Looking ahead to Election Day

October 30, 2020
Pat Neff with American Flag

Dear Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff,

I am praying for our nation and all of you as Election Day nears, and we make critical decisions for our country and our communities.

In today’s polarized political climate, there is a tremendous need for civil discourse — the ability to converse charitably and respectfully in order to collaborate on meaningful solutions to important issues. Civil discourse is especially necessary on college and university campuses like Baylor, where we foster interactions between people from different backgrounds and experiences with a wide range of opinions in a transformational learning community.

Here are a few things to keep in mind in the upcoming days:

  • Our identity as Christians transcends our political commitments. Scripture charges us to love and care for our neighbors, to bear each other’s burdens, and to “be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).
  • As a Christian research university, we seek to encourage informed, respectful dialogue and to provide a safe environment for reasoned, peaceful dissent. As Baylor Bears, we share the unique, lifelong connection of being formed by the Baylor experience. We are a family.
  • Because this year’s election coincides with the COVID-19 pandemic, the increase in early voting and voting by mail could significantly delay finalized election results. We may not have the typical experience of learning election results late on Election Day or soon after. This is not cause for alarm.
  • I encourage you to be discerning in the sources you choose for information about the election. Choose reputable sources that follow high standards for sourcing and verifying claims, and avoid those that are careless with facts or that foment rumors or conspiracy theories.
  • Last year’s Baylor Conversation Series featured faculty members and special guests who shared insights about how people with significant disagreements can have meaningful discussions. You may be enriched by these conversations.

We are blessed by the many freedoms bestowed to us as Americans, including the ability to elect our leaders and participate in free speech. If you have not voted already, I strongly encourage you to do so on Tuesday – I hope to see a lot of “I Voted!” stickers on campus.

We look optimistically toward the future as people whose highest allegiance is to God, and whose ultimate faith is in Him.


Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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