Today's Update: Monday, October 26

October 26, 2020

Dear Student Life Team, There is an election coming up next week. I’m sure you know that, and I’m also sure you recognize that it is posing special challenges, and opportunities, for us as a Student Life team.   

The pundits would call this a “contentious” election. It means the stakes are high, and so are emotions. Civil discourse is not easy to find. We play an important role in helping our students navigate this environment. At the same time, we need to practice self-care, as well.  

Student Life’s Dr. Micky Sharma and Ohio State’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) talked a while ago about the need to support not only students, but staff, as well. As a result of those conversations, EAP is offering a series of sessions called, “Coping with Election Stress.” These are specifically for Student Life team members only, and not for students. They are time for us to discuss and process our own reactions to the election season. It is not a forum for political debate. 

The sessions are tomorrow, Wednesday, October 27, at noon and 4 p.m. There will be two additional sessions just after the election on Thursday, November 5, at noon and 4 p.m. 

Whichever session you attend, the ground rules are simple. It’s a safe place to share, and what is said there, stays there. Be respectful, mindfully listen and hear, and be open…even if someone shares something that doesn’t reflect your experience.  

We need to de-stress. A survey from the American Psychological Association finds 68% of Americans say this election is a significant source of stress, regardless of party.  

These sessions offer a space to process our emotions and prepare to deal with whatever happens on Election Night and in the weeks and months to follow. It’s a Scarlet and Great way to combat stress.  

Melissa