Dear UMass Dartmouth community,
With the 2020 presidential election occurring tomorrow, I want to offer some guidance.
First of all, I encourage everyone to vote, if you have not already. Voting is the most important action you can take to make your voice heard on a range of issues across the ballot. For more information on the issues being voted on nationally and within Massachusetts, please visit our UMassD Votes website for non-partisan guides.
The University has also put together an incredible selection of pre- and post-election events for students to share their thoughts on the election and discuss the results. Many of these events can be accessed via Zoom which is designed to make it easier for all students to participate. There will also be some safely organized face-to-face events for residential students and commuter students who regularly participate in our surveillance testing program.
So as the votes are tallied on election night, and potentially beyond, I ask that you keep it civil when engaging with others on what are very contentious topics for many of us. We must all be mindful as we express our views of the need to take the time to listen, especially during these challenging times. It is only through a greater understanding of each other that progress can be made. We can disagree without being disagreeable. As the philosopher Aristotle famously noted, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” As college students in pursuit of knowledge and great ambitions, you are equipped with the skills to connect with your peers and to engage with those with whom you disagree respectfully and thoughtfully. I look to you to employ these skills as we navigate the election together.
While the election will consume a good deal of attention, we must remain mindful of the need to stay vigilant in our fight against the pandemic. No matter the events you partake in surrounding the election, you must keep practicing the proven health and safety protocols including the use of face coverings, social distancing, proper hygiene, and avoiding large crowds. As always, please schedule your COVID-19 test when you come to campus.
In closing, I ask everyone to be safe and stay determined in your studies as we finish up the semester.
Mark Preble, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Chief Operating Officer and Acting Chancellor