Students and Faculty Comment on U.S. Presidential Election

On November 3, 2020 – the day of the United States presidential election – BU Today reached out across the Boston University community to find out how students, faculty, staff, and alumni were getting through the historic 2020 election. Three faculty and three students from the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies offered their perspectives, hopes, dreams, and wishes on the ensuring election in the live blog, titled “Election 2020: A Day of Nervousness Turns to a Night of Uncertainty.”

Joaquín Martínez Albán (Pardee BA ’23) was watching the election from Qutio, Ecuador and reflected on the historic nature of this election. “As a student of International Relations, I feel history being made before me. The event type one will read about in textbooks 20 years from now…Whatever happens, I hope that we don’t lose the ability to be tolerant with others around us. I also hope that this election reminds us that the world depends on our generation for the future leaders of the world, and that education is how we can collectively achieve a better world.”

Alexander Beatty (Pardee MA ’21) described the boarded up businesses around Arlington/Copley and was saddened by the state of the country on Election Day. “Just the idea that in the world’s oldest democracy, in one of the most metropolitan cities in the country, you’ve got to board up the windows of retail stores on Election Day in fear of riots? It’s a very sad state of affairs that America’s gotten itself into.”

Rachel Brulé, Assistant Professor of Global Development Policy at the Pardee School, discussed her work engaging with and growing the radical power of female solidarity, #BlackLivesMatter, and the importance of continued action to lift up the most vulnerable among us. “I believe the only way we will achieve a truly healthy democratic polity, economy, and society is by deepening meaningful, radical solidarity build on the fundamental belief that we are all equal, all worthy of respect, and all entitled to the core resources humans require to flourish: guaranteed, universal access to health care, high quality education, housing, jobs that provide living wages, safe working conditions, and state support when such employment is unavailable, and support that enables us to care for our most vulnerable members: the very young and old…I voted early, and am now working to gather with my female colleagues, friends, and loved ones (including my daughter!) to make this solidarity a part of the political fabric of our state.”

Alhassan Hashad (Pardee BA ’22) noted how the election was both nerve wracking and exciting but also served as a reminder that community action is needed to tackle the world’s biggest challenges. “We should not be waiting for a president or a government official to inspire us. We can’t afford to waste that time. Instead, we should look to one another and expand our efforts to overcome these challenges.”

Manjari Chatterjee Miller, Associate Professor of International Relations at the Pardee School, sought an escape from the election news and decided to self-impose a media blackout. “I’m dealing with election madness by imposing a complete news and social media blackout on myself beginning today and ending Wednesday.”

Adil Najam, Dean of the Pardee School, appeared on a number of international television programs to explain the U.S. election. He appeared on more than a dozen programs in India, the Philippines, Pakistan, and beyond discussing the big questions surrounding the Biden-Trump presidential battle. “This is the one thing that most people here don’t recognize – how much attention the world pays to us. People are making judgements not just about America, but about democracy, because we are seen as the great custodians of democracy. They see all these things happening here and they say, ‘So, this is the model?’”

The full 2020 Election live blog can be read on BU Today’s website.