While this issue hits stands late afternoon on election day, we send it to print on Sunday evening, so at the time of writing this, I have no clue what the projections in our presidential election are, if there’s a declared winner or contested results. I hope, if you were eligible to vote, that you went out and cast your ballot. The only way for the American people to have elected representatives that truly represent them is to participate in the electoral process, so I hope you did just that.
I voted. I have an opinion on this election. But the way I voted and what I feel isn’t what I want to talk about either. What I want to say is this: no matter the outcome, whether your candidate wins or loses, you cannot and should not stop advocating for what you believe in. Participating in the electoral process is a very important step, but it is not the only action to seeing the change you want to see in the world. Each and every day we all have the opportunity to volunteer, to engage with our communities — the ones we were raised in and the one we occupy for college — and to make a positive contribution, to give back to the communities that have given us so much. Pushing for what you believe in does not start and end with a ballot once every two or four years. From what I’ve seen in my almost four years here is that the Jasper community is very community-oriented, and very engaged with the issues (big and small) that they care about. That passion that I see day-to-day in student-led events, in lectures, in vigils, in volunteer outings is what makes change. Don’t ever lose that MC.
The coming days and weeks are sure to be complicated. The news can and may become overwhelming. All I ask is that you take care of yourselves, engage in activities that make you feel good and calm, and then keep doing what you were already doing. The president is just one person doing one job, and whoever he will be for the next four years is who it will be. But when we, in our towns, boroughs and neighborhoods, work together, what we are capable of is awe-inspiring, is what defines community, is what matters most.