BLOOMINGTON — Indiana University is hitting the pause button on all athletic activities on Election Day.
According to a statement from IU Athletics, Nov. 3 will be a mandatory off-day from all athletically-related activities in order to help the university's student-athletes be informed about and vote in the upcoming election. The decision was originally announced to students and staff on June 8 via email.
"This measure is part of our efforts to support our students and make sure that their voices are heard," IU Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Scott Dolson said. "There is no more important civic responsibility than participating in the electoral process, and this will aid not only our students' opportunity to vote but our staff as well."
IU was one of the first athletic departments to make the change in the spring. It has since gained momentum across the country, according to the university. On Wednesday, the NCAA approved civic engagement legislation that makes Election Day a mandatory off-day annually.
In addition to the off-day on Election Day, IU is also offering programming to students through the Excellence Academy to encourage a better understanding of the importance of voting and to be well-informed about the issues. The programming is comprehensive, voluntary and non-partisan.
"I am proud of our students, who have expressed a desire to collectively be more informed and involved in the democratic process while exercising this very important right," Deputy Director of Athletics/Senior Woman Administrator Mattie White, said. "I am also proud of our coaches, who [have] been very supportive of this change and recognize the importance of it for our students."