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DI SAAC advances civic engagement proposal that includes Election Day off

Division I Council will vote on recommendation in September

The Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee recommended the Division I Council adopt a legislative proposal to specify that countable athletically related activities be prohibited on the first Tuesday after Nov. 1 every year, including the upcoming Election Day on Nov. 3.

The proposal will be voted on by the Council at its meeting Sept. 16. If approved, it would apply to Division I student-athletes and go into effect immediately. Previously scheduled competition for this year’s Election Day may be honored, however.

Division I SAAC, which met virtually Tuesday, emphasized the importance of this legislation applying every year and not just federal election years to encourage annual civic engagement activity. The committee, comprising student-athlete representatives from each of the 32 Division I conferences, also expressed its strong commitment to providing the membership with educational tools that may be used on this year’s Election Day and beyond.

“We are extremely excited to put this proposal together for the Council to vote on,” said Ethan Good, chair of the Division I SAAC and a former men’s basketball player at Bowling Green who represents the Mid-American Conference. “Not only are we passionate about the positive impact this would have on student-athletes, but we are also excited because it is the first substantive legislative proposal the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee has proposed since Division I governance was restructured in 2014 to give student-athletes a vote at every level of decision-making. This is a huge step in a long journey of continuing to strengthen the voice and influence of student-athletes.”

The committee advanced the recommendation after receiving feedback from the Division I Legislative Committee, Student-Athlete Experience Committee, and the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Oversight Committees.

The recommendation mirrors one of the Division I SAAC’s priorities for the 2020-21 academic year: increasing diversity and inclusion education through civic engagement. The other two priorities are enhancing the student-athlete voice in legislative and policy issues and promoting student-athlete physical and mental health and well-being.