The following was sent out by Dean Elmore to all students on the evening of September 15, 2020.
The timbre of the times has many of us reflecting, talking, and acting (hopefully with each other). We are discussing elections; arguing about campus life, national and global political climates; and, being publicly and collectively active around the issues and politics for which we care.
Let me encourage you. No. Let me urge you to vote in the upcoming elections. We will help you register, if you are eligible, to vote by connecting you to TurboVote (bu.turbovote.org) – an online platform that makes sure you know when elections are happening and have the information you need to vote. Once you sign up, you can register to vote, apply for your absentee ballot, and receive election reminders through the site. We also continue to list the good work the BU Votes campaign is doing, which we share on our Voter Engagement site.
Registering to vote is a way to be nimble with the times. Remaining aware of other just-in-time opportunities – protests, lectures, public rallies, discussions, and activities – that allow you to reflect on the campus, national, and global political climates is another. Give yourself permission to participate in opportunities to improve political discourse by practicing it through your formal class readings and discussions, activism, informal interactions, arguments, dialogues, and other engagements, including demonstrations, protests, and rallies.
Don’t let COVID-19 stop you from raising a fist, banner or your voice at a protest, demonstration or rally. Go for it! And, keep yourself and others safe. If you hit a rally or protest, I recommend you: wear your mask or face cover (being sure that it covers your nose, mouth, and chin); frequently use hand sanitizer, pack some wipes and clean your phone or other accessories you frequently touch; bring your own signs, food, beverages, and other personal items – avoid sharing food and drinks or carrying other’s signs or touching objects that others have touched; and, be sure to maintain 6 feet of physical distance or more, especially when you’re singing, chanting, and raising your voice for the cause. And, it goes without saying that you should not participate in community protests if you feel ill or have recently been exposed to a close contact with COVID-19 or diagnosed with COVID-19 yourself.
Stay “in the know.” Make a difference. Stay safe. Stay healthy,
Associate Provost and Dean of Students