President Darryll J. Pines sent the following email to the university community today:
We knew we could count on 2020 to be a significant year for American democracy, marked by both the decennial census and a presidential election. We, as a nation, did not anticipate two pandemics in 2020—that at the same time we would battle a global public health crisis and confront racial injustice that has plagued our nation throughout history.
Recent events have amplified the importance of our fundamental democratic processes.
We know that COVID-19 has disproportionate impacts on communities of color and has further underscored disparities in access to resources and other inequities in our nation. The coronavirus has also presented major challenges to completing the census count and created barriers to safe, fair and full electoral participation. This is troubling, especially when we know that filling out the census and voting are two ways to address inequities in our nation.
So now, more than ever, we need full participation in our democracy. Above all, please make a plan to vote.
In addition, I invite you to get involved where you can:
The university is also working with our Big Ten colleagues on efforts to incentivize student collaborations around voting and organize a scholarly symposium on full, safe and fair elections. TerpsVote, a coalition of students, faculty and staff, is working to increase UMD students' awareness of the voting process. Learn more about this important effort at umd.turbovote.org.
Together, we can help create a better future for our local communities and the nation. It is our civic duty to be counted in the 2020 census, and to make a plan so that all TerpsVote!
Darryll J. Pines
President, University of Maryland
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