A girl in one of my classes on Monday was passing around a petition to cancel classes on Tuesday, November 4th, to encourage students to vote. Being quite an ardent nerd, I was crestfallen and even further disappointed when I learned more about the motive behind the petition. There was an article in the Cavalier Daily, our campus newspaper at the University of Virginia, about how a private university in our state was canceling classes on Election Day. The article is available on CNN:
This year, Virginia is a swing state and this school is hoping to have a substantial effect on the outcome if the election. The students in this one class where the petition was being presented acknowledged this, and this is what inspired the petition! “If those crazy conservatives are going to get the day off to vote, we need to as well!” was the resounding cry of support. I am all for voting. The thing is, this college, Liberty University, is a private university. They have the prerogative to operate with more latitude than we do at the University of Virginia. What gives me the chills is not only how the young voters need this sort of incentive to ensure they will vote but also how it is assumed that only a nominally conservative school would ever vote that way. The students at other “normal” public institutions would, of course, vote to vote more to the “left”.
Maybe at least I’ll get a day off out of this…..