After an election season in the middle of the coronavirus, fraught with tension on both sides of the political spectrum and reckonings over social injustices, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were elected as the 46th President and Vice President of the United States on Saturday, Nov. 7. But just because the election is over doesn’t mean everything will be smooth sailing going forward.
According to Phillip Tyler, the Crime Prevention and Education Officer for Campus Security and Public Safety (CSPS), CSPS is in frequent contact with the Spokane Police Department should any situation or information pertaining to civil unrest arise, Tyler said via email.
“Campus Security and Public safety will, as always, be proactively patrolling our Gonzaga campus. Our officers are adept at identifying areas of concerns and address them promptly,” Tyler said.
Fr. Mike Connolly, associate professor of political science, said he does not expect any unrest in Spokane, but that there have been some protests around the nation, which have been mostly peaceful.
“I haven’t seen any real kind of extraordinary kinds of violence at all, I would not expect that there would be violence in Spokane,” Connolly said.
In times like these, Tyler said that it is important to exercise your right to vote, but that it is also important to take a break from the media, and cited multiple resources Gonzaga has for mental health, including GU's Health and Counseling Services, the Center for Cura Personalis and Human Resources. He also said it is important to remember that we are still in the coronavirus pandemic, and everyone must follow the university’s guidelines for safety.
“Students, staff and faculty should be aware that elections will always have winners and losers and their supporters can potentially be upset or highly excited,” Tyler said. “Both of these responses are human and should be expected. We as members of the Gonzaga community must operate from the premise of presupposition, assume that our fellow students and community members want to peaceably express their pleasure or displeasure, but if things don’t feel right or seem to be getting out of control, e.g., property overturned, burned, or broken, contact Campus Security (509) 313-2222.”
Regarding what the political science department is doing in response to the election, Blaine Garvin, a political science professor, said there will be a meeting where he and professor Joe Gardner will discuss the election’s aftermath.
The discussion and post-election analysis with Garvin and Gardner will take place on Nov. 12 at 4 p.m. over Zoom.
In addition to the political science department’s election discussion, the office of Diversity, Inclusion, Community and Equity (DICE) is holding conversations about the election, according to an email sent to the DICE mailing list by SR Ross, the program manager for intercultural development.
DICE is holding these conversations “for our community to come together, share hopes and concerns, to process grief and anxiety, and to relate and build understanding, especially across political differences,” the email said.
Through DICE’s series of post-election discussions, a conversation about faith in politics with Molly Ayers of Community Engagement and Service and Luke Lavin of Mission and Ministry will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at noon.
Another event hosted by DICE that relates to the election and democracy is an LGBTQ law panel discussion between GU Law School and political science professors on Nov. 17 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Links to these events can be found here: https://www.gonzaga.edu/gonzaga-votes/events