Hillary Huber, Broadside Correspondent

While government agencies and some work places have Election Day off, George Mason University students will still be setting their alarm clocks early on Nov. 3.

This presents multiple conflicts in the Mason community. Some students’ schedules are too crammed to fit in a trip to the polls; others think it creates an inaccurate representation in election outcomes.

Josh St. Louis, a junior government major and member of the College Republicans, said he would be in favor of having Election Day off, but does not think students will have a difficult time getting out of class.

“Government classes are more flexible [with tardiness and absences] on Election Day because they understand students need to get to the polls,” said St. Louis. “Work places are usually more flexible, too.”

Smaller elections, such as Tuesday’s election, do not get a big enough turnout to need a day off from school, said freshman and business major C.J. Manapsal.

“The turnout wouldn’t even be big enough for the presidential elections, and the turnout is even lower for smaller elections, [so] there’s really no point in getting the day off . . . People wouldn’t take advantage of having the day off,” said Manapsal.

St. Louis agreed with Manapsal in that voter turnout amongst college students is low, but he stressed the importance of advertising absentee ballots, so students have an easier way of voting.

Other students feel as if the university should get the day off.

“Well, personally, I hate [having to go to school on Election Day] because last year I wanted to vote, and because of my schedule, I didn’t have the time to do it. So, I’m sure I’m not the only one at [Mason] that had that problem,” said Josh Deel, a sophomore and history major.

Some students think that not having Election Day off prevents the outcome of elections from being an accurate representation of the community’s vote.

“Since Mason students aren’t given Election Day off of school, that prevents a large chunk of the community from participating in elections because they can’t make it to the polls because of scheduling conflicts,” said freshman psychology major Imani Dugger.

Deel agreed, saying that “it’s a huge demographic that doesn’t get a true vote.”

Mason students developed ways that keep the campus involved in voting, despite the inconvenience of a daily school schedule.

Both College Republicans and College Democrats have campus-wide campaigns dedicated to educating students on candidates and reminding students to vote.

College Republicans are specifically pushing for absentee voting, so students who are affected by schedule conflicts still have the chance to cast their vote.

Student Government is continuing their shuttle service program. Vote Vans will be shuttling students from the Sandy Creek bus stop to Woodson High School, a local voting precinct, from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m., in hopes of assisting students who want to vote, but are in need of transportation.

Students who want to learn more about absentee ballots, voting precincts and candidates can visit http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/.