Dear SoPA student,
I hope that those of you on the Gulf Coast came through Hurricane Zeta intact. Please let us know if you need support or assistance.
2020 has been a challenge, to say the least. Part of that challenge has been the lead-up to this year's election. It is exciting to witness voters mobilized in larger numbers than have been seen in many decades. But we also have fears from both ends of the political spectrum of even greater discord than we are seeing right now. I'm not alone in having concerns about the future of our (to quote the U.S. Constitution) "more perfect," but still imperfect, Union.
Being a part of an academic community in this nation of free thinking and free speech is a privilege—one of its benefits is that of respectful and reasoned discussion and debate. We must allow, not just for differing perspectives, but also for opportunities to listen to and learn from one another. I treasure SoPA's diversity of all kinds, including political. Whatever happens on Tuesday, November 3rd and in the subsequent weeks, I am confident that we can come together with a focus on the common good.
You'll see more information below about the Election Night Watch party being sponsored by our Public Administration program, to which each of you is invited. One of the themes of that event is, "How can the next generation of civic leaders chart a path forward at a time when our society is so polarized?" Knowing that so many of you fall into that group of leaders, I look forward to an informative and constructive discussion.
Thanks for being a part of this community; I am confident that we can emerge stronger together.