To the VCU and VCU Health Community,
Election Day is less than a week away. Many of you already have voted, and I encourage those who haven’t to take time between now and then to exercise your right to have your voices heard. As a reminder, Election Day is a university holiday this year, primarily affecting VCU’s Monroe Park Campus, to accommodate your ability to vote.
Voting is a critical part of strong, participatory democracy. It is your right and responsibility as a citizen of this country. In these historical times, it is more important than ever that you have a say in our government and who governs. We support your engagement in our democracy, and thus we have developed an Active Citizenship Toolkit to help students, especially, determine how best to explore and exercise their rights.
There is no denying the stress and contention many may feel during local, state, and presidential elections this year. And unsettled feelings may extend past next Tuesday as there is a good chance we will not know the results on Election Day.
As One VCU, we can be the model for civility and respect for ideological differences before and after the elections. Regardless of the results, we will be a positive influence for the nation in how we respond. We will stay focused on our academic and health care missions, our commitment to mutual respect, and will finish the year together strong.
Thank you for your continued resiliency and commitment–in the midst of one of the most challenging times in our nation’s history–to learn, live, and work to make better the lives of everyone in our community and beyond.
Michael Rao, Ph.D.
VCU and VCU Health System