Post-election discernment and civility: A message from university leaders

Dear Marquette community,

We feel such pride in our nation when we see how many people turned out to vote in Tuesday’s election—and how many of those were Marquette students and first-time voters.

We believe that a key part of the college experience is to become civically engaged and to discover the issues about which you are most passionate.

But we’d be remiss to not acknowledge that our country may seem more divided than ever these days. During this time of conflict and division, we ask the Marquette community to remember who we are at our core—women and men for and with others.

We found comfort in these wise words recently shared by Rev. James Voiss, S.J., vice president for mission and ministry:

“We find ourselves in challenging times. The issues facing our world are profound and complex—there are no simple answers. Choosing to take action on one issue may negatively impact another issue to which we are passionately committed. Deciding how to act in this interconnected world calls for discernment. It challenges each of us to listen deeply to the invitation of God’s Spirit as we seek to inform and to act in accord with the call of our personal conscience.”

Marquette University is rooted in a Catholic, Jesuit tradition of practicing a faith that does justice. Our mission and guiding values inspire us to “serve the greater glory of God” and to deeply value the fundamental dignity possessed by each person. All are welcome at Marquette, and we as a university remain wholly committed to supporting that inclusivity, including a diversity of political thought.

We urge you all not to avoid political conversations, but rather to engage in them with respect and empathy. Talk to one another with the intention of listening and understanding the other person’s perspective.

To help facilitate these meaningful conversations, Student Affairs has provided a list of civic engagement resources on its website. Additionally, the Office of Mission and Ministry compiled various resources for civic engagement through the lens of Ignatian spirituality. We encourage you to explore these pages to help frame and ground future discussions.

As the outcome of the election is still unknown, and anxiety—especially during a pandemic—is understandable, we want to remind you that the university has a number of support resources available. We have outlined a few below that we think are particularly relevant and useful during this time. This also includes some key reminders for respectful civic engagement:

  • Campus Ministry programs
    Campus Ministry has various offerings for students, which include weekly Mass, small group discussions, service and volunteer programs, and retreats. Learn more at edu/campus-ministry.
  • Counseling Center services
    The Counseling Center is offering support virtually this semester due to the pandemic. Services include tele behavioral health appointments, group workshops, after hours mental health emergency support and more. The university also recently partnered with SilverCloud, an online platform offering self-guided programs for anxiety, depression, stress and resilience, and the tool is free to all students. Visit the center’s website or call (414) 288-7172 to learn more.
  • Marquette Forum / conversations on racial injustice
    The Marquette Forum provides a variety of educational opportunities around racial injustice. This year’s theme is “Acknowledging and Healing the Wounds of Racial Injustice” and there will be related programming in the coming months—please attend as many of these events as you can.
  • Resources for the LGBTQ+ community
    Visit the LGBTQ+ Resource Center’s website for news and programming updates or contact them to get involved. Marquette also has a Center for Gender and Sexualities Studies, which supports the scholarly work and the lived experiences of all genders and sexualities.
  • Bias Incident Reports
    Any member of this community who feels marginalized or is the victim of a hateful act, or any individual who witnesses such an act, should report the incident or incidents using our bias incident reporting system.

Lastly, we invite the entire Marquette community to gather tonight for a Post-election Examen Prayer in the St. Joan of Arc garden. Registration is required due to COVID-19 protocols; learn more and sign up here.

At the end of the day, please remember our vow to be women and men for and with others—and remember that we are all Marquette.


Dr. Kimo Ah Yun
 Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Xavier Cole
 Vice President for Student Affairs

Dr. Stephanie Quade
 Dean of Students

Dr. William Welburn
 Vice President for Inclusive Excellence