Staff Editorial: Preparing for election day fallout

Editorial Staff

This election is being framed as one of the most consequential of our lifetimes, and with that brings stress to students already experiencing a particularly difficult semester. Students are being inundated with social media posts, signs on campus and even two ads in this newspaper alone, reminding them of the importance of voting. Conversations about the election span from the classroom to friend groups, and are becoming more and more frequent. Anxiety is high, and it will only get higher. Thus, it is important for the university to recognize the emotional toll that the election has and will take on all members of the campus community.  

The results of this election will dramatically shape the coming decades, with everything from climate change and health care to women’s rights and gun control on the table. We spend a lot of time in the Old Gold & Black office discussing politics and policy, so we will be the first to say that this election has taken up a lot of our energy. Although we are sure that many faculty members will feel just as drained as we will by the end of next week, it is necessary that all students, no matter what their major or minor is, are given grace in the days following Nov. 3. The aftermath of the election will be the tipping point of our collective exhaustion — we did not have a fall break, are currently in Orange after an exponential increase in COVID-19 cases and the temperature is slowly dropping. 

… it is necessary that all students, no matter what their major or minor is, are given grace in the days following Nov. 3.

First, the Editorial Board, without adding to the political “noise,” wants to advocate that all members of the university community vote in the upcoming election. Make a plan, if you have not already, and educate yourself on the candidates up and down the ballot. This is not a time for apathy, especially from Wake Foresters. 

But, arguably more importantly, we want the university to be conscientious of students’ feelings during this time of heightened uncertainty. Student Government has passed a resolution to encourage professors to cancel classes on election day in order to limit barriers to voting and encourage students to serve as poll workers in place of some of our more vulnerable citizens. We support this resolution, but realize that not all faculty members will choose to cancel class. For those that do not, we at least ask that they recognize the gravity of this event for students, no matter how engaged in politics they are themselves. 

We also ask that students be kind to one another, to faculty and to staff. Tensions will undoubtedly rise over the next couple of weeks, but Wake Forest as an institution of higher learning committed to Pro Humanitate has the ability to rise above the friction that may very well plague the country. We will need the support of each other in order to weather the storm.