The debates are over, and the ballots are cast. The night gave way to razor thin races across the nation and as morning arrived, the victor of the presidential race remained unclear. In a year that will always be remembered for a pandemic, social distancing, and a social unrest, there is a lot riding on these races. We are weary and tired and crave change, which we hope to do with our vote.
Being back in The Globe newsroom for the first time since March drove home how much I miss my space and my colleagues. A loss that, in my opinion, is the result of the vast mismanaged response to COVID-19. It put into sharp focus how much the world has changed for millions of students across the country.
The Globe had reporters and photographers on the streets documenting the evening. They went into it, not knowing what to expect. Dueling protests from Black Lives Matter and Trump supporters broke out in front of the Salt Lake County Clerk’s Office and businesses in Salt Lake boarded up storefronts in anticipation of riots. Luckily, as of this afternoon, there have been no reports of widespread violence.
And now we wait. Many of us holding our breath in anticipation of the results and what those results will mean for our country.
I am encouraged by the fact that Salt Lake Community College had a steady stream of political engagement. Students from all backgrounds sent in letters discussing issues like climate change, racial equality, healthcare and education. These letters were presented without malice or a political agenda, but with hope and resolve.
It is easy to get overwhelmed in a landscape of partisanship and conflict. As I reflect on an election that is sure to make the history books, I look back on the exchanges I have had with students and The Globe staff and the work and relationships we have created and the conversations we have started — and hope is reignited.
As we wait anxiously for results to roll in, I hope we can take a collective breath and look at the community around us and take stock that most folks are good people that have overlapping ideals and worries. That we can continue to build those relationships and use our voices. We can take the next step.