Rejection Day offers a community-uniter one week after election

Students cast their ballot rejecting hate, bias, and discrimination

One week after the 2016 presidential election, more than 100 Alfred University students voted in a campus-wide referendum organized to promote values of community and inclusiveness.

RejectionDay, according to Dan Napolitano, director of student activities, was an opportunity for students to cast ballots “rejecting hate, violence and various forms of discrimination.”

From 10am to 2pm, Napolitano handed out paper ballots at a tented voting booth set up on Allen Way — an on-line, printable form was also available. The ballot contained two lines listing objectionable actions participants could vote to reject: hate, violence, racism, sexism, xenophobia, antisemitism, Islamophobia, heterosexism, cis-sexism and ableism. A third line – titled “I embrace” – invited voters to endorse peace, freedom, prosperity, discourse and forgiveness.

More than 20 AU faculty and staff members also joined Napolitano in hourly shifts, encouraging and joining students in discussions of the values RejectionDay sought to promote, in what Napolitano describes as “more than 200 teachable moments.”

Referring to the angers and divisiveness roiling the 2016 elections, Napolitano said RejectionDay “championed learning outside of the classroom. Faculty used their knowledge to help the community heal while also demonstrating their commitment to equality. It was a perfect example of curriculum to the rescue.”