Dear Maryland Community,
Today, as of this writing, we face an inconclusive 2020 presidential election. After what appears to be historic voter turnout nearing 150 million votes cast, including record levels of participation by young voters, we must all exhibit patience. We must wait as all votes are counted and the remaining Electoral College votes are decided before it is determined who will serve as our President.
The narrow margin has revealed a country that remains sharply divided. Today, many people across the country, including many on our campus, are grappling with unease and concern as we await final results. As always, our Counseling Center, Faculty-Staff Assistance Center and other resources can offer help to members of our community who need support. I also urge you to build community by staying connected to your colleagues, classmates and friends and attending virtual events.
The Merrill College of Journalism and the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences are co-hosting a special post-election event today at 11:00 am. "Election 2020: What Happened, What Now, and What's Next?" features a panel of faculty experts in elections, constitutional law, and journalism to discuss the 2020 election and what's to come. Other events and resources can be found at the University’s Election Portal.
In the days ahead - days of uncertainty - it is my sincere hope that we will all work together to bridge our differences and to usher in an era of greater understanding and accord. Because much work lies ahead. The Grand Challenges of our time are numerous and daunting. Climate change, poverty, disease, racism, gun violence. And there will be others. We will continue to fight for solutions that are based in research and science.
And I remind us all that democracy does not happen once every four years. It is a continuum, an ongoing process of advocacy and activism to influence the policies and programs that support a fair and just world.
Our collective voices remain a formidable force. For those of you planning to join demonstrations or gatherings, please do so safely. Remember, our 4 Maryland health guidelines to help protect our community against the spread of COVID-19 still apply to off-campus activities.
The mission of the University of Maryland matters. And how the university pursues its mission matters. In the long shadow of this election season, let us recommit ourselves to our shared values and an open marketplace of ideas and perspectives. Because that is what it means to be TerrapinSTRONG.
Darryll J. Pines
President, University of Maryland