Alma, Mich. - The Alma College Athletics Department has decided not to hold any team activities that take place from 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3rd in recognition of Election Day.
The decision comes after Alma's Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) requested time off from practices and workouts in order to participate in the government elections. In their statement the group said "Postponing athletic events for this day is crucial to accommodate the presidential and local elections taking place."
SAAC and the Alma College's Student Congress have encouraged the use of absentee ballots for the upcoming election to maximize Covid-19 protocol compliance. However, postponement of athletic events during this time will allow student-athletes with local polling locations to participate in the democratic process.
Director of Athletics Sarah Dehring was thankful for the rest of the department agreeing to this decision. Even if some students have already voted absentee, Dehring believes giving them this time, when it would normally be spent participating in some sort of team activitity, is important due to the significance of the day.
"Giving them the time off during the day to watch the Election unfold and have conversations with their peers is something that SAAC voted unanimously was important and I fully support that," Dehring said. "College students have traditionally voted at one of the lowest rates of any group in the nation. We believe it is crucial to encourage voter participation. Rescheduling November 3rd athletic events is an impactful yet simple step we can take to allot students additional time to vote."
The Sherman Strength and Conditioning Facility, the Stone Center for Recreation and other athletic facilities on campus will remain open during the 4-7 p.m. time period if students would like to volunteer to use them during that time. For more information on voting in the upcoming election go to https://www.vote.org/