Dear campus community,
As we enter the last weeks of the semester, I find myself once again writing to you to raise awareness about troubling incidents that are affecting members of our campus community, local community and global community. We express solidarity with those in our communities who are gravely impacted by these incidents.
Five days ago, on the final Friday of the observance of Ramadan, Israeli police entered Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, a site holy to Muslims to clear the mosque of Palestinian worshippers. Scores of Palestinians were injured many of them protesting the plans for evictions of Palestinian families from homes from which they have lived for generations in the Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. We understand that our Palestinian students, faculty, and staff are experiencing fear, grief, and anger.
The situation of serial retaliations and escalation continues daily with rockets fired from Gaza into Israel and airstrikes from Israel from Gaza, all numbering in the hundreds, the most firepower since 2014. As of this morning the death toll has risen to 53 in Gaza (14 children) and to six in Israel raising fear, anxiety, and anger for Palestinians and Jews in the region, around the world and for students, faculty and staff on our campus who have ties to these communities. There is growing concern that the conflict will continue to escalate and spread into a war.
Four days ago in Kabul, Afghanistan, 85 people were violently killed and 147 injured by a terrorist car bombing of a girls’ high school. The victims were mostly school girls from the ethnic minority community of Hazara Shia Muslims. This attack impacts members of our Afghan American community as well as Shia Muslim communities from other ethnic groups with ties to this area and all who have supported the education of girls in Afghanistan. Communities are experiencing grief, shock, anger and fears of more similar bombings.
It is difficult to publicly acknowledge the tragedies, grave conflicts, and issues that impact our campus communities. For a significant number of our community these incidents are part of a larger conversation on global and regional conflict that imbues our national discussions on our nation state, military engagement, and political, diplomatic and economic relations that are fraught with difficulties that stretch over generations and regions. Please know that our role in a public university is to provide resources, outreach, space for discourse, and connection to support you and provide a sense of belonging in a large complex institution nested in a larger complex global community.
I know that there is a sense of outrage fatigue, a sense of yet another horrible incident. For some, these incidents bring but a brief notice, maybe even sadness, but for some the pain, grief, and suffering stretches over days, months, years, and generations. It is important to know that in this global and local community of San José State University that many of the world’s troubles impact various members of our campus community at different times. And while some may read this message as just another message in the long line of messages on mass shootings, conflict, killing, violence, death from COVID-19, each message helps us make visible and give voice to the stresses and grief of different communities. It is my hope that we may continue to exercise grace, provide support, and even give ourselves grace as we try to show up and do our work whether we are students, staff, faculty or administrators.
As you finish out the final weeks of your semester please know that the concerns we have for the well-being of our students, faculty and staff are shared by our Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and by our campus leadership. Please reach out if you see someone from our community who may be in need of support during these difficult times as we continue many of our interactions remotely.
As always, SJSU has resources available for our students and for our employees should members of the Spartan community experience emotional distress or trauma. Detailed information on our resources is listed below.
Chief Diversity Officer
If you have a mental health emergency and need immediate assistance please contact Counseling and Psychological Services. There is always a staff member available to assist you. Please call 408-924-5910 or visit us at sjsu.edu/wellness. All of our services are being offered online through confidential video or phone sessions.
For after-hours emergencies, please call 911. If you live on campus, please call campus police at 408-924-2222. You may also call our main number 408-924-5910 after hours and press 4 to connect with the after-hours crisis service.
Santa Clara County Suicide & Crisis Line is also available at 855-278-4204 (Toll-free) (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This service is also available 24/7. In addition, you may send a text for help: Text HOME to 741741. The Crisis Call Center will respond 24/7/365.
International students who need assistance regarding restrictions on travel and other issues can find resources from SJSU’s International Students and Scholars Services.
Counseling for Faculty and Staff
Visit LifeMatters® online for more information. Password: SPARTANS
To speak to someone from LifeMatters® confidentially, call 800-367-7474.
Santa Clara County Suicide & Crisis Line is also available at 855-278-4204 (Toll-free) (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This service is also available 24/7.
In addition, you may send a text for help: Text HOME to 741741. The Crisis Call Center will respond 24/7/365.