A Message Ahead of Election Day

October 29, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

With the election just a few days away, I want to reach out to each of you in a more personal way, share a few thoughts and remind you of the support that is available should you need it.

First, please be sure to vote if you have not already. Our democracy is strongest when each of us is actively participating and engaged. As we all know, being an engaged citizen is an important part of what our Jesuit education is about. Citizenship starts with voting and shows itself in action for the common good.

I also want to take a moment to speak to the heightened level of anxiety and stress many are experiencing this election cycle because of the excessiveness and intensity of the political turmoil and polarizing tone. It is particularly challenging and divisive coming on top of the pandemic and social unrest across the nation.

Our foremost concern is your health, safety and wellbeing. As a Jesuit Catholic university, care and concern for each individual is a core value that we strive to uphold in all that we do, inside and outside of the classroom and campus. It is a value that is especially important at this time and one that is grounded in our care and compassion for one another. Let us all be particularly attentive to each other’s needs during this time. And for students, please remember there are a number of helpful physical, emotional and spiritual support services available to you through the Office of Student Development, especially for the days immediately after the election.

I encourage faculty and staff to join the next Educating for Justice Dialogue Series that was previously announced and will be held virtually next Wednesday, Nov. 4, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. The title is “Post-Election Reflection: Living Our Values During a Time of Change.” The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will be sharing the Zoom link and other details separately.

I am confident, regardless of the outcome of the election next week, that we will all find hope and strength in our support and respect for one another, through the core values that guide and sustain us as a university community and as lifelong learners committed to a just and humane world. I believe better days are ahead of us and know we will get through these times of unprecedented challenge together. Thank you for reading this personal message and please know my affection and prayer for all of you.


Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.