Dear Siena community,
I wanted to reach out today to convey how proud I am of our country and this community. While as of this writing, a winner in the presidential election has not yet been declared, voter turnout rate for our country was the highest in 120 years and Siena College played a role in helping America attain that impressive result.
Back in July, Siena signed onto the All-In Campus Democracy Challenge, which set an aspirational goal of 100 percent participation among eligible voters in this year’s election. Although we don’t yet know our specific voter participation rate, the many organic initiatives and campus-wide voter drives clearly made a positive difference. The fact that our campus Democratic and Republican clubs worked together on this effort – and operated in good faith throughout – makes me all the more proud.
When our country was established over two centuries ago, the heads-of-state of Europe gave us little chance of succeeding. They did not think we could be self-governing because so much depends on citizens – who in a Republic have many responsibilities, including choosing our leaders. Moments like these demonstrate why we have not only survived, but flourished.
As we anxiously await the final results, I ask for all of us to continue to exercise patience and mutual respect while every vote is counted. Let us remain committed to our Franciscan principles of dialogue, peacemaking and collegiality. As civically-minded servant leaders, this is what we are called to do. Now, more than ever, the World Needs More Saints – more Siena Saints.
For those who are curious about where our country is in the process, a Zoom town hall is currently being organized for Thursday afternoon, featuring Siena political science faculty. Whether a winner in the presidential race is declared before then or not, the panel will offer analysis of the election, polling, and the path forward. There also will be time for questions and discussion. The entire Siena community is welcome to join and I hope you are able to attend. Fill details and a link will be shared in tomorrow morning’s Daily Digests.
Once again, I thank you for taking seriously your duties as a citizen in a representative democracy. Finally, let us all be present to this important moment in our nation’s history and embrace high hopes for our future.