A Message from the Dean: Supporting One Another During Election Season

Jump to: Upcoming Election-Related Events

Dear UW Law Community:

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our many discussions on how we can support one another during the election season.

Even though we may not share the same political viewpoints, the election season can create high anxiety for everyone during an already stressful time in our lives. If there is anything we can do to help you through this time, please do not hesitate to reach out:

  • Students, please contact Dean Anna Endter at aendter@uw.edu
  • Faculty, please contact Dean Liz Porter at egporter@uw.edu
  • Staff, please contact Sellyna Ehlers, director of Human Resources, Equity and Engagement, at ehlers59@uw.edu

Faculty, please keep in mind that students may face difficulties attending class, completing assignments or taking exams/quizzes on the day of the election and during the days immediately after the election. You may use your discretion to cancel classes on or around Election Day. If you do cancel class, please be sure to comply with ABA requirements regarding minutes of teaching time. Should you decide to hold class on Nov. 3, please do not penalize students for missing class.

If possible, avoid scheduling assignments, assessments or student presentations for Election Day and the period immediately after the election. Offer flexibility, establish and discuss with your students any late homework policies and any assessment or assignment make-up policies. If you have concerns about your students’ well-being, please contact Dean Endter.

Plan how you will engage your class the day of and the day after the election, knowing that not all students share the same political viewpoints. If you need support to ensure a safe environment for students, please contact Dean Bill Covington at covinw@uw.edu or Deans Endter or Porter.

Students, please communicate with your instructor if you feel like you need to turn in an assignment late or are unable to complete coursework. If you need additional support, please contact Dean Endter. If you would like help identifying strategies to support your academic success, please contact Dean Jessica West at jwest2@uw.edu.

The UW Counseling Center will offer free check-ins and election support with a licensed therapist Tuesday, Nov. 3, through Monday, Nov. 9. More information is available on their website. Deans Endter and Covington will hold open office hours next week as well. Stay tuned for details.

Managers, please consider difficulties your staff may face participating in meetings, completing assignments or making progress on projects and continue to be as flexible as possible. Staff, please talk to your managers if there is something they can do to support your work during election season and beyond. Please contact hrlaw@uw.edu if you need additional assistance.

Mindy Kornberg, UW vice president for Human Resources, recently sent an email with the following resources for managers and staff:

For managers:

  • Office Hours with POD: Election stress is real, and at this moment in time leaders are managing unprecedented levels of anxiety and distress among their teams. Join POD’s experienced consultants to ask questions, discuss organizational and interpersonal challenges, and get help with managing during this difficult time. The Nov. 2 session will focus on addressing anxiety and sharing best practices for preparing your team, and the Nov. 9 session will focus on moving your team forward and helping people become “unstuck.” Register for the Monday, Nov. 2 and/or the Monday, Nov. 9 session from 2–3 p.m.

For all employees:

Coming together as a community is as important during the election season as ever. Please consider joining an election-related event at UW Law or in your community.

Upcoming Election-Related Events

Open to All:



  • Staff Council Reading Hour
    Wednesday, Oct. 28
    3:30-4:30 p.m.

    The discussion will focus on voter fatigue, self-care, hope in the democratic process and change-makers in our communities.

Thank you for your ongoing support of our students and each other.


Mario L. Barnes
Toni Rembe Dean and Professor of Law
UW School of Law