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President’s Update: Listening, Learning

President Qayoumi’s update to the campus community following the alleged hate crimes in SJSU’s student housing complex. A website summarizing all relevant reports, updates and messages has been established.

“This deeply disturbing incident reaffirms that we must protect and steward our values. I am proud of all who marched in support of them.” —President Qayoumi (Photo: Brandon Chew)

Dear Spartans,

I want to update you on our actions since yesterday (Thursday, Nov. 21) when criminal arrest warrants were issued for several SJSU students accused of racially-motivated hate crimes against a fellow student and residence hall suite-mate.

First, a fourth SJSU student has been suspended in connection with this incident. His actions came to light recently in the course of several ongoing investigations.

Second, I met Friday morning with the Reverend Jethroe Moore, president of the San Jose/Silicon Valley Chapter of the NAACP. Reverend Moore and I agreed to several actions:

• Appearing together at a noon press conference on Mon., Nov. 25, in front of the Smith/Carlos sculpture to discuss pending criminal charges.

• Co-hosting a campus forum during the first two weeks of December, inviting community input about racial tolerance at SJSU and beginning a dialogue on how to heal rifts.

• Offering a spring 2014 lecture series on issues of diversity and tolerance.

While these efforts move forward, we are undertaking a comprehensive review of SJSU’s student code of conduct. Our goal is including race-based misconduct in existing zero-tolerance student conduct policies.

Third, we will review all of our practices and policies related to preserving and protecting the well being of students. This work has already begun. I have asked for a report by Dec. 15, and we will share it with you.

I will continue to keep you updated.

Sincerely,

Mohammad Qayoumi
President