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Making the most of Stanford’s new academic holiday, Democracy Day

Sarah Church, vice provost for undergraduate education, and Stacey Bent, vice provost for graduate education and postdoctoral affairs, challenge students to engage thoughtfully in Democracy Day, a new academic holiday which this year will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

Dear students,

You may have heard about a student-led initiative recently passed by the Faculty Senate that made Election Day in the United States an academic calendar holiday. From this point forward, Stanford will celebrate Democracy Day every year with a program of activities encouraging you to get involved in democracy, governance, public service, and your campus community. Democracy Day, a nonpartisan initiative, is for students, faculty, and staff from around the world, across the political spectrum, and in every discipline.

Sarah Church is the vice provost for undergraduate education, and Stacey Bent is the vice provost for graduate education and postdoctoral affairs. (Image credit: Church: Stacy H. Geiken Photography; Bent: Rod Searcey)

This year Democracy Day falls on Tuesday, November 2. We encourage you to take advantage of this day with no classes to connect with your classmates and instructors. A group of your fellow students and staff have organized some fun and engaging activities to celebrate the day.

Donuts & Democracy: Start your day with free donuts and coffee, and participate in a deliberative discussion about social media.

Faculty Panel: Hear some of Stanford’s extraordinary faculty discuss the intersection of civic engagement, public service, and academic life. Stay afterward for some good food and discussion with your fellow students.

Dinner & Dialogue: Enjoy a conversation over dinner about civic participation, and get to know your instructors outside the classroom.

Movie Night: Finish the evening with the award-winning film Boys State and snacks at Meyer Green.

We are excited about Stanford’s inaugural Democracy Day, and look forward to it becoming a great Stanford tradition. We challenge you to make the most of this day by embracing the unique opportunity to celebrate democracy in ways that connect you with members of the university community.

See the full lineup of events and more on the Democracy Day website.


Sarah Church
Freeman-Thornton Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
The Pritzker University Fellow in Undergraduate Education
Professor of Physics

Stacey F. Bent
Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs
Jagdeep and Roshni Singh Professor in the School of Engineering
Professor of Chemical Engineering