Wildcats promote civic engagement and voting ahead of election

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Graphic by Carly Schulman

Charlotte Varnes, Reporter

This Election Day, Northwestern student-athletes won’t head to practice. Instead, they will head to the polls.

Northwestern Athletics made November 3 an off-day from practice for all sports as a way to “empower our student-athletes in raising their voices,” Vice President for Athletics and Recreation Jim Phillips said in a September statement.

Graduate student lacrosse midfielder Lindsey McKone said while she and many of her teammates voted by mail, she still felt “incredible” about the athletic department giving student-athletes the day off of practice Election Day.

“All those who made that decision had our best interests in mind,” McKone said. “One less day of practice is not that big of a deal, so to make it Election Day is really awesome.”

Since then, Northwestern Athletics has posted photos and videos on social media under the hashtag ‘#B1GVote to encourage students to register to vote and use their voices on Election Day. A Tuesday video featured student-athletes talking about the importance of voting and reminding students the election was one week away.

“Voting is a way to be a part of something bigger than yourself,” softball player Maegan Hollins said in the video.

Student-athletes also had the opportunity to join the Wildcat Engagement and Voter Registration team, an initiative with the Big Ten Conference and Northwestern’s Center for Civic Engagement. The group encourages civic engagement by posting on the Northwestern Athletics’ Academic Services and Student Development Twitter and Instagram pages and emailing student-athletes.

McKone, who is part of the group’s social media team, said she joined as a way to impact her teammates and learn more about the voting process.

“As student-athletes, we have a platform where we can promote positive messages,” McKone said.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @charvarnes11

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