Quinnipiac students demand Election Day off

Students react to not being exempt from classes on Election Day

Nicole McIsaac, Copy Editor

Just like in previous years, Quinnipiac University will be hosting classes on the upcoming presidential election day, Nov. 3, and many students are voicing their opinion against it.

Kyra Angileri, a senior sociology major, started an online petition to make Election Day a university holiday, which would mean no classes can meet. She created the petition while sitting in on President Judy Olian’s speech during an orientation session for the class of 2024. Angileri said Olian’s speech revolved around the importance of voting, regardless of one’s political affiliation or opinion.

“I thought that was pretty hypocritical to stress the importance of voting, but not give students that accessibility to do so,” Angileri said. “I wanted to bring that to the administration’s attention.”

Angileri created the petition at the beginning of August during Olian’s speech at other orientation sessions. As of publication, the petition has 852 signatures and continues to be shared through various social media platforms.

“This is something that I’ve always personally wanted and something that a lot of student organizations have pushed for consistently throughout the years,” Angileri said. “There are so many reasons as to why every single thing on the ballot matters and if we have classes, then students are at a higher disadvantage to go out and vote.”

Rebecca Torres, a first-year psychology major, said she felt a sense of instant relief when coming across and signing the petition online.

“As a Latina woman, it was very intimidating coming into school feeling as though I’d still feel as helpless as I did back home with the situation about our politics today,” Torres said.“I’d sign petitions back at home and write about things, but I felt like nothing was ever being done. Coming to Quinnipiac University, I immediately saw that there were others who wanted to make the same change, even at the start of a small community.”

The reason behind creating the petition is to allow more accessibility to voting for all students by accommodating for driving long distances, long lines at voting centers and social distancing guidelines, as stated in the petition.

“I think that many people will choose to use mail-in ballots in order to stay safe and prevent catching and/or spreading COVID-19,” said Kimberly Janeczko, a sophomore nursing major. “Regardless if people choose to use mail-in ballots or go directly to the polls in safe and socially distant ways, one thing that I think COVID-19 has done for this election, above all else, is shown each and every one of us just how much better we can and need to operate as a nation.”

Although Angileri has contacted the university about the petition, she said there hasn’t been any clear communication or answer about receiving the day off.

“I think that COVID-19 has taken away a lot of school days already,” said Mia Calore, a sophomore nursing major. “As important as Election Day is, I don’t think the university will take the petition seriously.”   

Students are concerned that Quinnipiac does not see the importance of exercising their right to vote.

“As we approach the workforce, our perspectives are fresh and new, and without us voting for a president who reflects how we feel and what we believe, our voices will never be heard,”  Janeczko said. “While we may not all agree on who we want to vote for, I think we can all agree on the fact that voting is a way for us to fight for what we believe is right and just.”

John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations said the university encourages students to register to vote and cast their ballots.

“Although classes will not be cancelled on Election Day, the flexibility of Q-Flex teaching and learning model we’re using this fall allows students in most classes whose class schedules conflict with the hours of operation of the polls to meet the learning objectives of the day’s class asynchronously,” Morgan said.