Lehigh students will have off on Election Day, Nov. 2, this year, ensuring they have time to cast their vote at the polls.
Instead of classes, students will be able to participate in “Civic Engagement Day,” which will include civic-minded programming at several locations on campus. This will be the second year Lehigh is hosting the event, but the first time students will have off from academic classes.
“As members of the Lehigh community, it is important for all of us to be engaged citizens. It is our obligation to be aware of the elections that will affect our community and vote for the people we feel will do the best job,” said a statement from the Lehigh University Student Senate. “By having off on Election Day, the whole Lehigh community can focus on being engaged in our elections and in becoming more educated on political topics.”
There also will be opportunities for participants to write letters to their representatives.
The programming was created to help students learn from experts on important topics and from each other about different views and beliefs, Student Senate leaders said.
The idea for a day-off from classes on a Civic Engagement Day started last year with David Owolabi ’20, who began a petition to cancel classes in order to ensure students have a chance to vote.
This year’s events are as follows:
- 10 a.m., “What We Agree On: Guns” (College Democrats and College Republicans) Lehigh University Art Galleries (LUAG)
- 11 a.m., Community Discussions in Tamerler Courtyard
- 12 p.m., School Board Discussion (Professor Karen Pooley and Professor Ziad Munson) LUAG
- 1 p.m., Beyond Bars (Incarceration in the U.S.) LUAG
- 2 p.m., Visual Journalism (LUAG, award-winning artist Melanie Reim) LUAG
- 3 p.m., Global Lens on Civic Engagement Day (Global Union) LUAG
- 4 p.m., America Needs to Talk Rauch 184