Dear Carolina Community,
This has been a highly charged time for our country, with a contentious national election during a global pandemic that has an impact on multiple facets of our daily lives, both large and small. This election will profoundly affect the lives of the American people, and many in our community feel anxious about the potential outcomes.
In addition, this year has challenged us in ways previously unimaginable and has tested our resolve. Over the past weeks, I have heard from many of you – our students, faculty, staff and community members – about the cumulative strain and stress that has built up in our lives. This uncertain outcome only intensifies that stress, and the burden we face in tending to our own stress while providing care and emotional support to family, friends and colleagues can be exhausting.
At times like these, I encourage you to be there for one another and to give yourself an opportunity to process those feelings. Remember to take breaks throughout the day. Reach out to friends and know that you are not alone. We are a community that is here to support one another, even when we are learning and working remotely.
With record voter turnout here in North Carolina and around the country, we know that a great number of you participated in the political process and exercised your right to vote, some for the first time. Thank you for taking part in one of America’s most precious rights. While we now await final decisions, know that your voice matters. We encourage you to continue to actively participate in our democracy and engage in rigorous public discourse about how we can better our campus, state and nation.
When you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed, help is available. Visit the Healthy Heels blog for tips and tools for coping through the continuum of your daily stress. In addition, students can contact the Office of the Dean of Students, Counseling and Psychological Services, or Student Wellness, while the Employee Assistance Program is available for faculty and staff. Wellness resources to support employee physical and mental well-being are also available on the “Work Life” section of the benefits page.
There are many opportunities to continue the conversation in the coming weeks, so visit Election Carolina to find campus events and discussion opportunities related to the election.
Yes, the year 2020 has tested our resolve, but I believe in you, Tar Heels. Your resilience as individuals and our collective strength as a community are encouraging. Your commitment to caring for one another is apparent in your learning, teaching, research and service each and every day. Your determination in the face of so many challenges is inspiring.
Kevin M. Guskiewicz