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Stories from Our Community

Take time to vote: A message to the Penn community

Amy Gutmann, President; Wendell Pritchett, Provost; Craig Carnaroli, executive vice president; and Mamta Accapadi, vice provost for university life

Perhaps never before in our nation’s history has your vote been more important. This has been an unusually long and stressful campaign season. As it draws to an end, with Election Day just two weeks away, we write to encourage everyone in the Penn community to take the time to vote. Our democracy depends on all Americans making their voices heard.

Because Pennsylvania regulations mandate the necessary length of the semester, we are unable to declare a holiday for November 3. As we have previously announced, we are encouraging flexibility by supervisors to allow time for staff to vote, and we strongly support the recent Faculty Senate resolution calling on all faculty and instructors to accommodate students who wish to engage in election-related activities on Election Day. We encourage faculty to avoid tests on that day and to make as many accommodations as possible to ensure that there is no penalty to any student who may miss class to participate in the election process.

Whatever the outcome of the election, some members of our community will see their candidate lose, and we may not know the result until after November 3. We ask all of you to take particular care with each other in those days after the election and to model the empathy and civility at the heart of Penn culture. There are many resources available to those of you who may experience added stress or anxiety, which are listed at the bottom of this message. All of these resources are fully available online.

Democracies survive only if they are not taken for granted. They depend on the support of citizens. Elections determine their fate. Please take the opportunity to make your voices heard.

Resources and Support

If you have any doubt about where to turn, Penn’s HELP Line is available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, at 215-898-HELP.

Student Health Service: 215-746-3535
Student Intervention Services215-898-6081
Office of the Chaplain215-898-8456
Weingarten Learning Resources Center: 215-573-9235
Special Services (within Division of Public Safety): 215-898-6600
Employee Assistance Program: 866-799-2329

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