Dear Wayne State community members,
Next Tuesday, Nov. 3, is the final day to cast your ballot for the 2020 election.
Our campus community knows the importance of voting. At the recommendation of our Student Senate, we opened a polling station on our campus in March, where I plan to cast my vote. And last year, we announced that we would close campus for presidential elections to make sure people have the opportunity to exercise this important obligation.
This year, we are choosing a president in the midst of a global pandemic and a high degree of political turmoil. In this turbulent and uncertain time, I offer these thoughts.
College campuses, by design, are places where a variety of views are welcomed, encouraged and tested. Sometimes this is uncomfortable, but this is how we grow in our understanding and grow as people. At our university, we also take great pride in our history as a place of opportunity that welcomes a wide diversity of people and views. Diversity, equity and inclusion are woven into our history, and they are codified in our mission, values and the strategic plan that guide our actions today.
It may be tempting to view those who hold beliefs different than our own with suspicion or contempt. It may be tempting to gloat if our candidate wins, or lash out if our candidate does not. I urge us not to succumb to these temptations. The right to support a political candidate or express a different view — however much we may disagree — is guaranteed to citizens of our democracy, and welcome on our campus.
The present political tensions may not disappear on Nov. 3, and perhaps not for months or even years to come. But, just like when we cast a vote, we choose how we deal with them. I sincerely hope that whatever the outcome of the election, we set an example in our community of mutual respect and consideration. We can disagree, but we should do so in a way that makes us all better.
M. Roy Wilson