Guest Opinion: Provide excused absences for classes during Iowa caucuses

Iowa plays a critical role in presidential elections, and UI students should be encouraged to participate.


File photo

The Old Capitol is shown on Monday, July 25, 2016.

On Sunday, the Association of Big Ten Students passed a resolution calling on professors and student organization executives at all 14 Big Ten universities to provide excused absences for students participating in federal elections. College students already face multiple barriers to voting, and class conflicts add additional stress to an already complicated process.

The state of Iowa, and therefore the Hawkeye student body, plays a critical role in the 2020 United States presidential election. On Feb. 3, the Iowa caucuses will take place at 7 p.m. We ask that if you are teaching a class or holding a student organization event or meeting during this time, you provide excused absences and makeup opportunities where necessary for those wishing to participate in the caucuses.

Thanks to generations of activists, our Hawkeyes have both the right and responsibility to participate in voting. The University of Iowa Student Government will continue advocating for fair and equitable voting laws, but we all play a part in stimulating civic engagement. You can help our students make their voices heard by providing them with excused absences on Feb. 3.

Noel Mills, UI Student Body President 

Sarah Henry, Student Body Vice President 

Connor Wooff, UISG Director of Governmental Relations