Even though the midterm election occurred several weeks ago, the results have still been trickling in as late as last week, as mail-in ballots have finally been counted. Political activism and participation are at historically high levels, and more new faces are getting into the political arena. There is excitement, turmoil, fear and hope, but above all, there is a pervasive and increasing belief that our participation matters, that we have a voice in political affairs, and that we can effect change.
As faculty and staff, we try to keep our personal political beliefs out of the classroom and allow students to form their own ideas; however, it is impossible to extricate politics from the community college. Prior to the election, we encouraged our students to register to vote. We participated actively in our unions to support candidates that we knew would promote equity for all students. Political activism is at home on our campus because we fervently believe in doing what is best for students and for public education.
In that sense, and with the importance of this midterm election at both the state and national level in the direction that government will take over the next few years, we can’t not get political. So that’s what we’re doing in this issue of Chaparral: we’re getting political.
Don’t worry. Reading this issue won’t be like arguing with family members at Thanksgiving or scrolling through the endless political rants on your Facebook newsfeed. Rather, in this issue, you will find thoughtful analysis of the propositions we voted on, inspiring words on the power of unions and what we can expect from our new State Superintendent, information on how to participate in our own governance on campus (and what to do if you can’t), fundraisers to raise money for student scholarships, and, because Thanksgiving has just passed, we’re also giving thanks to those who have helped make our college a thriving community.
And if reading about politics stresses you out, not to worry: we’ve also got tips for managing that stress in OUR Wellness!
Just because the election is over doesn’t mean our political participation ought to dwindle. Keep being engaged in your community. Keep contacting your representatives about issues that matter to you. Keep encouraging your students to be informed voters. And, above all, keep fighting for what’s right.