Members of the Peninsula College Community:
Today we are just seven days from the culmination of perhaps the most unusual election season in our nation’s history. As I write this letter, nearly 60 million Americans have already cast their votes, and it’s quite likely that this year’s turnout will be the highest in recent memory. This historic early turnout is taking place against a backdrop of a continuing pandemic in which over eight million of our fellow citizens have been infected, and nearly a quarter of a million have died. This election cycle also comes at a time when social justice remains at the forefront of our national conversation, and when the electorate seems increasingly polarized on any number of issues.
We are fortunate to live in a country where voting is a seen as a fundamental right, and in a state that provides safe, secure access to the ballot box. I urge you to exercise that right if you have not already done so.
We are also fortunate to work in higher education, a sector that is dedicated in part to the task of helping our students become critical thinkers and informed participants in our nation’s political process. It is also a sector that celebrates the teaching/learning process and affirms education as a pathway to economic security and the creation of “a more perfect union.” Our work has never been more important than it is today.
Many of us have watched the run up to this election with keen interest, and perhaps no small measure of anxiety, particularly in light of the unprecedented events of the past year. As we navigate the next several weeks and months, and regardless of the outcome of the election, let us keep our Guiding Principles “front and center”—they both inform our work with our students and our care and respect for one another. Our focus on equity, collaboration, mutual respect, and acting ethically and with integrity defines our college community. Those values enabled us to respond to our current challenges with resilience, courage, and grace. Those same Guiding Principles will see us through Election Day and beyond. Let’s recommit to them as we continue our journey together.
Thank you for all that you do for our students and our college community. Be well, stay safe, and continue the amazing work you are doing.
Dr. Luke Robins