ND Votes initiative registers student athletes to vote, encourages campus-wide civic engagement

first_imgElizabeth Prater | The Observer Notre Dame students Conal Fagan and Rachel Sabnani registering voters at a Notre Dame athletics and ND Votes event.Sabnani cited the large percent of unregistered athletes as part of the organization’s collaboration with Notre Dame’s athletic department.“We had found that a lot of the athletes weren’t registered at all, probably a larger percentage than the normal [Notre Dame] student body, just because they’re so busy,” she said.While the main focus of the initiative is to get the athletic departments to register to vote, civic responsibility doesn’t end with the athletes. Many other organizations have been getting involved during Civic Engagement Week in order to drive more conversations about civic responsibility and duty.On Monday, the Notre Dame College Democrats and College Republicans engaged in a debate over student-submission questions about current issues, candidates, and the election as a whole.Zach Holland, a co-president for Notre Dame College Democrats, said he was really excited about the events that his organization participated in this week as it has boosted the energy of the club. But he also stated that civic responsibility was even more than casting a ballot or taking part in debates.“We’ve all been given the privilege to make an impact, however small that impact would be. I would urge people to take that impact and their voice heard, even if it seems small,” he said. “Civic engagement is about coming together as a community to fight for the people that need your help. It’s important that you stand up to help other people.”The president of the Notre Dame College Republicans, Adam Morys, said that he believed another aspect of civic duty and responsibility is keeping yourself informed.“Familiarize yourself with what’s going on,” he said. “That way you’ll know how your vote is going to impact the country.”Beyond campus organizations, dorm liaisons have even taken to conducting voter registrations within the dorm hall. Libby Messman, a sophomore living in Pasquerilla West Hall, said she has helped incentivize voting by spearheading a section competition within the dorm.“Especially in college, it’s really hard to vote absentee and that shouldn’t be the case, so I wanted to make sure that people who want to vote know how to do it and are able to get their absentee ballot,” Messman said.The collaborative efforts of Notre Dame athletics, ND Votes, political organizations across campus and dorms have provided Notre Dame students with many resources to make an informed decision this election season.Rachel Sabnani got involved with ND Votes due to the number of these resources available during Welcome Weekend and it has stuck with her ever since.“Notre Dame has taught me that being involved in your community is an important part of our civic duty,” Sabnani said.Editor’s note: A pervious version of this article incorrectly stated that the women’s basketball team partnered with Howard University, when it was the men’s basketball team that partnered with Howard University. The Observer regrets this error.Tags: 2020 presidential election, Center for Social Concerns, ND Votes, Notre Dame Athletics, Notre Dame College Democrats, Notre Dame College Republicans, voting initiative Notre Dame athletics is collaborating with ND Votes and other organizations to register 100% of Notre Dame athletes to vote in the upcoming presidential election.ND Votes is a nonpartisan campaign — part of the Center for Social Concerns and sponsored by the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy and the Constitutional Studies minor.Under the direction of co-chairs Rachel Sabnani and Michael Marotta, ND Votes teamed up with Notre Dame athletics to participate in a voting initiative to raise civic engagement amongst Notre Dame athletes.Sabnani explained the unique purpose of the organization.“We’re not like a typical student club,” Sabnani said. “We run as a task force that’s made up of representatives from every dorm and a lot of political issue-focused clubs on campus.”Before ND Votes got involved, the athletic department’s voting initiative was catalyzed by the men’s basketball team in partnership with Howard, the historically Black university that Notre Dame will play in January.“Both teams came together and they’re having a voter registration competition through When We All Vote, the nonprofit website they’ve been using,” Rachel Sabnani said. “Then, Coach McGraw reached out to us and we were registering teams.”ND Votes has also been collaborating with Student Welfare and Development to organize Zoom meetings to get all the teams on campus registered.“There are 11 teams registered to vote and 446 student athletes currently,” Sabnani said.BridgeND co-president Gregory Miller said he admires the efforts of Notre Dame athletics and ND Votes in creating the voting initiative. However, he said that he believes there are further challenges.“It’s one thing to get people to register to vote, now the challenge is getting people to vote,” he said. “And then the further challenge is getting people to vote with an informed vote.”Miller also believes Notre Dame needs to encourage their students, especially athletes to vote.“There’s always going to still be challenges, but this is the first step in increasing the political culture on the Notre Dame campus, and particularly among athletes who might otherwise not register to vote because they’re a population that tends not to,” he said.last_img read more

Iran plans to reopen mosques in areas free of coronavirus, president says

first_imgSeeking a balance between protecting public health and shielding an economy already battered by sanctions, the government has refrained from imposing the kind of wholesale lockdowns on cities seen in many other countries.But it has extended closures of schools and universities and banned cultural, religious and sports gatherings.Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had a phone call with United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Sunday and discussed the battle against the spread of the coronavirus and regional developments along with passing on a congratulatory message for the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan. He said the label given to any region in the Islamic Republic could change and he did not specify when the color-coding program would come into force.Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi said in an interview with state TV on Sunday that 116 counties in the country could be considered white at the moment and 134 yellow.Iranians have returned to shops, bazaars and parks over the past week as the country eases coronavirus restrictions, with the daily increase in the death toll below 100 since April 14.The toll rose by 60 over the past 24 hours to 5,710, with 90,481 confirmed cases, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur told state TV on Sunday. Iran plans to reopen mosques in parts of the country that have been consistently free of the coronavirus outbreak as restrictions on Iranians gradually ease, President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday.Iran, one of the Middle Eastern countries hardest hit by the pandemic, will be divided up into white, yellow and red regions based on the number of infections and deaths, Rouhani said, according to the presidency’s website.Activities in each region will be restricted accordingly, so an area that has been consistently free of infections or deaths will be labeled white and mosques could be reopened and Friday prayers resumed, Rouhani said.center_img Topics :last_img read more