St. Olaf College | News

A Message from the Vice President for Student Life: Practice patience this election

A portrait of Vice President for Student Life Hassel Morrison in front of Mellby Hall
In this message to students, Vice President for Student Life Hassel Morrison encourages all Oles to practice patience and extend grace to one another in this election week.

Dear Students,

I pray that this message finds you thriving and doing well. This Tuesday, November 3, is Election Day! This may be an exciting time for you because this is a chance to exercise your right to vote — and for some of you, this election will be your first opportunity to engage in the voting process.

Voting is the expression of our commitment to ourselves, one another, this country, and this world.Sharon Salzberg, American Author

Many of you have been anxiously waiting for this day. It feels like our country has been in a perpetual state of limbo and uncertainty with constant messages around the pandemic, race relations, the Supreme Court nomination, and the election. We do not know what is going to happen in this election. We might not even know the outcome of the election for several days. However, we do know that emotions are running high, and for good reason. Our country is more divided today than it has been in any of our lifetimes. Your vote matters!

This election may bring with it more uncertainty, or fear, or sadness, or joy, or confusion, or any combination of emotions that will be different for everyone. There is a lot that we cannot control, but what we can control is how we treat each other. One of the best parts of the St. Olaf community is how we support each other and learn from each other. We do not always agree — in fact, it is healthy that we do not.

My task for you is this: practice patience. Patience is in short supply in many parts of our world, but we can make it abundant at St. Olaf and we are going to need it the coming days. Be extra kind to each other. Let people process the results and their emotions in their own way, and if you notice that a fellow Ole could use a little compassion and grace, do not hesitate to extend it to them.

If you want to engage in conversations about the election or if you need someone to talk to, I encourage you to set up time to connect with College Ministry, the Wellness Center, or the Counseling Center. In addition, there are a number of events and resources available through Presence that will give you the opportunity to disconnect and disengage so that you can simply enjoy one another. Learn about more post-election resources on the St. Olaf Vote page.