Drexel University Won’t Hold Classes on Election Day

On Nov. 5, students will have the day off to allow time to cast a ballot.
People waiting to vote

To ensure Dragons make their voices heard in local and national elections, Drexel University students will not have classes on Election Day in 2024.

In 2022 and 2023, students have had a shortened day of classes on Election Day, but Drexel leadership announced there will be a full day off on Nov. 5 for students to allow plenty of time to cast a ballot and partake in community engagement events.

“Participation in democratic elections is a bedrock of our society and a cornerstone of Drexel’s aspiration to be the most civically engaged University in the nation,” said Vice Provost of University & Community Partnerships Youngmoo Kim, PhD. “By scheduling no classes on Election Day, we hope even more Drexel students will participate in the democratic process. Furthermore, this emphasizes how civic engagement is an integral part of the Drexel student experience, encouraging real-world connections with local, national, and global issues and concerns that impact all of us.”

Getting the full day off to vote has been a goal for the Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA) and other student and faculty stakeholders since 2019, and USGA President Vivek Babu, biological sciences ’24, feels satisfied that his presidency will include a legacy of more civically engaged students. Babu, who was recently named , said his work is built upon the efforts of his USGA predecessors and the achievement is as much theirs as it is his, including alumni Maisie MacMullan, Jarod Watson and John Bonnes, who successfully championed an Election Day half day in 2020; as well as Timothy Hanlon, Miranda Bottura, María José (Majo) Garcia, Sanjana Suresh and Joelyne Jacob.

Drexel was named a Most Engaged Campus in 2022 by the All IN Campus Democracy Challenge and, in 2018 and 2020, was also designated an All In Gold Campus due to its high student turnout rates — which Babu hopes will only increase as students have more time to cast a ballot.

“In conversations with a lot of students, one of the biggest barriers to voting wasn’t a lack of interest or unwillingness to participate, it was more that they didn’t have the time amidst classes and midterms,” Babu said. “I think this really opens the door to getting more and more students engaged on Election Day not only by getting to the polls but also making sure we get engaged civically ... Civic engagement only begins with voting and continues with active participation in the community.”

There will be many opportunities to get civically engaged before Election Day, too, including the USGA Civic Engagement Fair in April, which shines a spotlight on service organizations and volunteer groups across Philadelphia. Pennsylvania’s primary elections will be held April 23, and the deadline to register is April 8. For the general election, which will be held Nov. 5, the deadline to register is Oct. 21. If you’re looking for voting resources, turn to DrexelVotes or the Drexel Libraries.

“We highly encourage students to register to vote [before the April primaries] and USGA will be continuously hosting voter registration tables and community events,” Babu said. “At Drexel, our core mission through voter engagement is to empower students to recognize the impact of their vote at all levels, from local elections and amendments to state and judicial races.”