Post-Election Forums to Connect, Talk, Listen

Dominican University of California’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has partnered with the Diversity Action Group (DAG) and the Department of Political Science, History and International Studies to offer a series of post-election forums designed to foster conversations around the presidential election. 

“Amidst what has been a contentious election season, we must remember that elections are more than the occasion to voice our political preferences,” stated President Mary B. Marcy and President-Elect Nicola Pitchford in a letter to campus announcing the discussions. “Elections are an opportunity to reflect on our shared values, and to reaffirm a commitment to treating one another with kindness and respect, even when we disagree on candidates or issues.”

DAG members will facilitate many of the post-election forums. The goal of these online events is to provide students, faculty, and staff with opportunities to connect, listen, and talk. Some gatherings will be for students only, while others will be open to the entire campus community. All will be safe spaces for discussion. 

Faculty and students from the Department of Political Science, History and International Studies will lead a nonpartisan “Penguin Chat” focused on the election. This is part of a series of weekly virtual discussions that have been taking place all semester to help students, faculty, and staff focus on key issues.

University Counseling Services will be available during parts of the Nov. 4 and Nov. 6 student sessions to provide additional support for students. Individual requests to see a counselor can be made on the Moodle Student Group page, the UCS section of the Dominican website, by calling 415-485-3258 or contacting the Student Health Center.

Here’s the post-election discussion schedule

  • November 4, 11:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. DAG post-election drop-in for students. To obtain the Zoom call link, please contact dei@dominican.edu.
  • November 4, 4-5 p.m. Penguin Chat, hosted by students in the Department of Political Science, History and International Studies. Students, faculty, and staff welcome. To obtain the Zoom call link, please contact Natalie. Babler@dominican.edu.
  • November 5, 12-1 p.m. DAG post-election discussion for faculty and staff. To obtain the Zoom call link, please contact dei@dominican.edu.
  • November 6, 1:30-3 p.m. DAG post-election discussion for students. To obtain the Zoom call link, please contact dei@dominican.edu.

Alison Howard, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Division of Public Affairs in the School of Liberal Arts and Education, shares the following tips on how to prepare to watch the election:

•    Have faith in our institutions, our democracy, and our electoral process. 
•    On election night, be patient. It can be hard, but Democracy takes time.
•    Elections are decentralized in the U.S. States have different rules for accepting, counting, and processing ballots.
•    Remember that we have seen many, many more mail-in votes than in past years. These ballots take time to count.
•    Focus on the "electoral count" not the national popular vote count.
•    Try not to get your information from social media. Instead, rely on national network news.
•    Be careful about reports from exit polls, especially if they don't include mail-in voters.

Howard recommends the following articles for people wanting more information about election night 2020: "How Election Night 2020 Will Be Different" from the Brennan Center for Justice, and  "What Experts Think Journalists Should Know" from the Nieman Lab, an online reporting enterprise focused on the future of news and innovation.

In addition, Louis Knecht, University Archivist, Reference and Instruction Librarian, has prepared a research guide for post-election responses and continuing civil engagement.

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