Fiona M. DoyleOn Tuesday, November 8, the world will watch one of the most important elections in history. The voters of our nation will determine, in addition to local issues, the next leaders of the United States. The outcomes will have global consequences.

The ability to elect national, state, and local officials (and to support or oppose propositions and referenda) is one of the most precious civil rights in democratic societies. Many have sacrificed much to win this right; many still struggle for it; and too many in the world are still denied it.

But the right to vote carries a significant responsibility. Citizens must inform themselves about the choices at hand and their likely impacts on the interconnected social, economic, political, and environmental systems that shape our modern society. And they must participate.

I urge all Berkeley students to recognize the value of your participation in the democratic process of rigorous inquiry, reasoned debate, and principled action. These are quintessential Berkeley values that are admired and emulated by millions around the world.

If you are eligible, please register to vote in the upcoming US election (by October 24th), learn about the issues, and vote. If you are ineligible, share your viewpoints and experiences with those who can vote. Your perspectives can widen the framework in which policies and promises are evaluated. Your expression of these values — in the run-up to November 8, and afterward — will help determine our collective future.

Fiat Lux,

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Fiona M. Doyle
Dean of the Graduate Division
Donald H. McLaughlin Professor of Mineral Engineering