By Raychelle Ransome Special to the chronicle
The Election Day petition advocates that Hofstra students should not be hindered from voting by a full day of classes or due dates. Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 is one of most important days in American history. While there may be some who will have the privilege of voting for a president for the second time, there are many on campus who will be voting for the first time.
Many professors have expressed their shock that Hofstra excused students have classes on debate day, but not on Election Day. Students whom I asked to sign the petition were widely ignorant of the Election Day schedule; that is to say, we are scheduled to have all of our regular classes.
The Election Day petition is not merely about getting a day off; it is about the rights that I believe students should have by being an active voter. While some students are able to use absentee ballots, which have proven to not always be accurately counted, those who are registered to vote out-of-town would miss the opportunity to vote in their own polling station.
I question the acceptability of cancelling class for the presidential debate, which by all means is important but is an extremely surface and superficial event compared to the actual election itself. Holding classes on Election Day infringes upon the ability of non-Hempstead residents to exercise their constitutional right to vote in their district. I have spoken to students who have classes from morning to 9 p.m. and would not be able to get to their districts until late after the polls have been closed. There are some students, like myself, who live on campus with no car and list their permanent address as in the boroughs. Many students have full-day schedules and professors who care more about their lesson plan than enabling students to be active voters.
This position is frustrating as a student and first-time voter. The college student demographic is essential to this year’s election. Losing the opportunity is detrimental to our future in the upcoming election of the next president of the United States of America. The Election Day petition, if graced with enough signatures, will hopefully cancel change the class schedule on campus.