Dear members of the DU community,
Despite yesterday’s demarcation as 2020’s official Election Day—and the months-long buildup we have experienced—today we are still uncertain of America’s political future, and how the consequences of the election will play out on our campus and in our communities. What we do know is that, as an academic enterprise dedicated to the public good, we can look to our DU friends and colleagues for support, and that the skills we learn here can help us navigate the anxiety and discomfort of the days ahead.
We cannot generalize at a time like this, because as individuals we all need different things, at different times. We yearn to express our views and our emotions, and we work hard to do so skillfully and respectfully. We have our academic disciplines from which we try to create order around chaos. Especially in the age of COVID-19, we also look after our own wellbeing, and the health and safety of others.
As we await the outcome of the presidential race and many other important contests and ballot initiatives across the country, please know that DU offers many support resources for faculty, staff, and students.
Our Community + Values Initiative is hosting a variety of post-election events and resources to help us come together in conversation. The first one, held today, featured Travis Heath, associate professor of psychology; Neda Kikhia, program director of DU DialogUes; and Scott van Loo, director of DU’s Learning Effectiveness Program. It contained great insights about how we can give other people room to express their views respectfully, without sacrificing our own humanity—and how we can process, heal, and even step back from difficult conversations when we feel unsafe, or uncomfortable, or unheard. The recording will be posted soon.
For staff, remember to take your flex day between now and December 11 if you haven’t already done so. Also, SupportLinc offers free services for benefitted employees, and students can reach out to the Health and Counseling Center, as always. For guidance about how to have inclusive conversations inside and outside the classroom, we point you to these web resources.
Over the days ahead, we hope you will remember to schedule breaks during your day for reflection, exercise, connecting with family and friends, or to rest.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs
Interim Vice Chancellor of Human Resources