Faculty are encouraged to structure classes during the week of November 2nd-6th in order to:
- Hold space for discussions that engage the current moment and its challenges for individuals and communities;
- Make participation optional by suspending any new assignments and/or extending due dates during this week; and
- Provide opportunities for individuals to access planned College programming and activities that are part of campus-wide support for greater social connection.
Election Time Care & Programming
We are diligently working on election time care programming and resources for students, staff, and faculty. We have gathered tools, tips, and other resources from across the college, as well as national partners.
Some of the following resources are adapted from SLSV & Ask Every Student's Post-Election Campus Resource and Response Guide.
Trust the process
Prepare for a prolonged outcome. Due to the high number of mail-in ballots this election, it may take days, if not weeks, in some places to process election results. Taking the time to count votes will result in a fair election.
- Follow up on your ballot’s status and ensure your vote gets counted. Use the Election Protection Hotline if you run into any issues in making sure your vote gets counted. (Text or Call 866-OUR-VOTE/866-687-8683 or Tweet @866OUR VOTE)
- Refer to credible sources of information. Look to your local elections officials for information and updates on election results. (Election officials page lookup & election officials twitter list to follow.)
- Identify misinformation and disinformation. Always fact check sources. News sources may not be a reliable source when it comes to election results.
- Make sure to share local elections’ results as they come in! Focus on local results that we do know to redirect anxious energy and instill confidence in results.
- Learn about the electoral college process. Understanding helps demystify the process. The Civic Alliance and National Taskforce on Election Crises includes educational materials about the timeline of the Electoral College. Note that the 1887 Electoral Count Act requires all states to have all ballots counted by 41 days post the election, so regardless the people will know results by mid-December.
Hold spaces for dialogue and verbal expression
Faculty, staff, and student leaders may end up facilitating difficult yet sensitive conversations with students after the election. While this is not an expectation, here are some resources to support constructive conversations around the 2020 Elections, regardless of the outcomes.
- Establish clear guidelines, boundaries and purpose setting to frame challenging discussions. Allow people to speak from their own point of view without making assumptions about others. Clearly communicate why it is necessary and why it impacts every class, student, etc., no matter personal options.
- Have discussions with an equity lens that values each student's perspective.
- Let students take the lead in the conversations and ensure that their voices are heard. Students don't need a lecture about elections or their feelings on November 4.
- Be honest that this election is more than politics- it's about values, too. Prepare to navigate conversations outside of simply a “political” framework.
- Keep the conversations nonpartisan, while still providing students a chance to exchange ideas, perspectives, and experiences.
- James Madison University: Facilitating Difficult Election Conversations - Highly recommend this valuable resource which includes example ground rules, reflection questions for prejudice and biases, and much more.
- IDHE Report: Readiness for Discussing Democracy in Supercharged Political Times
- Facilitating Political Discussions: A Facilitator Training Workshop Guide
- Bridging & Breaking Workshop Series
- Harvard School of Education: Teaching In Times Of Strife & Trauma
Understand the international context
- Not all students outside of the U.S. are interested in or well-informed about U.S. politics.
- Students from other countries learn about the US from their own press. Be sensitive to U.S. allegations that other countries are interfering with the US election. Most students tend to be patriotic and can take criticism of their home country's government personally.
- Educate yourself about the issues that pertain to international students. If Trump is reelected, student visas will change including the length of stay and the ability to work after graduation (OPT).
- International student guide to the U.S. presidential elections - Short article which clearly and simply explains the U.S. electoral process, including definitions of terms such as caucus and electoral college.
- US election 2020: A really simple guide - A BBC article with tooltip popup boxes of key terms and has a question/answer feature that addresses questions about transitions of power.
- Ballots and Borders: Election 2020 and What’s at Stake for International Students and Scholars - This one-hour video explains the U.S. immigration system and the immigration platforms of Trump and Biden.
- Understanding US Media and Consumerism -This one-hour video is, "Designed for international students who many not be as familiar with rhetoric used in U.S. media, how to determine if information is accurate or inaccurate, how to best research the issues reported, as well as how cultural background may impact the interpretation of information."
Prioritize health & wellness
Many campus community members may need access to mental health and wellness resources during this time. There will be intentional spaces and opportunities for healing (see programming calendar above). For additional support, see resources below.
- If you know of a student or are a student who is struggling, Louise Cracknell, the Student Development Specialist, is here as a resource to discuss your concerns and explore options for support.
- Student Counseling will be offering a daily drop in hour, 11/2-11/6, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
- Yoga Nidra (wakeful sleep) on Wednesdays 12:00-12:45. (recurring, weekly) Zoom ID: https://mica-edu.zoom.us/j/96889421028
- The MICA Fitness Center has ongoing classes are that are available for free to faculty and students.
- 7Cups for online therapy and free counseling
- American Counseling Association Post-Election Resources (2016)
Move towards action
Always make sure to provide opportunities for civic action, not just discussion. Prepare tangible actions that students can take to stay engaged and prepare to support student activists.
- MICA Organizers and Activists is a student organization with a mission to advocate for progress on the social and civic issues students care about. To get involved contact MOA at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on IG @micaorganizers
- Volunteering Opportunities with Election Protection
- Adopt a Vote Center with our partners at Baltimore Votes!
- If you’re in Baltimore, Philadelphia or Detroit, sign up for your own Party at the Mailbox from our partners at Black Girls Vote. (Graphics designed by our own Globe Press @ MICA!)
- For Freedoms: An artist-led organization that models and increases creative civic engagement, discourse and direct action
- Decker Library's Art and Activism research guide