Office of the President

A Message from President Soraya M. Coley on the 2020 Election

Dear Cal Poly Pomona Community,

With Election Day less than two weeks away, I am writing with a reminder of the breadth of resources available to our campus community for connection and support, as well as to address our responsibilities as a bastion of ideas, dialogue and inclusion.

A cornerstone of any democracy is an informed and engaged electorate. To that end, the Division of Student Affairs — with the help of Associated Students Inc. and the Office of Government and External Affairs — have created, a comprehensive resource for the 2020 election. This website includes non-partisan information on voting options, important dates, links to information on candidates and issues under consideration and election-related events.

Elections are considered an essential activity and Governor Newsom has issued executive orders to assure that elections are safe and accessible. Accordingly, the Los Angeles County Registrar will be hosting a Vote Center in Kellogg Arena starting this Saturday, October 26, through Election Day on November 3. Any eligible voters who are residents of Los Angeles County may vote in-person or drop off their ballot. Members of the campus community visiting the Vote Center do not need to complete the Health Screener, as is ordinarily required. Additional information about the Vote Center, including hours of operation, is available here. For those members of our campus community not residing in LA County, I encourage you to seek additional information from the election officials in your home county or from the California Secretary of State.

It is understood that times of debate over global, national and local issues and the intensity of a campaign season can result in elevated stress and anxiety. If you, or someone you know, may be struggling or need assistance, I invite you to make full use of campus resources. Students may reach out to Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) at 909-869-3220. Faculty and staff can call 1-800-367-7474 (CPPLifeMatters) or visit

Such consequential moments call us to affirm our commitment to our shared values of academic excellence, inclusivity, community engagement and social responsibility. At Cal Poly Pomona, we value discourse. Indeed, the open and free exchange of ideas is fundamental to any campus that professes to be an institution of higher learning. Without the speech protections offered by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, we could not exist as a university.

All members of our campus community — regardless of belief or background — have the right to express their viewpoint and make their case in the public square. This includes sentiments that others find offensive. But with freedom comes responsibility. Words or actions that denigrate, disparage or threaten others will not be ignored at Cal Poly Pomona. I have spent four decades as a faculty member and administrator with the California State University. I attest that even the most fervent of debates can be done with civility and mutual respect. As we near Election Day, I invite all members of our campus community to engage in the political process and to do so as members of a community dedicated to expanding knowledge and fostering inclusion.

I wish you a healthy and successful remainder of the semester and into the year to come. We are all eager for our Cal Poly Pomona community to return to in-person activities on campus once again, so I urge that we continue to wear our masks, wash our hands, practice social distancing and keep to all the other measures necessary to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities. As with voting, these actions recognize our collective responsibility to one another and our individual role in shaping our shared future. 

Soraya M. Coley, Ph.D