ASLMU Senate passes resolution, calls on LMU to make Election Day an academic holiday

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Photo: Kelly Hebestreit

ASLMU Senate passes resolution, calls on LMU to make Election Day an academic holiday

By Christina Martinez

ASLMU has passed a resolution encouraging LMU to make future Election Days as academic holidays at the Oct. 18 Senate meeting.

Penned and presented by Senator for National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Athletics Bailey Woinarowicz, the resolution calls on LMU to “ensure that there will be no classes held on Election Day to allow students and faculty to participate in our civic duty to our Democracy and vote.”

In her resolution, Woinarowicz cited an article that reported only 48.3 percent of college students voted in the 2016 presidential election as one of her main reasons to write the resolution. She believes that more students would vote if course attendance and workload was not an issue, particularly at LMU.

“I was told for [the midterm election] in 2018, LMU students had to wait 2 hours to vote,” said Woinarowicz. “Just making sure that there’s no classes on Election Day would be crucial because students won’t have to worry about missing class, [and] they can volunteer to work the polls. If they have to vote in-person...[i]t just relieves so much stress knowing you don’t have class on Election Day and that you can vote whenever it fits your schedule.” 

Woinarowicz also listed universities with existing Election Day holidays in the resolution, including Jesuit universities such as Fordham University and College of the Holy Cross, and referenced a recent NCAA ruling that declared that Division I athletes would have Election Day off from practice and games to allow athletes to vote.

Woinarowicz also included a quote from Pope Francis in 2013 as an epigraph, where he declared that Christians should actively participate in politics and pray for leaders that govern well, saying that “[a] good Catholic meddles in politics,”to connect the resolution with LMU’s Catholic and Jesuit values.

“I worked with the Center for Service and Action and Gabi Jeakle [to tie in] our university’s mottos and what [it] says that graduates of LMU should be like,” she said. “I feel like our university should hold it up.”

In a post from Woinarowicz’s Senator for NCAA and Athletics Instagram account, she shared a copy of the resolution and expressed excitement for its passing in the Senate. She credited Jeakle and former Senator for NCAA and Athletics Taylor Pajunen for assisting her with wording and proofreading, respectively.

“I’m just utilizing my position to try and get this moving, and to get the university to recognize this as an important issue,” said Woinarowicz. “I know that there have already been efforts, but… it should have already been a thing!”

View this post on Instagram

I’ve been working really hard this past week on a resolution that means a lot to me, and tonight it passed in the senate! Here’s some info about why I wrote this and the resolution itself. A copy of the resolution will be on the ASLMU website within the next few days. If you have any questions on what this means please feel free to reach out to me or come to my office hours! I’m so excited about my first resolution passing and I’m so excited for future resolutions and initiatives to come! Special shoutout to @gabijeakle from @csa_lmu for helping me with the wording of this resolution! You’re amazing and I couldn’t of written this resolution without you! Also shoutout to @tayp_joy for helping me proofread the resolution and giving me great advice! You been an amazing mentor and helped me so much with adjusting to this role. Now go vote lions!!

A post shared by Bailey Woinarowicz (@bailey.ncaasenator) on

Woinarowicz hopes that because of it will recognize ASLMU’s passing of the resolution as legitimate and act upon it. She pointed to LMU’s recent voting campaigns, such as #ListenEngageVote, as evidence that LMU’s administration cares about students’ interest and ability to vote.

“LMU has done so much to encourage students to vote,” she said. “But now, LMU needs to take that next step and make Election Day an academic holiday.”

ASLMU’s passing of this resolution comes during a contentious presidential election year as the latest of many student voting initiatives they’ve put forth to urge Lions to vote. In past election years, ASLMU has used booths on Palm Walk and free swag to incentivize students to vote while promoting LMU’s TurboVote link. TurboVote is a digital hub for voter information used by universities where students can easily check their voting registration, register to vote if they haven’t already, and get help voting by mail in their state.

Despite the virtual limitations of this semester, Chief Programming Officer (CPO) Brion Dennis has taken charge of organizing ASLMU’s voting initiatives. In addition to promoting TurboVote as a resource, they have helped organize phone banks to contact students directly and encourage them to register to vote for municipal, state and federal-level elections.

"Through the phone bank, we contacted around 50 percent of the junior class and around 70 percent of the sophomore class,” said Dennis. “That phone bank ended up with more than 200 students registered to vote by the end of the day.”

Dennis believes the 2020 election will be one of the most important elections of our lifetimes and that it is imperative that students exercise their right to vote now more than ever. They pointed to how 70 million young Americans comprise almost a fifth of the electorate and have the power to swing the election.

“Promoting young voters to go out, to cast their vote, to recreate our government in the image of what the future will be like at this point in time, this election is the most crucial...because we will all grow up into the world that this next administration makes,” they said.

Listen to Addendum 2.3: Letting Your Vote Roar to hear Brion Dennis, Chief Programming Officer of ASLMU  talk about their leadership with student voting initiatives to mobilize students and make history as we vote in the most important election of our lifetime. Hosted by Raven Yamamoto.

Post a Comment