• By Philip Green

Minot State University athletics rises to vote

For many student-athletes on campus, this will be the first national election they will be able to take part in. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is cancelling all athletic activities on Election Day to give student-athletes time to vote. Men’s golf player and Minot State Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) President Andy Makarchuk has helped lead the way for MSU Athletics’ engagement in democracy.

Following in the footsteps of every major sporting league, the NCAA is taking steps to encourage student-athletes across the country to participate in this year’s upcoming election. Promotion of student-athlete involvement in voting has been tasked to SAAC throughout college athletics.

“The NSIC and the NCAA have put a ton of emphasis on student-athletes voting this year. They have given all the schools’ SAAC’s the job of promoting and getting student-athletes out to the polls,” Makarchuk said.

Charged with the duty of civic engagement, Minot State Athletics has prioritized promoting the election.

“Minot State SAAC has done a ton of promoting through posters and social media campaigns around campus, not only to get student-athletes to get out and vote, but also the entire MSU student body and faculty. One of the resources we have gotten through the NSIC is called ‘Rise to Vote,’ which allows people to quickly register and view their voting status. It allows people to get the resources to vote even if they are not from the Minot area,” Makarchuk explained.

Athletes are often used for promotion due to the influence they have on those around them. This is the case within college athletics as well.

“It is really important that student-athletes go out and vote because it allows them to be a part of something bigger than their sport. We are a large group on campus and throughout the country, and student-athletes’ voices can be really influential. A lot of young kids look up to college athletes and see them as role models. If they see that they are going out to vote, it sets a good example and makes it cool to vote,” Makarchuk said.

For many first-time voters, it can be a difficult task without guidance. Minot State Athletics is providing guidance and support for student-athletes across campus.

“We have done a lot of work with risetovote.com which allows people to easily register to vote and see where they can go to vote on Election Day. Leading up to the election, it is important for student-athletes to check the platforms of the candidates so that they can make an informed decision when voting. That allows them to choose who they believe will be the best leader once they get to filling out the ballots,” Makarchuk explained.

Election Day always falls on a Tuesday. For many student-athletes, weekdays are some of their busiest days. This year, the NCAA has elected to help shoulder that burden.

“The NCAA is dedicating Election Day to civic engagement and showing that students are citizens before athletes. Student-athletes usually have pretty busy days with class, practice, weights, and studying, which makes it tough for athletes to get the free time to go out and vote during the day when the polls are open. By cancelling athletic activity on Nov. 3, it gives all those athletes across the country time to take part in civic engagement,” Makarchuk said.

Election Day is just around the corner and due to a well-executed gameplay, Minot State student-athletes are ready to take full advantage of the opportunity.

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