OU athletic director Joe Castiglione wants to make Nov. 3 election mandatory day off for student-athletes and staff
OU athletic director Joe Castiglione on Wednesday discussed the importance of voting and how the athletic department can encourage players and staff to vote.
Castiglione’s comments came after Sooner safety Justin Broiles recently advocated for the importance of voting at a Black Lives Matter march in Oklahoma City. The OU athletic director was asked if he would consider making Nov. 3, the date of the presidential election, a mandatory day off for student-athletes.
“I would expand that to include staff,” Castilgione said to reporters on a Zoom call. “I don’t know how many of our staff votes in all the elections. I’m going to guess a large majority do, but it needs to be something everyone fulfills as a responsibility.”
Castiglione noted this year will feature greater voter turnout due to the presidential election in November, but he said state and local elections are also important to participate in and be educated on.
“We want to have programs in place not just to recognize the opportunity or take time to fulfill their right to go vote, but to be better educated on how to use their vote,” Castiglione said. “I hope this doesn’t stop with this election, but in elections going forward.”
Castiglione said the expansion of voting in the athletic department doesn’t necessarily need to stem from a day off for staff and students, but could also be from increased education and encouragement to find time in the day to go vote.
“I’ve always found a way to vote. I didn’t have to take a day off,” Castiglione said. “I think a lot of people figure out a way to vote and work around their schedule. I don’t know if a day off itself is the message as much as making enough time around that day so our student-athletes can be part of the process.”