Many of us are thinking today about how to engage campus communities in moving forward after the election. Though we operate in distinct institutional contexts, we may be able to draw upon one another’s work.

National Campus Compact president Andrew Seligsohn released a video message on the importance of civic and community engagement in higher education in our new context:

“We are neutral in elections, but we’re not neutral about values and commitments. We have a thumb on the scale for democracy. We have a thumb on the scale for inclusion, and for social justice, and for building communities that reflect those values. [We’re for] equal voice, equal participation, equal opportunity to shape one’s own future, and the future of one’s community, and the country. And so, our work is more important than it’s ever been.”

For specific strategies, check out this list gathered by Nancy Thomas and Adam Gismondi from the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education at Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life. The list below features post-election activities from campuses around country. This is as an excerpt from their full blog post on the national Campus Compact site here.

November 9th and beyond: Ideas for healing

-“Day after Tomorrow” events
-“November 9 and Beyond” learning events “from election to inauguration,” a collaboration between faculty, staff, community partners
-A message jointly sent by the student government and administration about the need for “civility, dignity, and respect”
-A “civic conversation” to reengage people across differences
-A common reading, The True American by Anand Giridharadas will be used to prompt discussion after the election
-A “Citizen’s Academy” working with local government agencies and civic organizations
-A “Passion to Action: What Now?” event on the importance of staying involved with local politics and ways students can remain politically engaged after the 2016 election
-A “Post-Election Paper Project” – essentially a room stocked with tables, newsprint, and markers for students to write what they are thinking, with the only ground rule that students should counter any “bad speech” with more speech (hopefully good)

Additional resources:

Peter Levine, How to Respond flowchart
Parker J. Palmer, “The Politics of the Brokenhearted: On Holding the Tensions of Democracy
Election processing circle facilitation plan
A reflection question for professional staff and faculty to consider, adapted from Juxtaposition Arts: “What can we do to support people in redefining negative, restrictive narratives so they feel empowered by their own stories and connected to our common humanity?”
The Advocates for Human Rights: Resources on how to stand up to, report hate acts