Awaiting the presidential election results

To: UC Santa Cruz community

From: Chancellor Cynthia Larive

Election Day 2020 has come and gone, and as many expected, we do not yet know the winner of the presidential election. The record number of absentee and mail-in ballots cast means it’s possible we will not know the official election outcome for days.

I’m feeling anxious this morning, and I’m sure others are feeling the same. We must remain patient as the vote tally process unfolds. I believe that our democracy is sufficiently robust, and I am optimistic that the will of the people will prevail. It may simply take a while, and it is better to have an accurate count of all the ballots than a rapid result.

Many in our community will no doubt seek to come together today and in the days that follow to raise their voices about this election. Sharing experiences and finding common purpose are crucial to enacting change. As we continue to navigate the COVID pandemic, however, we must continue to consider the health and well-being of our campus and broader communities. Let’s all continue to follow the recommendations of public health officials by practicing physical distancing, wearing a mask, and avoiding large gatherings. We are entering a dangerous time in this pandemic, with cases and deaths spiking in communities nationwide. We must do our part to lessen its spread.

As I noted earlier this week, free speech is both constitutionally protected and a fundamental value of our campus, and we have strong policies in place to protect it. As campus citizens, it is also imperative that we embrace the responsibilities that accompany these rights. Our actions can show that it is possible to exercise freedom of speech both passionately and safely. Learn more about free speech in our community and on our campus at the new UCSC Free Speech website.

I am grateful for our UC Santa Cruz community, where dedicated staff and faculty are coming together to support students and one another. This link highlights some of the resources the campus is providing. Today, even more than yesterday, we must continue to find our voices, listen to different viewpoints, and identify ways to move forward together, united by our commitment to inclusivity, equality, and compassion.

Whatever the outcome of this election, know that this campus remains steadfast in its commitment to fairness, justice and social equity. These values are at the heart of what makes us a community. We will continue to strive to align more closely our actions with our aspirations.