Election Day is Almost Here: Resources for Niners

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Dear Niner Nation,

As we approach Election Day 2020, I want to take a moment to inform you of several resources that are available to you in the coming days.

First, thank you to our team of students, faculty, staff and partners who, through the nonpartisan 49er Democracy Experience, have come together as a galvanizing force for democracy in our community. Over the last several weeks, these leaders volunteered their time and talents to enhance understanding of our democratic process and engagement in civic life. The team hosted several events and promoted ways to vote, and I’m proud to say we had more than 10,000 people take advantage of early voting on UNC Charlotte’s campus.

Looking to Nov. 3, we encourage all members of our community who are eligible to participate in the election to exercise their right to vote. Supporting this process is part of our long-standing University commitment to encouraging leadership and citizenship within our community.

With the number of Americans casting ballots in advance of Election Day, it’s possible that we may not have clear results immediately, presenting an uncertain situation in our country and our community. Even if we do know the results quickly, some members of our community may have strong feelings and reactions.

As a public institution, we remain steadfastly impartial to election results, and we support all members of our community regardless of their political leanings or beliefs.

At the same time, we are equally steadfast in our values of social and cultural diversity, civic engagement, free expression, collegiality, integrity and mutual respect. Above all, we uphold the right of every Niner to be treated with respect as we live these values that make our community the special place it is.

Our responsibility as a university is to create a robust intellectual environment. In that spirit, throughout the coming days, we will offer activities, resources, and sources of information to support you and to create conversations designed to help us — as individuals and as a community — understand, learn and grow. I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities and to speak freely and respectfully as you do. I also ask for your open-mindedness as you listen to others who may not share your perspective.

Students, faculty and staff also are invited to participate in a discussion hosted by Professor of Political Science and Public Administration Eric Heberlig entitled, “The 2020 Election Results: What Just Happened and What Happens Next?” on Nov. 4 from noon to 1 p.m. You can register here. Following this discussion, faculty from the School of Social Work will facilitate small group conversations from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. for anyone who wants to share their thoughts or feelings about the election. Register here (space is limited). Please go to the 49er Democracy Experience website for more post-election dialogue opportunities.

I am endlessly proud of our Niner Nation. I am encouraged to see such spirited involvement in the democratic process by our students, especially considering the many adjustments we have had to make this year — both personally and academically. I know we will continue to come together and support one another in the days and weeks ahead.


Sharon L. Gaber

Sharon L. Gaber