Today’s the Day! Please Vote!!

Kari and I got to the voting station on campus early this morning. It’s Election Day — time to cast your vote!

Whether your concerns are immigration or inflation, reproductive rights or human rights, democracy or public health…. Whatever your concerns, please make your voice heard today!

Patience, Kindness, Especially Now

Many of us were awaiting Election Day with great anticipation. After many months of advertising, emails, phone calls, essays and speeches, we were hoping the country would come to a conclusion about who would represent us in the coming years. Voting here on campus went very smoothly, and we know that thousands of students, faculty and staff made their voices heard with their votes. It’s been a very noisy season, and now we get to listen to what others have said with their ballots. Well, it will take some days before all the votes are counted, and so this means staying tuned in for a while more. After all that noise, now we need patient listening. I hope to listen to the roundtable planned with some faculty in Wesleyan’s Government department on Friday, November 6th at noon.

For many, this is just an additional layer of stress on top of what had already been a very anxious time. But we can get through this with the same practices that have gotten us this far: looking out for our friends, colleagues, neighbors and family members; listening respectfully to the points of views of others; finding some additional kindness in ourselves. We should find things other than the election news on which to focus. Watching the news obsessively won’t keep us any healthier than watching the COVID dashboard obsessively does – and I say that as someone who spends far too much time doing both things. Try to find time to relax, and to do the things that bring you joy – masked, of course!

It’s sometimes hard to work in a stressful environment like this one, but I hope you will find meaning and purpose in the work we do together. The University is preparing for preregistration, midterms are coming due, and the research, teaching and creative practice that enlivens the campus continues. I am grateful for that, and I trust you are, too. And it’s a beautiful fall day in New England. Find some time to exercise your patience outside!

After all the votes are counted, there will still be much work to do to as we try to find our way in these challenging times. Let’s do that with patience and kindness, and let’s do it together.

Foss Hill this morning, with the moon still hanging above the Observatory:

Please Vote! Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 3rd

What a time it has been! This is a political season unlike any other, with a pandemic raging while candidates present starkly different visions of the present and the future. Millions have already voted around the country, and on Tuesday we will have a polling station in Beckham Hall on campus at which those registered in this area can cast their ballots. If you missed the registration deadline this week but still wish to vote in Connecticut, you can register and vote at the Election Day Registration tent behind Freeman Athletic Center. Both sites will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. More info on registering and voting is available on the Jewett Center for Community Partnerships’ website.

Do you have a voting plan? If not, you can get help making one here.

Many predict that we may not have a clear outcome on Election Night. It could take days or weeks to count absentee ballots, and nobody will be that surprised if results are challenged in the courts. We must remain vigilant and protect our democratic practices should they be put under pressure. Protect the Results puts it this way: We will honor the valid results of the 2020 election, ensure that every vote is counted, and show up to demand that the losing candidate put their ego aside and concede for the good of our country. The organization has resources on its website for different ways of  “showing up” to defend democracy.

Whatever the outcome, there will be a range of emotions in our community. I encourage students to support one another during this time, while being respectful of those with different political views. Maybe you’ll hear some at the Pre-Election Fireside Chat (with S’Mores!) on Monday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. Masks, social distancing, and advanced RSVP are required. A virtual Fireside S’mores event will be held for remote students; please RSVP here.

Make a plan to vote, and then let’s defend the results.

November 3 is Coming!

Across the country people have taken to the streets to make their voices heard and demand change. At a time of fear of contagion and disease, in a season that has already resulted in the deaths of more than 150,000 Americans from Covid-19, the courage and hopefulness of activists is inspiring.

Election Day is November 3, a little more than three months away. Many people are worried about efforts to suppress participation, either by making it difficult to vote by mail, or by creating impediments to voting on Nov 3. We have seen this movie before! We don’t have to let it play!!

One way to push back against voter suppression is by becoming a poll watcher. Here’s some information about how to do that: “addresses the need for healthy and diverse poll workers who can staff in-person voting locations during early voting and on Election Day,” aiming to “inspire upwards of 250,000 Americans to sign up as poll workers this year. Power the Polls is focusing on healthy candidates to ensure that those workers most susceptible to the coronavirus are given the space to take care of their health, while still keeping polling sites open and available for efficient in-person voting.

Now is the time to sign up poll workers who will:

  • Prevent staffing shortages that would result in closure of polling places
  • Ensure election technology functions properly and efficiently, minimizing lines and delays
  • Help voters in their communities navigate issues when voting.”

There are many ways to help activate the democratic potential in our communities. There are more resources listed here. We want to hear your ideas for turning out the vote in November — whomever you are voting for. Please write to me or Clifton Watson (, the Director of the Jewett Center for Community Partnerships.