November 2, 2020
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
As we prepare for Election Day tomorrow, I know there are many strong emotions we are experiencing in our Texas State University community and our country. The intensity of polarization in our nation’s politics has deeply impacted members of the Bobcat family and our fellow Americans.
Yet, I remain optimistic because of who we are as Bobcats. Now more than ever, we are called upon to support one another and to stand true to our shared values. I am proud of the work done by our 2020 Elections Task Force to prepare our community for this very moment and the weeks to come.
Like many of you, I’m eager for election results to be announced. However, due to the pandemic’s impact on voting, we may have to wait several days for the complete, official results to be tabulated. At this historic moment, there are actions we can take to grow as individuals and as a community, and show the world what it means to be a Bobcat:
The best way to ensure your voice is heard is to cast your ballot. If you didn’t vote during early voting, vote tomorrow, Election Day. The Performing Arts Center on the San Marcos Campus will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Learn more on Vote. The Rest is Just Noise.
As I mentioned, election results may not be known immediately. This year’s election may involve a lengthy period of vote counting. The time after the polls close and before a result is known may lead to confusion and the spread of disinformation. Be patient, stay calm, and seek out reputable sources for accurate information.
UPHOLD TXST VALUES
In times of uncertainty, our shared values become even more critical. To live by TXST values means to respect others’ differences of perspective and experience and treat one another with dignity and compassion. Texas State is home to students, faculty, and staff with varying political beliefs. That is one of the things that makes our university a rich learning environment. Our diversity, not just in our racial and ethnic backgrounds, but our ideologies, is one of our greatest sources of strength. We are committed to respecting those with whom we disagree politically and to resolving our differences. We won’t all agree, but we are all Bobcats.
REJECT HATE & BIGOTRY
Let me be clear about where Texas State stands. Messages of hate, bigotry, discrimination, and white supremacy have no place here. As I have said in the past, we believe Black Lives Matter. It’s not debatable at Texas State. We have the privilege of being a Hispanic Serving Institution, a designation that brings us great pride and strength. Equality of opportunity is inextricably linked to our core values, it is immovable and constant. It is a part of our culture. If you find hateful propaganda on campus, report it to the Bring It Up Bobcats Bias Response System.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS & THE RULES
Texas State is a place where we have conversations that invite uncomfortable and courageous dialogue. In a recent edition of TXST Connections, we reminded our community about the importance of upholding the First Amendment, and shared FAQs about Free Speech. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with this material to better understand your rights, the rights of others, and our shared responsibilities.
PROTECT YOURSELF & OTHERS
If you choose to gather to peacefully demonstrate, or be with friends and family, stay vigilant about following COVID-19 health and safety measures. Practice social distancing and wear a mask. Also, follow the guidelines in place for peaceful Demonstrations on University Property. It is critical that we adhere to the law and to peaceful means of settling disputes.
The 2020 Elections Task Force will host Boko’s Election Watch Party tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at the LBJ Student Center (LBJSC) Teaching Theatre, featuring socially-distanced relaxation spaces and self-care tips. Also, a Post-Election Student Leaders Panel will be held on November 10 at the LBJSC Teaching Theatre, and streamed online, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Student leaders from across the political spectrum will discuss their civic engagement and political experiences during this year’s electoral season.
We are in this together. Let’s finish this semester a unified force for good, and for peaceful, civic renewal. I have full faith and confidence that together, we will. If you’ve already cast your vote, the only thing you have left to control is your reaction to the election outcome, and how you treat people in the coming days as we process election outcomes – together.
Denise M. Trauth