Sunday, October 14, 2007

WashU Dems Promote "Democracy Day"

This one slipped through the cracks, but fortunately I found it later rather than sooner.

The Washington University College Democrats are spearheading a campaign to cancel classes on Election Day. As of October 1, they had collected 250 petition signatures, but they have also been working with the Student Union Senate to draft a resolution in support of this initiative.

The initiative was meant to be a bi-partisan effort, but the College Republicans have not signed on. Here's an excerpt from the Student Life campus newspaper article:

"We want to increase awareness about Election Day and give students the time to vote," said Meredith Sigler, president of College Democrats. "There are a lot of students who have a test or paper due that day and that's all they're thinking about. This is really about increasing [student] awareness."

According to Sigler, the Democracy Day initiative is an attempt to increase political involvement on campus, to encourage voter turnout among college students and to stimulate discussion about the issues.

Although the initiative is intended as a bipartisan solution, the Washington University College Republicans, the other major political student organization on campus, has not joined the movement.

"We think it's really not needed because the polls are open for 12 hours in the day," said Sam Gittle, president of College Republicans. "People either want to get involved or they don't. You can do as much pushing as you want, but [this day] won't make someone who's not going to vote go out to vote."

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