Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
As widely anticipated, today we await the final results of the 2020 presidential election.
While we may have varying hopes among us as to the outcome, there is one unifying factor that we can all celebrate. Amid a global pandemic, Americans turned out to vote in record numbers, and early indicators show that the youth vote was up significantly. Americans demonstrated how much we value this ability to make our voices heard, whether by casting mail-in ballots or putting on a mask to vote in person.
While waiting for the votes to be tallied will be difficult for many, it is not uncommon in our electoral system. Vote counting processes are organized differently by each state, and we must await each state’s final count. We should also remember that close outcomes may be challenged in court, as has happened in the past. In 2000, we did not know who our nation’s next president was until December. While I certainly hope for a final outcome sooner, we must be patient and remember that our electoral system has been here before.
While we wait, let this new engagement of young voters and the energy around this election be sustained in national, statewide and local elections across the country, in city and town meetings, in neighborhood forums, on our campus, and more. Let us put our desire for the America we want into action.
Most importantly, please take care of yourself and practice self-care. There are resources available for students, faculty and staff, whether you wish to process the election results in a discussion group or simply de-stress. Please see a list of these opportunities on Canvas at this link.
No matter the final election results, we are all needed more than ever to mend a deeply divided nation. The work of building a better, safer, more equitable future is always far beyond the scope of any election. If 2020 has shown us nothing else, it’s that we are ready to take on this work.
John D. Keenan