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For Some NYU Students, Voting Outweighs Classes

This story was written by Matthew Krimski, Washington Square News

For Tisch freshman Isaac Lee, an absentee ballot just wouldnt suffice.

Its the first election that Im participating in, Lee said. I wanted the full experience.

So Lee plans to travel home to North Brunswick, N.J. Tuesday morning to vote and return to Manhattan later that same day.

Its the first presidential election for most college students, so dont be surprised if classes are noticeably smaller tomorrow. For many students who decided not to vote using mail-in ballots or to register in New York, voting means a trip back home.

For some, however, returning home to vote wasnt a choice.

CAS freshman Emily Pappo said due to a communication problem between her and her mother, she wasnt able to register in time, forcing her to travel to the Philadelphia metropolitan area if she wanted to vote.

My mom told me that she was going to apply for a ballot, but she missed the deadline, Pappo said. There was a misunderstanding, and I didnt get the application in on time.

Her travel plans are also more complicated than Lees.

Im taking the bus home on Monday night, voting Tuesday morning and trying to catch a bus back after to make my class at 2 p.m., Pappo said.

While both Lee and Pappo will miss class on Tuesday, they dont intend to notify their professors.

Im missing one class in the morning, but its a large lecture so it wont really matter, Pappo said. Ill just copy someones notes.

Lee, too, expressed little concern.

Its a really easy class, he said. Its not a big deal to miss it.

CAS freshman Alison Nill, on the other hand, planned her trip home to Tinton Falls, N.J. around her classes.

I finish school at 10:45 in the morning and plan to take a train to New Jersey after, she said. Im not missing any classes.

NYU spokesman John Beckman emphasized the importance of voting, but maintained that there is no universitywide policy on missing class in order to vote.

For any students who find themselves in a position in which they might have to miss class in order to cast a vote, we would expect that the student would work it out with his or her professor on a one-on-one basis and in a common-sense manner, Beckman said.

For students who choose to speak to professors and TAs, they will likely find them accommodating.

Professor Frederick More reiterated the importance of voting in a presidential election, particularly this one.

If attending my class is a barrier to you voting, you have my strong encouragement to vote instead of coming to class, he said. It will not count against you. In fact, if you dont vote because you attended class, I might hold that against you.

The level of excitement held by More can also be seen in many students on campus who are thrilled to participate in the election.

I can finally vote, Pappo said with a huge smile. Im not missing this.

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