November 4, 2020
Dear OU Community,
This morning we woke up to an unclear election outcome and an uncertain political future. This isn’t the first time our country has faced such a situation after a presidential election. But many of our students were born shortly before, or even after, the 2000 election, and so it is the first time some have experienced such a situation firsthand. Those of us who remember the fallout of the 2000 election recall the long weeks and months that included a recount and Supreme Court battle. At the time, it was unprecedented. Today we see shades of that uncertainty, but this time with even greater discord and vitriol.
I write again simply to express my hope that we will meet this moment with calm and confidence.
The moment calls for calm – not because our political future shouldn’t arouse great passion. But instead because, whatever the outcome, we will remain linked together in this grand, ongoing experiment in democracy. In times of political turmoil, it is often difficult to have charity for all and malice toward none – especially those we disagree with. But our democracy depends upon it.
The moment also calls for confidence. Our nation, however imperfect, has weathered political crises before. We’ll surely also face them again. The best we can do is recommit ourselves to our common effort to create a more perfect union. We cannot allow our differences to be used against us. Instead, we must press forward together, unifying as one people in spite of our disagreements.
In the coming days, I urge each of us to demonstrate kindness and respect for all. As a university community, we have multiple opportunities to process the implications of this election and to forge a way forward that exemplifies our commitment to be a university where all perspectives are welcome and respected. I encourage each of you to take advantage of the resources made available to our community and to participate in the important conversations that our faculty and staff are graciously leading. For more information, click here.
We are now confronted with a great challenge, but it isn’t one without hope. My hope begins here at OU where, together, our community can set the example for how to move forward with calm confidence.
Live On, University,
Joseph Harroz, Jr.