Our View: Go to class or vote?

DKS Editors

In less than a week, many of us will vote in what is likely to be one of the most important elections of our lifetime. Chances are poll lines will be long, the weather will be unpredictable and – we’ll be stuck in class.

Some professors have taken the hint and are canceling class or being lax about attendance.

But that’s not enough.

After all, the university did offer to excuse Kent State employees so they could volunteer to work the polls on Election Day. This opportunity wasn’t extended to students, but the least Kent State could do is cancel classes.

Many students have worked non-stop since the semester’s start. However, they haven’t had a chance to cast an early ballot, and some may struggle to find time to vote Tuesday. It could be an even more difficult struggle for commuter students who spend a portion of their day in the car or trying to find a parking spot near campus.

Canceling classes would offer students a wider window to perform one of their most important responsibilities as American citizens.

Each year, the administration cancels classes on May 4 so we can remember the four slain students. It’s a day of reflection and remembrance, and many students take this as an opportunity to learn about the events that rocked our campus nearly 40 years ago.

There’s no better way to learn about the democratic process than by participating in it. How do we do that? By voting.

By canceling classes on Election Day, the university would reinforce the importance of casting a ballot. It isn’t something we should do in our spare time. All our responsibilities should go to the wayside Nov. 4 because voting should be our primary concern.

If the university won’t take the steps to cancel classes, instructors and professors should. They should look at voting as a learning experience for their students. This important lesson of civic responsibility goes far beyond their lesson plans for the day.

Students, however, shouldn’t rely on professors or the university to cancel classes so they can make it to the polls. If you think you might be pressed for time to cast your ballot Tuesday, visit your board of elections over the weekend and cast an early ballot.

For many of us, this will be our first opportunity to vote in a presidential election, and we don’t think we should be able to take the chance to watch it slip by.

After all, our country’s future is slightly more important than a quiz. Isn’t it?

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.