Dear Commons Community,
Robin Garrell, President of the CUNY Graduate Center, sent out an email yesterday to the faculty and students, urging that while we wait the results of the 2020 election, we should not despair regardless of the outcome because “upholding democracy and making meaningful change require effort and commitment.” Our deeply polarized country voted in numbers that shattered all previous elections. When all the votes are counted close to 150 million people will have exercised their rights as Americans. It is likely that sometime today (Friday, November 6th), Joe Biden will have earned the 270 votes needed to win the electoral college majority. However, we know that there will be judicial challenges and exactly how they will all play out is not certain. Regardless, all of us should heed President Garrell’s advice that in our everyday lives going forward, we should not despair and do what we can for our democracy.
Below is her entire message.
As we anxiously await the final results of the U.S. election, we should feel deeply encouraged by our tremendous participation in the process. During a pandemic we voted in historic numbers. Many in our community spent time writing letters, making calls, and sending texts to get out the vote all over the country. We have seen challenges to our democracy and called them out. Yes, establishing the outcome of the election will take time. We accept this because we want every vote to count.
Upholding democracy and making meaningful change require effort and commitment. The same is true for the important work that we do every day at The Graduate Center. We stand for reason and research, dialogue, and belief in facts and data. Our work as scholars and teachers is the very essence of graduate education for the public good.
Let this be a reminder of our important mission and the strength of our community. Working together to advance knowledge and promote social justice, we will catalyze change and strengthen the democratic values that set this nation apart.
With best wishes,
Robin L. Garrell