election in 2014… which could be as important to those who use bright futures money as the presidency

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

A six-pack of Canes notes on a Thursday: • Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has an interesting theor ...

Juwan Dowels vividly remembers his first winter on the Syracuse University campus. Like the other 11 ...

The University of Miami football team has another player with a season-ending injury — and this one ...

University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga received a grand jury subpoena for his phon ...

Get ready for an avalanche of University of Miami defensive backs and linemen descending on the Hard ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

The Miami soccer team registered a 3-0 victory over Pittsburgh Thursday night at Cobb Stadium behind ...

Five members of the Miami women's tennis team will open play Friday at the ITA Southeast Region ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

Here are three matchups to watch Saturday as the Hurricanes take on the Syracuse Orange at Hard Rock ...

The University of Miami men's basketball team will begin the season as No. 12 in the USA TODAY ...

TMH Twitter Feed
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.