Indiana Athletics' Excellence Academy Offering Monthly Programming To Encourage Student-Athletes To Vote

Dylan Wallace

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Big Ten's Voter Registration Initiative, which was launched by Commissioner Kevin Warren, is designed to encourage student-athletes to register to vote and inform them on local and national issues.

Indiana Athletics’ Excellence Academy will be doing its part this fall as they will be offering monthly programming to its students in regards to the Voter Registration Initiative.

The full release from Indiana Athletics can be read below:

While Indiana University’s student-athletes are working to get ready to be seen in competition during the 2020-21 season, they’re also planning to be heard from this fall.

Beginning this month, the Indiana University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Excellence Academy is offering its students monthly programming as part of the Big Ten Conference’s Voter Registration Initiative. Formally launched by Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren June 15, the nonpartisan, conference-wide initiative is designed to encourage student-athletes to register to vote, become informed on local and national issues, and ultimately participate in the electoral process.

“The right to vote is one of the most important rights of our democracy,” said IU President Michael A. McRobbie. “Indiana University’s student-athletes have an opportunity to not only participate in the electoral process but also to use their special platforms to educate and activate their fellow students, ensuring that their voices are heard this election season. IU is extremely pleased to support and take part in the new Big Ten Conference Voter Registration Initiative, which, in collaboration with other key campus and community efforts, will encourage our student-athletes to express themselves freely and peacefully on the issues that matter most to them, empower them to use their collective voices to combat issues of hate and racism in our society, and motivate them to create positive change in our country.”

The Excellence Academy’s monthly programming is designed to inform and educate student-athletes about the importance of civic engagement and how to both register to vote and ultimately submit a ballot. The monthly topics include:

July – Civic Engagement

August – Why Vote

September – How to Register and How to Vote

October  Why I Vote

“We are pleased to support the Big Ten Voter Initiative and proud of our Excellence Academy’s efforts to empower our students through this important programming designed to elevate our students’ engagement locally and nationally,” said IU Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Scott Dolson. “Our students are a part of a generation that can and should have a powerful voice not only at the ballot box, but also by actively participating in in their campus and communities.”

“The Big Ten Conference has more than 10,000 students competing in intercollegiate athletics who have an opportunity to not only have their voices heard, but also set an example for other students across 14 campuses in 11 different states,” said Deputy Director of Athletics/Senior Woman Administrator Mattie White. “I appreciate Commissioner Warren’s vision and leadership in making this a top priority in his first year as our commissioner.”

The Big Ten Voter Registration Initiative continues through the Nov. 3, 2020 election. IU Athletics will feature a series of educational pieces as well as updates on how our students are being engaged on IUHoosiers.com as well as through its various social media channels.

This initiative is being coordinated by a Voter Registration Committee that includes representatives from all 14 Big Ten institutions and is part of the Big Ten Conference Anti-Hate and Anti-Racism Coalition. The Anti-Hate and Anti-Racism Coalition was formed by Warren on June 1, 2020, following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn.

Indiana University has nine representatives on the coalition: Men’s Basketball student-athlete Race Thompson; Swimming student-athlete Savanna Spears; Volleyball Coach Steve Aird; Wrestling Coach Angel Escobedo; Athletic Director Scott Dolson; Deputy Director of Athletics/Senior Woman Administrator Mattie White; Executive Associate Athletic Director/Engagement Anthony Thompson; Director of Leadership and Life Skills Lisa Winters; and Faculty Athletics Representative C. Kurt Zorn.

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