As a nonpartisan institution, UConn takes seriously its responsibility to serve as a welcoming and respectful forum for discussion and debate, both on its physical campuses and in its extended community online. The University does not endorse or oppose particular candidates or political parties, nor does it take an institutional stance on contents of campaign platforms. As students, you are welcome to express your opinion and engage in free speech. You are welcome and encouraged to utilize your voice and actions to safely represent and support your interests and ideas. Campus media, including op-eds in the Daily Campus, hosting events, painting the Rock and watch parties are all examples of expression. You are reminded, however, to consider the impact of your words and actions and their relevance to the values articulated in the UConn Promise. Students who need to report an incident to the university are encouraged to utilize inform.uconn.edu.
Important Information for Students: Voting in Connecticut
To the UConn Community:
We write to you today with some important information about voting in the upcoming election on Nov. 3.
We sincerely hope that every eligible member of our community – and every American – takes the time to exercise their right to cast a ballot for the candidates of their choice.
Typically, some members of our student population have not yet registered to vote and would like to do so as the election approaches. Given this, each year around election time there are numerous questions about how to register and cast a ballot in Connecticut, especially for students who live on the Storrs campus or in the Town of Mansfield.
If you are a resident of the state of Connecticut and are eligible to vote, and have not already registered in your hometown, you have until Oct. 27 to register to vote in our state. Here is a link to a website that describes how and provides other useful information.
However, with the pandemic, this is no ordinary year. In light of COVID-19, the state of Connecticut is allowing all registered voters to cast an absentee ballot in the upcoming election if they wish to, rather than voting in person. We urge all UConn students who are Connecticut residents, especially those who live on the Storrs campus or in the Town of Mansfield, to take advantage of this option.
It will do three things:
- Many UConn students have in the past taken advantage of the state’s same-day registration program.However, given the size of our population relative to town staff in Mansfield specifically, this can also cause delays for our students, town staff, and other voters because of the time it takes to register hundreds or thousands of UConn students on a single day. Registering to vote now and casting an absentee ballot means you don’t have to worry about same-day registration or voting in person on Election Day. The deadline to request an absentee ballot in person is Nov. 2, and the ballot must be received by town clerks by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3.
Mansfield’s same-day registration site will be in the Town Hall at 4 South Eagleville Road, in the Council Chambers room. Students must bring identification and proof of residency to register and vote there.
- Many voters of any age or state of health might be uncomfortable going to an in-person polling place, even with masks and social distancing. Voting absentee in Connecticut means you can vote without placing yourself in a situation that might make you uncomfortable.
- At any given time, we have students in medical quarantine and/or who are in isolation because they have the COVID-19 virus or have had close contact with someone who tested positive. A student who is perfectly fine in late October might find themselves in isolation by Election Day, meaning they cannot go into public to cast their ballot and would miss their chance to vote. While we have a very low prevalence of the virus on our campuses at the moment, none of us can predict the future, even a few weeks away. Registering now and voting by absentee ballot will mean you don’t have to worry about being unable to vote when the time comes.
Absentee ballots and applications can be mailed at the Storrs Post Office located at 9 Charles Smith Way in Storrs.
For students registered to vote in Mansfield, an official ballot drop box is located outside the Mansfield Town Hall just off the Storrs campus at 4 South Eagleville Road, on the corner of Route 195 and South Eagleville. The box is by the back door nearest the parking lot.
If you are registered to vote in Connecticut and intend to vote in person but aren’t sure where your polling place is, visit this site.
If you are an out-of-state student seeking to register to vote, you can visit this site for details specific to your state.
Tom Katsouleas, President
Carl Lejuez, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Michael Gilbert, Vice President for Student Affairs
Election Resources, Reminders, and Dialogue
Dear UConn Faculty, Staff, and Students:
Election Day is approaching next week, Tuesday, Nov. 3. As this date approaches, we want to reaffirm our values as a public institution.
Universities provide immense public service when they marshal their academic and research capabilities to illuminate and evaluate society’s pivotal moments. Presidential elections are exactly such times. They can provide an opportunity to learn and grow as an academic community through conversation and frank but respectful exploration of others’ viewpoints. They can also elicit strong emotions as we each consider the consequential decisions that come with our votes.
UConn does not endorse or oppose particular candidates or political parties, nor does it take an institutional stance on contents of campaign platforms. At the same time, we consider it part of our responsibility as a public institution to facilitate civic engagement, thoughtful dialogue, and inclusive participation in our community and society at large.
We encourage you to engage with our voting information resource online, https://kindness.studentaffairs.uconn.edu/voting-information/, where you will find information on how to cast your vote as well as upcoming events and conversations regarding this year’s election.
One of the series you will find at this site is called “Now What?”, hosted by the Humanities Institute and featuring several small dialogues hosted by faculty and staff about working past the election and seeing through to the future. You will also find a series of programs hosted by UConn’s cultural centers designed to serve as virtual healing spaces. Both of these series speak to UConn’s role as a facilitator of reflection and conversation regarding this pivotal moment in our society. They also exemplify the diversity of constituencies represented among our students, faculty, and staff.
As an institution that values diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), we will never accept or condone acts of bias, bigotry and other forms of discrimination, which political tensions can inflame. Those behaviors have no place at UConn and we will take actions to protect the well-being of our community, such as continuing our DEI training amid threats to cut federal funding for doing so, or our advocacy this summer against restrictions for international students.
UConn students, faculty and staff, and alumni have been bold and dynamic participants through the years as Americans have grappled with cultural, regional and economic divisions, and ways in which to find common ground and move forward toward the next century. We hope these resources provide valuable support and guidance at this very important and impactful time in our nation’s history.
Tom and Carl
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs