This message was sent to members of the Bryn Mawr College community from President Kim Cassidy on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020.
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:
I offer my thanks to all of you who were able to participate in the election and chose to vote, and particularly those who were voting in their first election. I give special appreciation to staff and students who enabled students to vote, led in great part by the Career and Civic Engagement Center, and to the Blue Bus drivers who took students to the polls throughout the day: in a very literal way, you created a vehicle for democratic practice.
Uncertainty about the outcomes of yesterday’s U.S. national elections is likely to last for some time. The coming days, and perhaps weeks, will be challenging ones for us individually, for the various communities of which we are part, and for the nation.
Election outcomes impact people’s lives in real ways, and some of these possible impacts will be felt more profoundly by some groups and individuals among us. I hope that each of us will make an extra effort to be respectful and generous in our dealings with one another. I remind students that they can bring concerns and find many forms of support around campus, ranging from individual advising and counseling to programs and open conversations organized by the Pensby Center, the Career & Civic Engagement Center, Counseling Services, and others.
Our own community is experiencing tension and uncertainty as well as we work to articulate needs for change to address structural inequities and racism on our campus. Last night I shared a draft framework for equity and anti-racism priorities that was informed by the Open Letter to the BiCo Community and the response, the open forums of the summer, and additional consultation with community members. Independently, a group of BMC students who are advocating for anti-racist structural changes published a set of strike demands. There are points of intersection in these statements as well as differences. I have already consulted with the Diversity Leadership Group and with the Senior Staff, and will write more fully to the community before the end of the week to articulate a path forward that advances change and supports our mission of learning and teaching.
With care and respect,