Internal - Faculty & Staff

Election Day 2020

November 3, 2020

The following communication was sent to Simmons students and parents on November 2, 2020.

Dear Students:

The run-up to the 2020 Presidential Election has been especially difficult for our nation. Divisive rhetoric has intensified – making many of us feel worried and anxious. The outcome of this election matters deeply to our community and we recognize that the next several days and weeks may feel especially challenging, particularly if a winner is not declared on November 3.

The confluence of this election, living through a global pandemic, isolation from friends and family, and the loss of normal activities is a lot to manage. Self-care, reaching out to your support system, and asking for help when you need it has never been more important. We encourage you to use the support available to you through Simmons if you need assistance. No one should struggle alone.

We also understand that members of the Simmons community may want to gather in public places and spaces leading up to or after a winner is declared. The City of Boston is already preparing for this eventuality and some downtown stores have started boarding up windows and storefronts. As we have done for several years, Simmons University will host a polling location in Lefavour Hall and Boston and Simmons Police Departments will be present there throughout the day.

We support the members of our Simmons community who want to bring their voices and activism to this crucial moment. However, we’d like to remind the community once-again about best practices to ensure your health and safety if you choose to attend a demonstration.

Before you head to a protest:

  • Research the group or organization hosting the event to make sure you are comfortable with the tone, approach and goals.
  • Activate “find friends” or another location app on your phone. Inform a friend or family member about where you’re going and when you expect to return.
  • If possible, use the buddy system and travel to the event with another person.
  • Establish a plan for the event. The plan should cover a variety of scenarios: if you get separated from your friend or group, your cell phone battery dies, and if the event shifts from peaceful to violent, among other things.

During the event:

  • Be prepared for large crowds. During this ongoing pandemic, remember to wear a mask, carry hand sanitizer and practice social distancing.
  • Be aware of your personal belongings.
  • Avoid following a group or crowd into unfamiliar territory. During a protest, it can be easy to get swept up in a crowd and travel to an area you don’t know. If you can, try to reach the side of a street, away from the moving crowd.
  • Maintain situational awareness, both regarding your immediate location and the overall event and area. Event dynamics and circumstances can change quickly and sometimes unexpectedly. As we have seen nationally, peaceful demonstrations can turn violent. Keep an eye out for vehicles, projectiles and other potential safety concerns.
  • Attend a protest early and plan to leave before dark. Many recent protests and events have intensified and escalated after dark.
  • Do not leave an event with someone you do not know to a location you do not know.
  • Have an exit plan and implement it quickly if a shift occurs during an event or demonstration.

The civic engagement of college students is an important part of any election. Your voices matter and count in shaping a future of which we can be proud. If you have not done so already, we encourage you vote on Election Day.

If you have questions, please email [email protected]. Thank you for your continued help and efforts to ensure the health and safety of our community while lifting your voices for justice. Please continue to take care of yourself during these stressful times.

Paul Lombardo
Chief of Police
Susan Antonelli
Dean of Students

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