Read about HCC's COVID-19 policies here.

About HCC

From President Royal

Messages from President Royal to the HCC community are posted here throughout the year.


Dear HCC Community:

As the number of new COVID-19 cases in the Commonwealth continues to be low, and with updated guidelines from the CDC and DPH regarding masks, Holyoke Community College will transition to a mask-optional environment effective the end of the academic semester: May 20, 2022. This transition is in alignment with similar decisions being made at all Massachusetts community colleges this spring, as communicated to you on March 9. 

For many of you, this news may come as a relief. For others, you may still not feel safe without your mask. Both are understandable. I ask that as a community, we practice our values of kindness, inclusion, and trust. I ask that we make those who continue to mask feel comfortable, respected, and welcome as part of our community. The health and safety of our community remains of utmost importance, and if future conditions warrant changes in our direction, we will be flexible. We will continue to follow the guidance of the medical community as it relates to the pandemic, remaining attentive to the unique needs of communities we serve.

I appreciate having the opportunity to engage in conversation with many of you on this topic during recent Town Halls and in other forums. Like every decision, there are a variety of perspectives. I share this news now in order for our community to have maximum time for transition. 

Sincerely,
Christina

--

Christina Royal
President
Holyoke Community College

Dear HCC Community,

As we approach the National Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31, the HCC community stands in unity with our transgender and gender-expansive students, faculty, and staff members. Several states have recently tried to pass directives and legislation that target transgender people and their families, attempting to dismantle rights such as the right to gender-affirming medical care. We recognize that these actions have profound affects on the transgender community nationwide, including members of our HCC community.  

In line with our values as an educational institution, HCC aspires to be a trans-affirming campus and we remain committed to actions as well as words of support. We vow to always uphold our commitment to the freedom and autonomy of transgender and gender-expansive individuals and families. In the coming days and weeks, let us look to one another for kindness, inclusion, and support, especially for those who are experiencing disruption in their lives. I invite you to join me on Monday, March 28, 2022 at 12:30 p.m. in Frost Circle for the raising of the transgender flag honoring National Transgender Day of Visibility at HCC. 

For those in need of support or seeking community, HCC encourages you to connect with the following resources:

  • For our students, please click here to connect with support services provided through our partnership with CHD. Also, please continue to utilize these critical resources.
  • For our employees, AllOne Health, Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to you and can be accessed by clicking here and selecting the Benefits drop-down.
  • Check the Week at a Glance emails for more information on events.
  • Affirmative Action Officer and Title IX Coordinator – If you feel you've been discriminated against please contact Olivia Kynard via email at okynard@hcc.edu.
  • For our transgender and gender-expansive HCC community members, the Rainbow Forward student club is a place for our LGBTQ+ members to find community at HCC. Check the Week at a Glance emails for more information. Click here to register for a club meeting.
  • For information and resources on transgender and gender expansive inclusion, please view the comprehensive site created by the Smith College School of Social Work.

Sincerely,
Christina

--

Christina Royal
President
Holyoke Community College

Dear HCC Community,

Two years ago, HCC made an announcement that still seems stunning when reflecting on it now: We were shifting to remote teaching and learning. Classes, meetings, and the college's operations completely changed in what seemed like an instant in order to keep our community safe. Our return from spring recess was anything but ordinary.

Almost immediately, the word "unprecedented" became cliché. Around the world and in the U.S., unfathomable losses – of health, of lives, of jobs, of security, of in-person connections – mounted at a heartbreaking pace.

Front-line workers and medical personnel, including many of our own students, risked their own lives for others. Parents and caregivers struggled with how to make it all work with little support. The burdens of illness, job loss, and death were unevenly spread, with Indigenous, immigrant, and communities of color experiencing an outsized share of the loss. For many of us, familiar ways of comforting and seeking comfort – and celebrating milestones and successes – were closed off when we needed them most. Though our experiences over this time have been personal and varied, we have all had times when we have felt depleted, confused, and afraid.

As we acknowledge and reflect on these last two years and as we prepare for the future, I hope we can also shine a light on the creativity, innovation, dedication, solidarity, and grit our community displayed in the face of the worst pandemic in more than a century. Our students quickly adjusted to learning in new and often more challenging ways. Students supported one another. Faculty retooled their courses in record time, and then worked to improve in each semester that followed. Faculty and staff went out of their way to care for individual students when they struggled. Staff reimagined and redesigned our systems, policies, and activities to enhance student experiences both on campus and off. Alumni and donors reached out to help students. Together, we contributed thousands of dollars to respond to students' emergency financial needs. We launched new initiatives and made impressive progress to advance many of the priorities set forth in our strategic plan. And, in the midst of all this, our community engaged in the struggle for racial justice.

None of this was easy. None of this happened without personal sacrifices. But we should all take a moment to reflect and recognize our own and one another's accomplishments over the past two years. As a leadership group, we extend our gratitude for all your efforts and feel great pride as a result of all we have accomplished together. HCC has become a stronger, more resilient, compassionate institution because of you.

It is springtime at HCC, which is always filled with such hope and excitement. At our in-person Commencement this June, we will celebrate the accomplishments of students who overcame extraordinary obstacles to achieve this milestone – students who were encouraged and inspired by you. Here we are, two years following that stunning shift, with so much to look forward to. Let us continue to grow from the struggles endured, celebrate what we have achieved, and be strengthened by our commitment to one another.

Sincerely,

Christina Royal, Ph.D., President
Jeffrey Hayden, Vice President of Business & Community Services
Sharale Mathis, Ed.D., Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs
Narayan Sampath, Vice President of Administration & Finance
Amanda Sbriscia, Vice President of Institutional Advancement

Dear HCC Community:

It is with great enthusiasm that I announce our 2022 Commencement ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 4, at 10 a.m. at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. Additional information regarding safety measures, and all other event details, will be made available on this page once confirmed.

For the first time since 2019, we are able to celebrate this important moment for our students in person. The ceremony will include all of the pomp and circumstance and unique HCC energy we have always looked forward to with our in-person Commencement. We will celebrate the Elaine Marieb Faculty Chair for Teaching Excellence and enjoy captivating student performances. Most of all, on June 4, we will deliver a day our students truly deserve and have worked so hard for.

We will also have the enormous pleasure of recognizing the Classes of 2020 and 2021 on Saturday, June 4 at the MassMutual Center. We continue to plan these details, and graduates from these two classes will receive separate communications regarding this opportunity.

In addition to Commencement, we will host "cap and gown pickup" celebration events on our campus in May. This is the perfect time for our community to come together and show our students how proud we are of their achievements. More details will be forthcoming. I want to express my thanks to the College Affairs Committee for their leadership in planning this year's Commencement, which takes on even greater meaning as we also celebrate the college's 75th anniversary. Like each of you, I look forward to this opportunity to celebrate our students' success.

Sincerely,

Christina Royal
President
Holyoke Community College

Dear HCC Community,

I am writing to inform you that the 15 community colleges across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have made the decision to transition to mask-optional environments at our respective institutions. I appreciate the feedback and perspectives that have been shared on this topic in our town hall meetings, return to campus committee meetings, student senate, and other venues. There will be meetings with the unions in the upcoming weeks, as we finalize a specific date for this transition.

Please read the attached communication. Since next week is spring break, details about a specific effective date will be communicated no later than April 1. As with most decisions made throughout this pandemic, there are a multitude of viewpoints on this topic and I want to thank you for your understanding as we continue to adjust to a changing environment.

Be well,

Christina

--

Christina Royal
President
Holyoke Community College

Dear HCC Community,

Today, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we recognize a pioneer of the civil rights movement, a titan of racial equality, and an American hero. May Dr. King's unwavering commitment to racial justice serve as an inspiration to us all.

To our faculty and staff, as we prepare for the start of a new semester, during our 75th anniversary, I want to thank you for furthering Dr. King's vision of a fair and just society by inspiring our students in and outside the classroom, and by increasing their success through a holistic approach to addressing academic and life challenges. Together, we are building upon the ambitious promise of what a community college can be. 

To our students, thank you for your dedication and passion in pursuit of your goals, which is an inspiration to us all. Today, in Dr. King's honor, reflect on what matters to you. Then find a way to propel forward those things you have decided to be worth your effort.

As Dr. King said, "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." Thank you all for doing your part each and every day to help bend HCC in a more just direction. 

Wishing everyone a great semester.

Christina

--

Christina Royal
President
Holyoke Community College

Dear HCC Community,

November 11 is Veterans Day, a day on which we thank our veterans and active-duty service members for protecting the freedoms we so deeply cherish.

From our college's earliest days following World War II, we have been an institution that firmly believes everyone deserves the opportunity to receive an affordable and quality education. I am proud and humbled that, throughout our 75-year history, HCC has remained committed to ensuring that our military students get the support they need to reach their educational, personal, and professional goals.

This year, Holyoke Community College and Westfield State University have joined together to celebrate our veterans, and to provide an opportunity to learn what it means to be in the military, to be a veteran, and how veterans make a difference on the frontlines. Click here to learn more about the event taking place on Wednesday, November 10 and to register.

Please take a moment this Veterans Day to reflect and extend appreciation. To remember the sacrifices, the service, the dedication of those who serve, and those who love and support them. 

Sincerely,
Christina

--

Christina Royal
President
Holyoke Community College

Dear HCC Community,

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. Twenty years ago, HCC students, faculty and staff were alerted to the tragic events unfolding in New York City (NYC) and later in Washington, D.C., and watched as terror and violence changed the course of history. I was living in New York at the time, about an hour north of NYC, and recall when my phone started ringing incessantly. We watched the TV footage in horror and disbelief as it looped over and over; two planes crashing into the World Trade Center, another into the Pentagon, and another in a field in Pennsylvania. After checking on family and friends living in NYC, I struggled to process the attack on our nation as well as a city transformed by the Twin Towers, two iconic representations of the financial district, now reduced to smoking debris and rubble. 

Our world changed dramatically in that moment, and the events of the day, as well as the cascade of actions and reactions that followed, continue to reverberate in the U.S. and abroad. Over the years, HCC has gathered to both reflect on the events of September 11 and to nurture the practice of kindness and compassion in our community. Kindness matters – it is one of HCC's core values, and I believe it is fundamental to building the world we want for ourselves and our friends, families and colleagues. 

During this week of reflection, we invite all members of our community to join us for any or all of the following events coordinated by Student Engagement: 

  • Month of September: Contributions of change will be collected for 911day.org in boxes located in the Campus Center dining services area. 
  • September 7–17, Student Engagement (CC 227), M–F, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Visit our Memorial Table with photos, memories, ribbons, and candles and participate in our Kindness Rocks project. Paint a rock with a positive saying and place it around campus, and pledge to perform an act of kindness in September. 
  • October 1 at 12 noon, CC 227: Lourdes Lebron (HCC alumna) will talk about her 20 years of service to 9/11 memorials in honor of her sister at a reception to thank those who contributed change to 911day.org during the month of September.

As our year gets underway, may we all strive to better understand and connect with those around us. Thank you for all you do to strengthen our HCC community.

Sincerely,

Christina

--

Christina Royal
President
Holyoke Community College

June 15, 2021

On June 19, 1865, the Emancipation Proclamation was put into effect when enslaved African-Americans in Galveston, Texas, were told that the Civil War had ended, and that they were free. 

More than one hundred and fifty years later, June 19 – "Juneteenth" – is observed across the country as a joyful holiday that celebrates freedom. 

The Emancipation Proclamation did not erase the centuries of violence and subjugation upon which our country was built. Nor did it bridle the cultivation and insidious growth of systemic racism at every level of our nation's policies, which to this day prevent the United States from being a place of true freedom for all. There is, doubtless, work still to be done. 

Today, Juneteenth is reserved as a day to celebrate and honor Black freedom, Black excellence, and Black joy. Across the country, parades will be held on city streets, picnics will take place in family backyards, and descendants of those who were told they were free on June 19, 1865 will make the pilgrimage to Galveston to honor their ancestors. 

If you're looking for a way to celebrate Juneteenth this weekend, please explore joining us in the following:

It is crucial that while doing the ongoing work of naming and dismantling systemic racism, we allow ourselves pauses to rest, to practice self care, and to celebrate. For those who may want to learn more about Juneteenth, explore resources.

Christina Royal
President, Holyoke Community College

April 1, 2021

Dear HCC students, faculty and staff,

As we are busy making plans for our return to campus in the fall, my thoughts are not just on how to keep our community safe from illness, but how to create a safe and respectful environment where racism, xenophobia, and other forms of hate and ignorance are not tolerated.

The past year has seen a marked uptick in physical and verbal attacks against Asians and Asian Americans, fueled by anti-Asian rhetoric related to the pandemic. Stop AAPI Hate, a nonprofit which tracks hate crimes and discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, reported 3,795 anti-Asian hate crimes in the past year. 

The recent murder of eight people in Atlanta-six of whom were Asian-was not an isolated incident, but part of a history that stretches back centuries. The murders in Atlanta also illuminate the way in which racial and gendered violence intersect. When we think about the political, economic and social forces also at play, we deepen our understanding and become more effective in dismantling structural and institutional inequality.

Our community has engaged in meaningful dialogue and education around racism in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, and that work must continue. While acknowledging that racism is not experienced in the same way by all communities, it is important that we recognize the connections between the violence aimed at Black, Latinx, Asian American, Indigenous, and other people. 

To our Asian and Asian American students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members: We are here for you, we stand with you, and we will not tolerate hate at HCC.

Below are some links to news and first-person stories, opinion pieces, and mental health resources to help with the understanding of racism, anti-Asian violence and xenophobia. Repairing deep divisions will require ongoing connection, learning, and discovery. Let us join together in advancing our values and unite as a community of reason and justice.

Christina

Learn More

Stop AAPI Hate
Racial Equity Tools
Working In Solidarity to Address Anti-Asian Violence & Xenophobia
Anti-Asian Violence Resources
How Anti-Asian Activity Online Set the Stage for Real-World Violence
Asian American Stories in the Time of Coronavirus
Surviving Racism Amidst COVID-19

March 8, 2021

Dear HCC Community,

Today is International Women's Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women – and a day that reminds us that all over the world, women's fight for equality continues.  

On this day, we are reminded that while progress has been made, there is more to be done. For our world to be its best, gender equality is a must. Women's participation in society is still not equal. And women and girls are still far more likely to be victims of violence. Women shoulder a disproportionate amount of childcare, a situation that has worsened during the pandemic. Despite many gains, women are still underpaid, and underrepresented in positions of power in business and political sectors. At the intersection of racism and sexism, women of color face even greater bias and barriers.  

As HCC's first female president, I am both proud of the progress my appointment signals and sobered by the awareness that just 30% of college presidents are women. We must all thoughtfully challenge the status quo. Fight stereotypes. Unite in our efforts. Put inclusivity and diversity first.

The International Women's Day 2021 campaign theme #ChooseToChallenge urges people around the world to challenge gender bias and inequality. Today, I encourage our community to challenge inequity and celebrate women's achievements. Let's use our collective power to create a world where dignity, justice, and equality for all is a reality.

In this spirit, I invite you to celebrate with us by learning more about four women from the HCC community who inspire us: 

  1. Diamond Smith, 22-year old liberal arts major from Easthampton, Mass.
  2. Nicole Ortiz '20, owner of Crave Food Truck
  3. Samary Ramos, whose near-death experience inspired her to return to school and pursue a career in art education
  4. Elizabeth Busker, single mom and Marine Corps veteran who says, "Quitting is not an option."

Sincerely,
Christina

February 25, 2021

Dear HCC Class of 2021:

For each of you, the experience of Commencement represents the culmination of years of work and significant academic achievement. It is a time to recognize the individual and collective accomplishments of our students, and it is your moment to shine – to share the joy and excitement you feel with family and friends. So much of our daily lives has been impacted by the pandemic; activities and events large and small have had to be reconceived in order to keep our community safe and healthy.

Yet, that does not change the fact that you deserve to be celebrated in a truly spectacular way. 

On Saturday, June 5, 2021, Holyoke Community College will host your virtual Commencement. This live-stream event will be accessible through our website and social media channels and will include traditional Commencement moments, special elements based specifically on your feedback, and other surprises. Members of our Board of Trustees, Alumni Council, faculty, and staff will join your family and friends to witness your moment. In the coming weeks, we will be providing you with many ideas on how you can participate and how to make your day special.

On February 5, 2021, I invited you to share your input in order to help us plan Commencement 2021. Your survey responses told me that, while certainly disappointed at the thought of not being able to gather as we typically would, you understand the circumstances we are facing. You also told me what was most important to you about a Commencement ceremony: photos in your gap and gown, receiving your diploma from the President, cheers and applause from family and friends.

In addition to the virtual Commencement planned for June 5, 2021, we will offer opportunities for you and your family to come to campus this spring for pickup of caps, gowns, celebratory lawn signs and gift boxes, as well as professional cap and gown photos. Please check your HCC email and visit hcc.edu/commencement regularly for updates. 

Although we would love to be together in person, a virtual event will ensure that you, your loved ones, and our entire HCC community will be able to safely enjoy this momentous occasion. I applaud you for your continued strength and resilience, and I look forward to seeing you virtually in June. 

Sincerely,
Christina

February 25, 2021

Dear HCC Class of 2020:

For each of you, the experience of Commencement represents the culmination of years of work and significant academic achievement. It is a time to recognize the individual and collective accomplishments of our students, and it is your moment to shine – to share the joy and excitement you feel with family and friends. So much of our daily lives has been impacted by the pandemic; activities and events large and small have had to be reconceived in order to keep our community safe and healthy.

Yet, that does not change the fact that you deserve to be celebrated in a truly spectacular way. 

No matter where life has taken you since completing your studies at HCC, your perseverance toward graduation in these unprecedented times still deserves to be celebrated. 

On Saturday, June 5, 2021, Holyoke Community College will host your virtual Commencement. This live-stream event will be accessible through our website and social media channels and will include traditional Commencement moments, special elements based specifically on your feedback, and other surprises. Members of our Board of Trustees, Alumni Council, faculty, and staff will join your family and friends to witness your moment. In the coming weeks, we will be providing you with many ideas on how you can participate and how to make your day special.

Last spring, your feedback helped inform the college's decision not to deliver your Commencement virtually; but rather, to wait until 2021 so that we could celebrate with you in person. Yet, as we know, the pandemic remains a threat to the health of our community, and we simply cannot be certain of our ability to safely gather in large crowds in little more than three months from now. On February 5, 2021, I invited you to share your input once more in order to help us plan Commencement 2021. Your survey responses told me that, while certainly disappointed at the thought of not being able to gather as we typically would, you understand the circumstances we are facing. You also told me what was most important to you about a Commencement ceremony: photos in your gap and gown, receiving your diploma from the President, cheers and applause from family and friends.

In addition to the virtual Commencement planned for June 5, 2021, we will offer opportunities for you to come to campus this spring for cap and gown photos. Please check your HCC email and visit hcc.edu/commencement regularly for updates. 
Although we all would love to be together in person, a virtual event will ensure that you, your loved ones, and our entire HCC community will be able to safely enjoy this momentous occasion. I applaud you for your continued strength and resilience, and I look forward to seeing you virtually in June. 

Sincerely,
Christina

January 18, 2021

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

The words of Martin Luther King, Jr. have been much on my mind lately, as I watch our national divisions spilling onto the Capitol floors, lighting up our televisions and filling our social media feeds. The rage and fear of America's citizens is palpable.

Our nation is at a crossroads. America has delayed an honest reckoning with racism for far too long. Dr. King wrote, "The American people are infected with racism-that is the peril. Paradoxically, they are also infected with democratic ideals-that is the hope. While doing wrong, they have the potential to do right. But they do not have a millennium to make changes."

If we are to fulfill our promise as a nation and a people, it is time to make right the wrongs. We must put an end to systemic racism. We must fight for the right of every person to be treated with dignity and respect. We must explore the intersectionality of race and ethnicity with social class, ability, education, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, and other important spectrums of inequality.

Today, on the birthday of Dr. King, I urge every member of the HCC community to ask yourself what you can do to end racism and bring justice, equity and peace to the United States. Then do it, whatever it is. Read works from a variety of authors. Support candidates who stand for what you believe in. Work with others to make change in your community. Speak up and make your voice heard. 

I know how discouraging it can be to confront hatred and bigotry, but you are not alone. We are in this together, and together we can fulfill the vision of Dr. King and all those who have struggled to bring about a truly just world. There is nothing more important, and it has never been more urgent. 

While we take this day to reflect on Dr. King's life, I leave you with more of his own words: "Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love."

With hope,
Christina

--

Christina Royal
President
Holyoke Community College

January 7, 2021

Dear HCC Community,

Like many of you, I watched in horror yesterday as our federal government was attacked. It was a frightening scene and one I never imagined we would see in the United States. I believed that the tradition of a peaceful transfer of power was a reliable feature of our democracy. The images of armed domestic terrorists storming the Capitol, threatening our elected officials as Senators and Representatives attempted to certify the election results, were both chilling and shameful. 

It is also impossible to avoid comparison with how this group of rioters and insurrectionists was treated in comparison with those who peacefully protested following the murder of George Floyd as well as other Black Lives Matter protesters. It is a potent reminder of how much work we have to do to dismantle racism in our nation.

People of conscience must not stay silent when the very fabric of our society is being unraveled. When something is wrong, we need to say so. What happened yesterday was wrong; it is inconsistent with our national values, and it is a threat to our freedom. 

In an academic year that has brought us so much fear, loss, and grief, our hearts are broken particularly with the polarization and divisiveness being felt in our nation. 

As a college, we strengthen the nation by strengthening our institution, doing our work, individually and collectively, to create an environment that demonstrates how a community of people with diverse perspectives can work collaboratively toward shared goals and support shared values.

I hope you all are safe. I hope that our country will see a transfer of power to a new President and Vice President without further violence. I hope that you can find peace. And I am grateful to each one of you, who do so much to support one another through difficult challenges, and who live HCC's values every day.

Sincerely,

Christina

--

Christina Royal
President
Holyoke Community College

Dec. 17, 2020

Dear Students,

On this snowy day at the end of the fall semester, I have no doubt that you are feeling a mixture of emotions: pride in all you have accomplished, exhaustion from all you have been juggling, and everything in between. Remember to take care of yourself, now and always. It sounds simple, but now more than ever, it is so important. 

Because you are a student at HCC, you have access to FREE counseling with a licensed therapist by calling 866.640.4777 or going online at WellConnect using the School Code HCC-STU. Need help now? Text "START" to 741-741 to reach the crisis text line. 

Stay connected! Check in with your classmates via text/DM, or email. For tips on how to start the conversation, go to https://seizetheawkward.org/. If you need any help navigating HCC, please reach out to your advisor or the Advising Center.

Even though the holiday season may feel different this year, it is still a time for joy. On behalf of the entire HCC community, I wish you many joyful moments in the days and weeks ahead.

This video comes with our heartfelt wishes for a happy, healthy, and joyous new year.

Stay safe and be well,

Christina

--

Christina Royal
President
Holyoke Community College

Nov. 24, 2020

Dear HCC Community:

It is hard to believe that it's almost Thanksgiving and nearing the end of the fall semester. I know that for many, this will be a very different holiday. However, the spirit of gratitude seems more present to me than ever before. Throughout this strange and unpredictable year, our faculty and staff found new ways of supporting one another, staying in touch, and delivering an exceptional education – all while facing the risks and uncertainty brought on by the spread of COVID-19. I know that our faculty and staff will ensure that our students finish strong, and I'm so grateful for the care and concern you show for our students. Every single one of you understands the value of a community college education and the unique ways HCC makes a difference for our students, and ultimately, our region. 

Students, you are our heroes and our inspiration. I know that you are tired and that this pandemic has tested you. Yet your resilience has helped get us all to this point. At every turn, you adapted to a situation that was uncertain and constantly changing. You supported one another in beautiful ways. You spoke out on key issues, leading the college forward as we deepened our commitment to racial justice. This was not the semester you signed on for. Yet, you made it special and deeply fulfilling.

This pandemic has tested all of us, and continues to do so as we prepare for another semester of remote teaching, learning, and student support. So, please take time to rest and reenergize in the coming days – you deserve it. And while this pandemic is not over, I am so thankful for the ways in which our community has adapted to support our students and one another. 

Wishing you a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

With sincere gratitude,

Christina

--

Christina Royal
President
Holyoke Community College

Dear HCC Community,

As I am sure you know, tomorrow, November 3, is Election Day in the United States. In the 232 years since we elected the first U.S. President in 1788, we have held 58 elections, through a Civil War, two World Wars, and many other crises. All of these elections are examples of a core principle of democracy: the peaceful transfer of power.

We do not know what this year's Presidential election will hold for us. We may not even have the answer to "who won?" until days or weeks after Election Day. What we do know, however, is that we are living through a time of unprecedented political, economic, and racial division, all across the backdrop of a global pandemic. Understandably, we're all feeling varying levels of apprehension right now. This apprehension could lead some of us to question our election process and election outcomes without the ability to process in-person as a campus community. Democracy depends on adherence to the rules of the game, even if that takes time. After Election Day, we must chart a path back to national unity – both in recognizing the eventual winner and in rejecting any improper attempts to undermine the results.

We have many reasons to celebrate this election, including high rates of expected voter turnout and heroic work being done by election officials and poll workers in our communities to execute safe and secure elections during a pandemic. It's a hugely impressive accomplishment for our democracy, and the more people invested in our nation's success, the better.

If you haven't already cast a ballot by mail or through early voting, I urge you to take appropriate COVID-19 safety measures and vote before the polls close tomorrow evening. Help shape the future of our communities, state, and country. Make your voice be heard; your vote matters! We are all in this together. Additionally, I'm pleased to share the following resources:

National and State Resources:

Sincerely,
Christina

The HCC Student Senate:

Safiyah Bey, President
Carolina Pena, Vice President
Janelle Sanchez, Secretary
Maxwell Faytell, Treasurer
J. Gi, Student Trustee
Rosa Ueon
Todd Cummings
Christopher Royster
Liz Golen, Student Senate Advisor


--

Christina Royal
President
Holyoke Community College