San Jose State University Launches Institute, Convenes Town Hall on Athlete Activism


Media contacts:
Pat Lopes Harris, 408-924-1748, pat.harris@sjsu.edu
Robin McElhatton, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

SAN JOSE, CA–San Jose State University today will announce the launch of the SJSU Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change at “From Words to Action,” a town hall meeting featuring sports, media and social leaders discussing the past, present and future of athlete activism.

“San Jose State is the ideal home for a center of academic and research excellence and community engagement focused on sport, activism and social change,” SJSU President Mary Papazian said. “We are thrilled to welcome so many luminaries to San Jose today, and we look forward to building an institute that will enable and empower voices representing diverse viewpoints.”

The meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. in the Hammer Theatre Center in downtown San Jose. A live stream will be available here. The event is sold out.

Leaders and legends

Today’s event brings together many of the nation’s leading voices in athlete activism, from the early moments of the civil rights movement to the present. Two panel discussions will feature seven world-class athletes:

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member, six-time league MVP
  • Anquan Boldin, 2015 NFL Man of the Year
  • Jim Brown, Pro Football Hall of Fame member, three-time league MVP
  • Danielle Slaton, 2000 Olympics silver medalist, soccer
  • Tommie Smith, 1968 Olympics gold medalist, 200 meters, track and field, SJSU alumnus
  • Takeo Spikes, two-time NFL All-Pro
  • Chris Webber, five-time NBA All-Star

More leaders and legends will attend today’s event:

  • Al Guido, San Francisco 49ers president
  • Ronnie Lott, Pro Football Hall of Fame member, eight-time NFL All-Pro
  • Marti Malloy, 2012 bronze medalist, judo, SJSU alumna
  • Jared Shawlee, San Jose Earthquakes chief operating officer
  • Keena Turner, San Francisco 49ers vice president of football affairs and retired 49ers linebacker
  • Jed York, San Francisco 49ers CEO

“We are proud to partner with SJSU alumnus Harry Edwards, the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality, several Bay Area professional sports franchises and others in staging today’s event,” said SJSU Vice President for University Advancement Paul Lanning. “We have assembled an impressive group of men and women who have leveraged their careers in sports to push for social change.”

The heart and soul of an institute

At the heart of today’s event and the SJSU Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change is Harry Edwards, ’64 Sociology. This SJSU record-setting discus thrower and former faculty member rose to prominence as the spokesperson for the Olympic Project for Human Rights. The initiative inspired SJSU student-athletes John Carlos and Tommie Smith to take their stand at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

Edwards earned a doctoral degree from Cornell University; served for three decades as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley; and served as counselor and adviser to the 49ers, Major League Baseball, the University of Florida and many more professional and collegiate organizations seeking to provide all athletes with a foundation for success.

SJSU’s institute represents Edwards’ vision for an academic center that sponsors research and dialogue on issues at the intersection of sport and society, and leverages the power of sport as an agent for positive social change. Pending review by the SJSU Academic Senate and SJSU Office of the Provost, the multi-disciplinary institute will have three focus areas:

  • sport and social justice curriculum and research;
  • continuing education and experiential learning activities; and
  • community engagement, commencing with today’s event.

“I am proud to see an academic institute devoted to the study of sport, society and social change established at my alma mater,” Edwards said. “SJSU has historically been at the forefront of social justice issues, and there is no better place for that work to be undertaken, and no better time for us to begin than right now.”

SJSU and RISE: A common purpose

Founded in 2015 by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross, the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) seeks to harness the unifying power of sports to improve race relations and drive social progress.

RISE CEO Jocelyn Benson will moderate a panel discussion, and she will preview a special report that will be presented in full during the Super Bowl 51 weekend in Houston. The report will analyze the activism of NFL athletes in 2016 and make recommendations for a path forward that will ensure a sustained impact.

“RISE is grateful for the opportunity to partner with San Jose State University in elevating the conversation surrounding sports and social action,” Benson said. “This is essential to our mission. We are looking forward to being a part of the development of SJSU’s institute as a way to create more opportunities for richer, deeper dialogue.”

Draymond Green and “Sideline Racism”

During today’s event, a unique pair of Nike sneakers will take center stage. Emblazoned with the words “Sideline Racism” near the swoosh, and stamped with the RISE logo across the back, these shoes were worn by Golden State Warriors power forward Draymond Green at a Dec. 3 game against the Phoenix Suns at Oracle Arena in Oakland.

In a pre-recorded video, Green will offer a greeting. The shoes will be donated to the Dr. Harry Edwards Collection: Sport, Society and Social Change at San Jose State. The collection includes historic photos, autographed books, Olympic Project for Human Rights memorabilia, and correspondence from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President Barack Obama.

SJSU Special Collections and Archives will curate the collection, in alignment with the research component of the SJSU Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change.

Carrying this work forward

San Jose State is grateful for the generous support for today’s program provided by the San Francisco 49ers and CEO Jed York, and the continuing generous support for programs for community and civic betterment provided by Denise DeBartolo York, John York and the York family. The Golden State Warriors, San Jose Sharks and San Jose Earthquakes have provided critical guidance and assistance.

A 13-member advisory board will carry forward the SJSU institute’s work, which will be informed by members of SJSU’s faculty with interest and expertise in various related disciplines.

“These times call for thoughtful, courageous research and education in the arenas of social justice and human rights,” said SJSU Associate Professor and Human Rights Program Director William Armaline. “I am committed, along with my colleagues, to enriching the work of this institute and to extending its reach and impact.”


About San José State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

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SJSU to Launch Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change

Media Advisory

(This event is sold out for the general public. Reporters should contact SJSU Media Relations for more information.)

Who:
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Basketball Hall of Famer, six-time league MVP
Anquan Boldin, 2015 NFL Man of the Year
Jim Brown, Pro Football Hall of Famer, three-time league MVP
Danielle Slaton, 2000 Olympics silver medalist, soccer
Tommie Smith, 1968 Olympics gold medalist, 200 meters, SJSU alumnus
Takeo Spikes, two-time NFL All-Pro
Chris Webber, five-time NBA All-Star
Jocelyn Benson, Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality CEO
Harry Edwards, sports sociologist, SJSU alumnus
Al Guido, San Francisco 49ers President
Mary Papazian, SJSU President

What:
Sports legends, leaders and academics will participate in a dialogue about athlete activism.

San Jose State will launch the Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change, building on the university’s rich civil rights history.

The Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality will provide an overview of preliminary findings for “When Colin Knelt: Athletes and Activism in the NFL in 2016.” The report will be released in full at this year’s Super Bowl.

When:
8:30 a.m. – noon, Jan. 24, 2017
(agenda)

Where:
Hammer Theatre Center in downtown San Jose
(parking information)

Media contacts:
Robin McElhatton, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu, 408-924-1749
Pat Harris, pat.harris@sjsu.edu, 408-924-1748

Members of the media should RSVP now. Journalists must be credentialed to attend the event and a news conference at noon. The event and news conference will be streamed live on the university’s website.

More information:
http://www.sjsu.edu/wordstoaction/


About San José State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

Alumnus, World Renowned Sociologist Remembers Carrie Fisher

TO ALL THOSE WHO GREW UP WITH THE STAR WARS SERIES AND ARE TRYING TO COME TO GRIPS WITH YET ANOTHER DEEPLY FELT LOSS IN A YEAR OF SUCH LOSSES, thank you for your interest in my assessment and I hope that this brief comment brings some solace.

We should not just sit in stunned silence when those who have positively impacted some aspect of our lives—if only our imaginations—pass from among us. Our shared humanity mandates that for our own good, we acknowledge such a loss.

As a huge Star Wars fan, I too have had to try to wrap my mind around this very sad sequence of events. Perhaps an acknowledgement and view appropriate to Star Wars is in order:

Death, with its inescapable icy embrace, eventually casts its sardonic smile upon all things—people, planets, stars, galaxies, and—cosmologically  speaking—at some unimaginably distant time in the future and far, far away, even upon the Universe itself. But the Universe, in its incomprehensibly profound greatness, has endowed people not only with a consciousness of itself, but with the potential character and courage to reciprocate death’s greeting, to smile back. So though death comes like a malevolent intruder, a thief in the night, the Grim Reaper, need not have the last laugh.

Princess Leia and Mom, thanks for all the joy and memories. R.I.P. and—may the force be with you!

—Dr. Harry Edwards, ’64 Sociology, ’16 Honorary Doctorate

President Issues Campus Safety Update

Editor’s note: This message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on Dec. 8, 2016.

Dear Campus Community,

The University Police Department (UPD) is investigating six cases of sexual battery that have been reported since October 17. These crimes occurred in Duncan Hall, Sweeney Hall, the Student Union, and Boccardo Business Complex. All of the victims were students.

These disturbing incidents have caused understandable anxiety in our community. I’m writing today to update you on the status of the investigations and several steps being taken or contemplated to enhance campus safety and security.

Responding to a tip from the community, UPD has identified and arrested a suspect in the Student Union case. The suspect is an SJSU student and it is believed that he may have committed additional unreported sexual batteries. If you were a victim of a sexual battery within the last week in the area of Clark Hall or the Dining Commons, please contact UPD.

Police are uncertain if other suspects are affiliated with SJSU. They believe that a single suspect may be associated with at least two of the remaining cases. Leads provided over the past few days are being pursued and police foot patrols have been intensified around campus.

It’s important to know what “sexual battery” means: touching intimate body parts without consent. While this may sound less severe than sexual assault, this behavior is deeply traumatizing to victims. I urge anyone who has been subjected to such conduct to contact UPD as soon as possible.

According to annual crime reports published by UPD, 11 cases of sexual battery were reported here in 2015, compared to 17 cases in 2016 (with several weeks remaining this calendar year). While there is no indication that we are experiencing a significant year-to-year increase in these crimes, even one case is too many.

We all know that campus safety and personal security is a real concern. Vice President for Administration and Finance Charlie Faas has been developing a comprehensive safety plan in collaboration with other campus stakeholders. Here are key elements:

Additional security cameras: Twenty-four additional cameras will be purchased and installed in the near future to complement existing video surveillance systems. But as a cautionary note, this video will be used as an investigatory tool and is not monitored in real time.

Police staffing: Recruiting is underway for six additional UPD patrol officers, which will increase the number of sworn officers on our campus to 32. UPD has received approval to hire an additional four Public Safety Assistants, which provides our own students with the opportunity to gain professional experience and expands the Safety Escort program.

Enhanced lighting: Like many of you, I often walk this campus late into the evening. I am very concerned about areas that lack adequate lighting or create blind spots for pedestrians. Additional lighting and related work will begin during the winter break, and continue through spring term.

While these plans move forward, I also want to ask for your help. Chief Decena this fall established a Student Advisory Board composed of students from all aspects of the campus community. This group has already offered many valuable insights. If you have suggestions or would like to get involved, please contact Chief Decena directly at peter.decena@sjsu.edu.

As an urban campus located in the center of a major U.S. city, working to enhance our collective safety and keeping you regularly updated will remain an ongoing top priority.

Sincerely,

Mary Papazian
President

King Library Photo Exhibit Explores Shared Experiences of Discrimination and Resilience

exhibit photo

So I have some stickers on my face. These stickers have some writings; Prophet Mohammad narratives. Those narratives have different meanings about the importance of work in our life, about being good and cooperative to people, about giving money to the poor, and about not harming people. My mind is always occupied with thinking about how I can reflect my culture and religion to the American community. I’ve been taught totally different from what is being perceived in this country. Those stickers push me forward to think about a positive way to explain my culture and religion! —Moodi, Palestinian American Muslim man

Living in an Unfinished America

“Living in an Unfinished America” will be on display at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library (second floor exhibit area) Dec. 2-21.

A Photovoice exhibit on Islamophobia and anti-Arab prejudice will be on display at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library (second floor exhibit area) Dec. 2-21. Sponsored by the San Jose State University Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, this community-based project is entitled, “Living in an Unfinished America: Shared Experiences of Discrimination and Resilience by Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Americans.”

Edward Mamary, professor of public health in the Department of Health Science and Recreation, served as the principal investigator on this project. Community participants used photography and narrative as tools for personal expression, sharing their reflections on cultural identity, experiences with prejudice, and their sources of strength for countering discrimination. The project goal is to bring awareness of these issues to policymakers, health and social service providers, educators, and the general public.

The project was commissioned by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and conducted in collaboration with its community partners: the Council on American Islamic Relations, the Arab Cultural & Community Center, the Islamic Networks Group, the Sikh Coalition, the Asian Law Caucus, the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.

President Responds to Hate Incidents

Editor’s note: This message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on Nov. 12, 2016.

Dear Campus Community,

This week brought multiple reports of aggressive behavior targeting students of color. Wednesday, an unknown assailant grabbed a Muslim-American student by her hijab in the West (Fourth Street) Garage, yanking her backwards and causing her to fall. And Friday afternoon, a South Asian student was verbally accosted while studying in the Engineering Building.

We’ve been in touch with both students to offer our support and encouragement. University police are investigating both cases.

There have been other reports of students facing subtle taunting and overt verbal attacks. I understand that some of you have experienced or observed this behavior in classrooms and elsewhere on campus.

All of this is deeply troubling. And it leaves students–including those who are undocumented–as well as faculty and staff members concerned for their safety. Many of you are frustrated and unsure how to appropriately respond. Some of you have asked for our help.

I understand. We are just days removed from an election that provoked a dizzying array of reactions ranging from elation to depression. In several U.S. cities, thousands have taken to the streets in protest. And, sadly, attacks against individuals have been reported on other college campuses and in many communities.

As I observed earlier this week, we are a family. We celebrate opportunities for healthy dissent. But no one should face intimidation–or worse–based on a political viewpoint or on racial, ethnic, religious, gender or sexual identity. An attack on any member of our family is an attack on us all.

So where do we go from here?

The university administration will continue to provide support to any student, faculty or staff member who seeks our help. We will explore opportunities to further enhance campus safety and security.

We will continue working with campus and community members interested in fostering healthy dialogue and promoting an inclusive, safe, supportive climate.

And I ask you, as a member of the Spartan family, to join me in approaching the upcoming holidays with respect and appreciation for the unique diversity that sets us apart among our nation’s public universities.

Mary Papazian
President

University Police Issue Crime Alert for West Garage

Editor’s note: This message was sent to the university community at 5:20 p.m. Nov. 9, 2016.

The University Police Department is providing this timely warning in compliance with the Federal Jeanne Clery and Campus Safety Act. We also hope that this information will increase awareness and mitigate further incidents.

On November 9 at approximately 2:10 p.m. the victim was walking in the West Garage (4th street at San Salvador) on the third floor when a suspect came up behind her and pulled at her head scarf.  The force used caused the victim to lose her balance and choked her.  The suspect was a fair skinned male wearing a dark colored ‘hoody’ and khaki pants.  The suspect ran off in an unknown direction.

We ask anyone with information regarding this crime or similar crimes to contact the University Police Department at 408-924-2222. Those wishing to remain anonymous can use our TipNow system by calling/texting 408-337-2919 or emailing sjsu@tipnow.org. The University Police

The Police Department reminds our campus community members to always be aware of their surroundings and immediately report suspicious activity to the University Police Department by calling UPD Dispatch at 408-924-2222 or using a blue light phone. In an emergency, Dial 911, use a campus blue light phone or call UPD Dispatch at 408-924-2222. The University Police Department provides an evening safety guide and a Spartan Shuttle program to enhance the safety of our community. Campus community members can request a safety escort by calling UPD Dispatch at 408-924-2000, or by using a blue light phone.

SJSU President Reflects on Election 2016

Editor’s note: This message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on Nov. 9, 2016.

Dear Campus Community,

We all are processing the results of a long, hard-fought and often-contentious national election.  It is an opportunity to reflect on the resilience of our people and the constitutional freedom we enjoy to express our opinions, our aspirations and our feelings.

As one of America’s most diverse public universities, it is reasonable that this election would provoke uniquely strong–and potentially mixed–reactions.  These will take time to fully absorb, and process.

In his remarks to the nation this morning, President Obama observed that “…everybody is sad when their side loses an election. But the day after, we have to remember that we’re actually all on one team… We’re not Democrats first. We’re not Republicans first. We are Americans first.”

To the president’s comments, I would add this: as members of the San Jose State community, we, too all are members of one team, and one family.  And, as a community devoted to preparing students to be engaged, informed citizens, it is critically important that we provide ample room for diverse opinions to be expressed safely and civilly.

This evening at 7 p.m., we will hold a guided campus conversation: “Together We’ll Rise: A Community Dialogue Moving Us Forward From the Election.” The Residential Life Team, the Student Affairs division, and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion have collaborated to provide this opportunity to come together, help each other make sense of the election, and continue building the inclusive Spartan community to which we all aspire.

This dialogue will take place in front of the Smith/Carlos sculpture, which honors two Spartans for their brave, civil activism. I encourage you to honor their legacy by joining in this important conversation.

Mary Papazian
President

Journalism Students Gain Practical Experience on Election Night

SJSU students Stephanie Gersh and Lloyd Alaban help NBC Bay Area Digital Editor Kris Noceda finalize election night stories (Photo: Jennifer Gonzalez, '17 Journalism and English).

SJSU students Stephanie Gersh and Lloyd Alaban help NBC Bay Area Digital Editor Kris Noceda finalize election night stories (Photo: Jennifer Gonzalez, ’17 Journalism and English).

As the votes were being counted and reported on election night 2016, graduate students from the SJSU School of Journalism and Mass Communications played a part in one local television station’s extensive coverage.

Thirteen students in Mass Communications 210: Media & Social Issues volunteered to help NBC Bay Area news staff members gather and report the latest developments as they happened.

“Our grad students come from many academic backgrounds,” Professor Bob Rucker said. “This will give them an up close, eye-opening and unique media learning experience on one of the busiest and most exciting nights in the TV news business.”

NBC Bay Area Vice President of News Stephanie Adrouny and Professor Rucker planned the joint project weeks ahead of time. On Nov. 1, newsroom Executive Producer Dan Pyryt visited the class and explained to students how they would be helping individual newsroom producers and reporters identify and share late-breaking election developments, address voter concerns called into the station, and support NBC social media reporting efforts that night.

While on campus, Pyryt also met with several staff members of the Spartan Daily student newspaper, and congratulated them on their efforts. He told the student staff members and Professor Rucker’s class that the NBC Bay Area news team reads the campus newspaper every day, and many times they develop SJSU stories after reading the student reporting.

The long-time motto of the SJSU journalism program is “Learn by Doing.” Rucker, a former CNN correspondent and NBC local news election night anchor and reporter in Philadelphia, covered the 1980 Ronald Reagan-Jimmy Carter vote count.

“I will never forget how thrilling it was to be a part of that history making evening,” Rucker said.

 

SJSU to Begin Construction on $130 Million Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center

SJSU Media Relations contact:
Pat Harris, 408-924-1748, pat.harris@sjsu.edu

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State University will begin construction in November on the Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center, a project designed to greatly modernize recreational facilities and services for students and the entire university community.

“The Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center was envisioned for and by students. It’s a huge undertaking, and one that we are proud to present as we seek to support our students with excellent facilities and services inside the classroom and out,” said Charlie Faas, vice president for administration and finance.

Gensler is the architect. Hunt Construction is the general contractor. The 128,000-square-foot structure will soon rise in place of the existing Aquatic Center and two residence halls (Hoover and Royce), originally constructed in 1988 and 1960, respectively.

“The new Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center will bring to campus a centralized space to stay active, healthy, and take part in recreational activities alongside your peers.  I am excited to know that construction will begin soon as I really feel like this new space will make a student’s time here more fulfilling,” said Héctor Perea, Associated Students of SJSU president and Student Union of SJSU board member.

The Student Union manages and maintains major facilities, including the Student Union building, Event Center and SRAC. Students make up a majority of its board.

Here’s what students will find when the SRAC opens in spring of 2019:

  • An indoor running track, three full courts for basketball, volleyball and badminton courts, a multipurpose activity court and a rock climbing and bouldering area.
  • Two outside decks, an outdoor 50-meter competitive lap pool with diving platforms, and a separate, large recreational pool.
  • Four different workout spaces with cardio equipment, selectorized fitness equipment, free weight equipment and functional fitness equipment.
  • A functional fitness studio, spinning studio and two aerobic fitness studios for various types of classes.
  • Two large locker rooms, two gender-inclusive changing and shower rooms, offices and locker rooms for athletic teams and coaches and community locker rooms with a separate entrance.
  • Two large social space areas with plenty of data and power outlets.

Enrolled students will have access to the SRAC at no cost. The SRAC will also serve intramural, club and NCAA Division I athletics teams. In addition, memberships will be sold to faculty, staff, alumni and community members.

A mandatory student fee separate from tuition will fund the $130 million project. The fee will cover bond financing for construction costs, routine maintenance, and major capital projects in the years to come.

The fee was presented and approved in 2006 to fund three projects: the Student Union building renovation and expansion, completed this year; the Student Wellness Center, completed in 2015; and the SRAC.

The Student Union conducted a feasibility study, organized focus groups, and made numerous presentations across campus to earn approval for the fee. The current plan was verified in a fall 2014 survey of the student body.

Focus groups and the Student Union continue to provide input on the architectural design, interior design and layout of the SRAC, including equipment choice and placement.


About San José State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

Labor Activist and MacArthur Fellow Baldemar Velásquez to Deliver Human Rights Lecture

500fall2016hrlecture_cahroconference_jpgflyerforsocialmedia

Event Poster

Media Contact:
Professor William Armaline, william.armaline@sjsu.edu

We are elated to announce the Fall 2016 Human Rights Lecture Event, Economic Human Rights and the Dignity of Working People, on Oct. 27 and 28 at San José State University. Please visit our site for registration and tickets.

This year’s event is a collaborative effort, led by the SJSU Human Rights Program and MOSAIC Cross Cultural Center, the California Association of Human Relations Organizations [CAHRO], the Santa Clara County Human Relations Commission [SCC HRC], and SCC Office of Human Relations [SCC OHR]. Students, educators, activists, public officials, community members, and human relations commissioners from across California are invited to the SJSU main campus for two days of talks, workshops, and organizing activities on economic human rights, discrimination, and effective practices for realizing human rights in the workplace and our communities at-large.

DAY 1 (Thur., Oct. 27) features the Annual Human Rights Keynote Lecture by Farm Labor Organizing Committee [FLOC] President, MacArthur Fellow, AFL-CIO Executive Council member, and internationally recognized organizer Baldemar Velásquez. The keynote talk will be held at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) in Morris Dailey Auditorium, and is open to all with a free ticket.

DAY 2 (Fri., Oct. 28) features the CAHRO Bi-Annual Human Relations Conference, including workshops, plenary talks, and lunch keynote presentation by the Kirwan Institute’s Robin Wright (The Ohio State University), a nationally recognized researcher and expert on how to address implicit bias in the public sector. Multiple ticketing options are available for students, faculty, community members, and CAHRO members for Day 2 plenaries and workshops.

For event updates and coverage, follow us on Twitter. Join the conversation using our hashtag, #EconHumanRights2016.

We hope you can join us for what will be an informative and inspiring conference on economic human rights in California!


About San José State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

 

Sexual Assaults: Next Steps

Editor’s note: This message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on Oct. 17, 2016.

Dear Campus Community,

Recent reports of sexual violence involving several students have disheartened many of us. Many of you have expressed concern for their well-being. I’ve been encouraged by the response from our community.

I also have heard and taken to heart the concerns ​some of you have expressed about the issues illuminated by these incidents.

I write to you today to assure you that I am determined to do everything possible to ensure that SJSU is a safe, caring, inclusive community. I have every confidence that working together, we can make this happen.

But as a recent disturbing account from one student reminds us, there is much to be done–and it must involve our entire community. While we wait for criminal, student conduct and Title IX cases to be adjudicated, I want you to know how we plan to address the systemic implications of these incidents.

First, we will look comprehensively at how to improve communication in the wake of reported Title IX incidents. While many offices and individuals responded in the wake of last month’s incidents, it is clear that we need to better “connect the dots” among resource providers and more clearly identify primary points of contact for students involved in sexual misconduct cases. This review will be co-led by Student Affairs and our Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Second, I am asking for a reevaluation of the protocols for determining when campus crime alerts should be issued. Although it appears that we were in compliance with federal guidelines in the recent incidents, I believe it is time to reexamine and consider changes to notification policies. University Chief of Police Peter Decena will oversee this review in consultation with appropriate subject matter experts and campus ​and community ​stakeholders, including students.

Third–and perhaps most critically–each of us must fully understand the gravity of sexual violence, harassment and discrimination and embrace our duty to help combat it. To that end, I’ve asked Title IX Officer Natalie Potts to arrange a series of campus conversations, facilitated by our own experts as well as others, beginning ​as soon as possible and continuing throughout the year. This will supplement existing CSU-mandated and other training that already is offered.

It is easy to say we want to do better. We also need to walk the talk. I ask you to join me on that journey.

Mary Papazian
President

Sexual Assaults Update

Editor’s note: This message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on Oct. 12, 2016.

Dear Campus Community,

In the last 24 hours, news reports have surfaced regarding allegations of sexual assault involving a SJSU student and member of our men’s water polo team and two victims, also students. Although student privacy and numerous pending investigations limit what we can say, I want you to know as much as can be shared.

These deeply troubling reports first came to the attention of university staff last month. Because they occurred off campus, city of San Jose police (SJPD) have led the criminal investigation. I am told that the case is now being reviewed by the Santa Clara District Attorney’s office.

In the meantime, our Student Affairs staff and Title IX office have acted to protect and support the students involved while internal student conduct and Title IX inquiries moved forward. Although there are reports that the student is no longer in the U.S., these investigations are continuing.

Pending the outcomes of these investigations, the student accused of these acts was placed on interim suspension, barred from campus, and ordered to stay away from the victims.

I know some are wondering why a campus crime alert was not issued sooner. The totality of information available at the time—including the fact that the suspect had been identified and was being closely monitored—led to the determination that there was no imminent safety threat to the campus community.

While we are confident that this was a reasonable decision based on what we knew, I very much appreciate this concern. We will be reviewing all existing protocols and processes in collaboration with our newly established Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Excellence and many others. Please contact Chief Diversity Officer Kathleen Wong(Lau) or Title IX Officer Natalie Potts if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Mary Papazian
President

 

SJSU Hosts Celebration of Life for Billy Nguyen

billy-nguyen-event

The campus community is invited to Boot Camp for Billy: A Celebration of Life to be held at 3 p.m. Oct. 11, on the Sport Club Lawn.

Billy Ngyuen Senior Portrait

Billy Ngyuen (photo by Jeff Cable)

This special program, featuring a boot camp, is in remembrance of Billy Nguyen, who was known for his love of kinesiology and the great outdoors. Please wear comfortable clothing if participating in the boot camp fitness class.

All community members will be invited to contribute their memories to a memory book for Billy’s family. Refreshments will be served.

Program:
3:05 p.m. Welcome
3:10-3:30 p.m. Boot Camp for Billy fitness class
3:30-4 p.m. Remarks
4-4:20 p.m. Community Remembrance
4:20-4:30 p.m. Mediation/closing

Nguyen, a second-year kinesiology major, drowned in Eagle Lake in Sequoia National Park. He was helping lead a group of SJSU students. Nguyen was a student assistant in the Outdoor Adventures recreation program.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that any donations in Billy’s name be made to the Red Cross to help save the lives of others.

Counseling services are available at the third floor of the Student Wellness Center.

Martha Kanter Delivers Keynote Address at Student Success Event

Former U.S. Under Secretary of Education and Foothill-De Anza Community College District Chancellor Martha Kanter will deliver the keynote address at “College Promise: Paving the Pathways to Student Success,” a community conversation to be held Sept. 30 at the San Jose State University Diaz Compean Student Union.

This event is co-sponsored by the Office of Assemblymember Evan Low. Kanter’s address will begin at 8 a.m., and will be followed by a question-and-answer session moderated by SJSU President Mary Papazian. The event will end at approximately 9 a.m.

Residence Hall Update: President Shares Latest Developments

Editor’s note: This message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on Sept. 22, 2016.

Dear Campus Community,

In the wake of yesterday’s disclosure of two swastikas and hateful language discovered in two of our residence halls, I left CSU meetings in Long Beach a day early and returned to San Jose late Wednesday night. I was back on campus this (Thursday) morning.

While mindful of the need to preserve student confidentiality, I am determined to be as transparent as possible. Let me update you on the latest developments.

First, the University Police Department (UPD) has made enough progress in its investigation that we are able to share some details. One of the two swastikas discovered Tuesday was accompanied by undeniably hateful, anti-Semitic language (“Admit One Jew”). Police have identified the student responsible and determined that this act, while bias-based, targeted no one in particular and is not by definition a hate crime.

The second incident involved a swastika and language scribbled on a white board, in a residence hall suite. The white board was described to police by the student responsible as a “joke board.” While this incident remains under investigation, police are confident that the two incidents are unrelated.

Meanwhile, we are focused on continuing to engage and support open dialogue with, and among, students, faculty and staff members, and community leaders. We all want to understand and make sense of these deeply disturbing acts. I’ve been reminded by several of you that symbols and words can carry different meaning and significance depending on one’s age, ethnicity, race, gender, faith and other factors.

We must ensure as many opportunities for dialogue as are needed to ensure that your voices are heard. Last night, our chief diversity officer and professional housing staff members facilitated a dialogue with 150 students. I’m grateful to our residence life and counseling staff for their dedication to our students’ concerns and needs.

Earlier today, I met with more than 100 faculty members and with the executive director of the local chapter of Hillel; I also briefed the media. This evening, I’ll meet informally with students in the Dining Commons at 8 pm.

A facilitated conversation on campus climate issues has been scheduled for next Thursday, September 29, and I will hold a town hall meeting with students on Wednesday, October 5. Details will follow soon.

While I remain disheartened and outraged by these profoundly hurtful acts, I am also encouraged by the response from our campus and broader community. Together, we can use this difficult moment to grow and learn how to be a fully inclusive and welcoming community.

Mary Papazian
President

Residence Hall Update: Hateful Content

Editor’s note: This message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on Sept. 21, 2016.

Dear Campus Community,

Staff members were informed Tuesday evening of two swastikas and hateful language found in Washburn Hall and Campus Village (CVC) on floors primarily housing first-year students.

University police (UPD) commenced an investigation last night. It is ongoing.

Chief Diversity Officer Kathy Wong(Lau), Student Affairs Vice President Reggie Blaylock and others have been working to ensure that we attend to the concerns and needs of our students, their resident advisors, and other staff. Guided conversations facilitated by the chief diversity officer and residential life professionals in Student Housing are being arranged for this evening.

I am both saddened and outraged by this news. Although I am in Long Beach for CSU meetings, I have spoken with campus and community leaders and shared our resolve to provide a safe learning environment where difficult issues can be addressed collaboratively and transparently.

As new information becomes available, we’ll share it with you. If you become aware of information that may be useful to investigators, please call UPD at 408-924-2222.

Sincerely,

Mary Papazian
President

SJSU Student William “Billy” Nguyen

Editor’s note: This message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on Sept. 19, 2016.

Dear Campus Community,

I am writing with a heavy heart to let you know that second-year kinesiology major William “Billy” Nguyen, a San Jose native, passed away Saturday while hiking in Sequoia National Park with a group of fellow SJSU students and staff members as part of SJSU’s Outdoor Adventures recreation program (read the National Park Service release).

Members of the traveling party were swimming in a lake when Billy reportedly struggled and sank beneath the water’s surface. The group tried unsuccessfully to rescue him. A search and rescue team has recovered his body; the Tulare County Medical Examiner is determining the cause of death.

Along with counseling and other university staff, I was on campus to meet the traveling party when their bus returned Sunday evening. As one would imagine, they have been badly shaken by this tragedy. I assured them that the SJSU community is and will continue to be here for them.

Our students and staff acted with remarkable courage, composure and thoughtfulness. On behalf of the entire university community, I want them to know how proud we are of them.

Billy was an Outdoor Adventures student assistant who completed a training course last year so that he could serve as a student leader this year. He was among five staff members on this trip.

He has been described to me as someone who, while sometimes reserved, loved group activities and wanted to inspire others to join in and be active. His interests included fitness and outdoors activities. He enjoyed working out and getting others to do the same.

Earlier today I spoke personally with Billy’s mother. As your president and as a parent, I am heartbroken for the Nguyen family and for all who knew and loved their son. Please keep Billy, his family and friends in your thoughts and your hearts during this difficult time. Counseling services are available if you need them.

Mary A. Papazian
President

Students Make Downtown San Jose a Better Place to Live, Work and Play

San Jose State University will launch the Paseo Public Prototyping Challenge and Festival on 6-8 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Hammer Theatre Center

San Jose State University will launch the Paseo Public Prototyping Challenge and Festival on 6-8 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Hammer Theatre Center.

SJSU Media Relations contact:
Robin McElhatton, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State University will launch the Paseo Public Prototyping Challenge and Festival on Wednesday, September 21 from 6-8 p.m. The launch takes place at the Hammer Theatre Center, 101 Paseo de San Antonio Walk, San Jose. This event is free to the public and open to all ages.

Through partnership with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and under the leadership of the College of Humanities and the Arts, the Paseo challenge asks San Jose State University students, “What will you create to make the city of San Jose an incredible place to live, work and play?”

The Paseo Prototyping Challenge is designed to incubate solutions to pressing social and environmental problems through multidisciplinary collaboration and technological innovation.

Following competitive review by SJSU faculty experts and industry professionals, 25 multidisciplinary student teams will be selected, mentored, and provided $1,000 in seed funding to develop prototypes for public presentation at the Paseo de San Antonio Public Prototyping Festival – an arts, culture and technology festival held on the Paseo de San Antonio corridor at the site of the Hammer Theatre Center in spring 2017. The Hammer is operated by SJSU.

A public opinion survey gave students insight on what issues need to be addressed in downtown San Jose.

“Homelessness, safety, and transportation were top concerns among San Jose residents,” said Corinne O. Takara of Okada Design, which conducted the survey. “Residents provided such thoughtful, forthcoming feedback and were so appreciative of being heard. I hope this information will help students build impactful prototypes that will address some of the residents’ concerns.” A short collection of audio survey results is available online.

The San Jose State University’s Paseo Public Prototyping Challenge and Festival is funded by the Knight Foundation and Intel, with sponsorship support from Microsoft Civic Engagement and The Tech Museum of Innovation.


About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 8,900 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 250,000 alumni, 65 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.