A Message from President Julio Frenk

October 19, 2020

As I have noted before, in most countries, students start their university education at exactly the same age at which they become active citizens, eligible to vote in elections, in some cases to hold public office, to serve in the armed forces, and to engage fully in their communities and the economy as adults. This is one of the reasons we at the U endeavor to prepare students both to succeed in rewarding careers and to be constructive and responsible citizens. We call it education for life, and it is one of our priorities.

In 2020, we find ourselves living through circumstances that underscore the importance of civic responsibility and duty to one another. As we considered whether to resume classes in person this fall, I argued that our students could be trusted to do the right thing. So far, you have proven me right—the vast majority of you have demonstrated the ability to make short-term sacrifices for long-term goals.

In less than three weeks, U.S. citizens will participate in one of the most consequential elections of their lifetimes. While the focus is often on the presidential election, key races at the federal, state, and local levels have a direct impact on our day-to-day lives. Whether you are voting locally here in Miami or casting an absentee ballot in your home state, this is a golden opportunity to exercise the sense of shared social responsibility we have all experienced through these unprecedented times.

Once again this year—despite the challenges of a pandemic—your fellow UM students have been at the forefront of the nonpartisan Get Out the Vote initiative, completing 1,000 Florida registration forms in time for the 2020 elections.

Here is your call to action:
  • Pledge to vote. UM is a partner campus with the All In Campus Democracy Challenge. Currently UM is No. 1 in the ACC and No. 3 nationally with Pledges to Vote in the All In Challenge. We’re less than 400 pledges away from leading the nation. Take the pledge here: https://allintovote.org/take-the-pledge/
  • Get informed on the issues and facts. Hundreds of you have attended debate watch parties and other events hosted by the Butler Center. You can learn more at www.miami.edu/vote and find more opportunities to engage, such as:
    • Thursday, Oct. 22, 9:00-10:30 p.m.: ’Canes Vote Debate Watch Party Series: Final Presidential Debate (Foote University Green)
    • Saturday, Oct. 24, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.: Observe Vote Early Day (take the shuttle)
    • Tuesday, Nov. 3, 7:00-11:00 p.m.: Election Night Watch Party (Intramural Fields)
    • Wednesday, Nov. 4, 6:00-7:00 p.m.: Post-Election Dialogue (Online)
  • Vote early. Early voting is starting in Miami-Dade and Broward counties today and runs through Nov. 1. Students can take a shuttle to vote from Stanford Circle every 30 minutes during the following dates/times:
    • Monday, Oct. 19, 12:00-6:00 p.m.
    • Saturday, Oct. 24, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
    • Friday, Oct. 30, 12:00-6:00 p.m.
    • Saturday, Oct. 31, 1:00-6:00 p.m.
    • Sunday, Nov. 1, 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
  • Vote on Nov. 3. Watsco Center is a polling site on campus for assigned voters.
At a time when we have needed each other most, you have earned the trust of your university community. This election season, stay engaged, stay informed, and make your voice count.
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