Early voting on campus and election civility

by Green & Gold News  |   

Dear UAA Community,

We all have experienced quite a year, and it's not over yet. The U.S. is holding national elections Tuesday, Nov. 3. We hope every member of our community votes — either in person, absentee, mail-in ballot, early voting or on the day of the election. If you have questions about where or how to vote, please check the Alaska Division of Elections website.

The UAA Anchorage campus Student Union will be open as an early voting location from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2; and from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3. Note: If you choose to come to campus to vote, please remember all previously established COVID-19 policies still apply. Requirements regarding face coverings, social distancing and sanitization will be observed. Please help keep our campus community safe by following these policies and staying home if you feel sick. 

This election campaign has been one of the most divisive in the history of the nation. For a variety of reasons — disinformation campaigns, interference from other countries, social media's echo chambers, divisive rhetoric, the enormous stresses of a global pandemic and more — people are feeling stressed and mistrustful to an unusual degree and emotions are running high.

We at UAA value every member of our community, including individuals of all political persuasions. We respect intellectual and political freedom and promote intellectual and political discourse. We expect our students, faculty, staff and administrators will treat each other with respect and decency, even as we disagree — sometimes intensely — about policies and candidates.  Read tips for maintaining civility this election season.

Since the results of the election may take days, weeks or even months to confirm, we may be living with uncertainty for some time. To help people process their responses to the election and/or uncertainty, UAA will host structured online drop-in groups for gathering to share feelings, fears, needs and hopes. These groups will not be about arguing for positions or candidates, but rather a chance to share on a more personal level. Sessions are scheduled for students, faculty, staff and UAA community members.

As always, UAA stands ready to move through these challenges together, with care and consideration for each and every member of our community.

Wishing you all a peaceful remainder of the year and an election reflective of our Alaskan and American values of cooperation and community.

Cathy Sandeen, UAA Chancellor
Brooke Hansen, USUAA President
Kelly Smith, Faculty Senate President
Dawn Humenik and Tania Rowe, Staff Council Co-Presidents

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