President Meade’s Message for Election Day
Dear Campus Community,
Tomorrow is Election Day. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. We owe it to the courageous women who marched, fought, and suffered for this right to make our voices heard. In the words of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”
If you have not already cast your ballot, this is your last chance to participate in the election. You can find your polling place at votes.pa.com. There are many reasons to celebrate this election, including the high rates of expected voter turnout and the heroic work of local election officials and poll workers who are making sure we have a safe and secure election amid a pandemic. Know that a delay in results will mean that our country is making sure that every voter has their voice heard and their vote counted. However, this uncertainty may cause anxiety and an increase in mis- and disinformation. I urge you to fact check your sources and be wary of news sources that call the election results on election night.
Uncertain political times can leave us feeling anxious and unsure about the future. Please seek support from friends, family, and the many campus resources available through Health and Counseling Services, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the Lutz Center for Community Service, Residence Life, and Student Activities and Campus Recreation. It is okay to ask for help.
Following the election, allow time and space for processing. Take time to connect with each other while disconnecting from the news and politics. Headspace and Boston University Student Health Services both offer strategies that can help you reduce election-related stress and everyday anxiety.
As you react to the results of the election, I ask you to please think about campus safety and our culture of respect for one another. Consider our Health and Safety Plan and COVID-19 guidelines before deciding to participate in election-related gatherings. Remember that we are a community that respects and cares for each other—nothing will change that. We must avoid hurtful and aggressive language that could alienate or offend our peers and instead engage in respectful dialogue. Democracy for President, a project of More in Common, a nonpartisan nonprofit that works to build a more united and inclusive America, provides tools to help navigate conversations with those who have different political views.
Below, I have highlighted some opportunities to engage in community, conversation, and reflection this month.
- Election Night Watch Party on November 3, 2020, beginning at 9:00 pm– TCC, Conference Center
- Talking Circle on November 4, 2020, at 6:30 pm – the Lutz Center for Community Service and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion will be holding space on November 4th to ensure that voices are heard and to help provide clarity on the process moving forward.
- Public Policy Lab – Election 2020: Results and Reactions on November 10, 2020—Join the Temple University Public Policy Lab for their 2020-2021 Policy Roundtable Series. PPL Director Judith A. Levine will moderate a panel discussion. Dr. Levine will be joined by Robin Kolodny, chair of Political Science, and Nyron Crawford, David Nickerson, and Michael Sances of the Department of Political Science.
- Can We Talk? Civil Dialogue for Troubled Times with the University of Pennsylvania on November 12, 2020, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm—Add your voice to a regional student dialogue on the state of our nation. Meet students from around the region. Talk about justice, the pandemic, the election, and your future. Get tips on holding difficult conversations you can put to work on campus, online, and at home.
- World Kindness Day – November 13, 2020 – All Day
I hope you do indeed vote, but also take time to unwind and unplug as much as possible. You deserve a break in the middle of one of the most stressful semesters we could have imagined. I am so grateful for all you have done and continue to do to help us all live, work, and learn together successfully during these extraordinary times.
All my best,
Elizabeth M. Meade, PhD
Cedar Crest College