Voting: Foundation of Democracy

On Monday, October 29, Elms College’s Campus Ministry, Social Work Department, and Office of Student Engagement and Leadership held an educational forum on this year’s midterm election ballot questions.

On Thursday, October 18, the School of Nursing in collaboration with BayState Hospital invited the Western Massachusetts community to participate in a forum on one specific ballot question.

The faculty, staff, and trustees of Elms College believe that on local as well as national levels, elections are important. A “healthy, informative, and nonpartisan conversation,” as one of the flyers promoting the October 29 forum says, illuminates facts and promotes knowledge. Democracy depends on well-informed citizens making choices that affect us all.

We have been hearing for a while now that this 2018 midterm election is one of the most consequential exercises of our democracy that Americans will face in our lifetime. If such statements had not been enough to awaken our senses, the tragic event in Pittsburgh, in which a hate-filled individual gunned down 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue while making anti-Semitic statements, has contributed to reinforce for many a new reality: Our democracy cannot be taken for granted.

I grew up in a dictatorship. What I saw for the first 18 years of my life in Haiti was a system in which the will of the people was subjugated to the desire of the ruling family to remain in power. I was back in Haiti just a week ago, witnessing the neverending struggles of the Haitian people to overcome the consequences of such a predatory system.
Elections matter. Our democracy cannot be taken for granted.

In this midterm election, my message to the roughly 15,000 members of the Elms College family (alumni, students, faculty, staff, trustees, and friends) is simple: Vote.

Harry E. Dumay, Ph.D., MBA
President of Elms College
Friday, November 2, 2018