President Papazian’s message re: New Zealand shootings

Dear Campus Community,

It was devastating to learn last night about another tragic and senseless mass shooting that took the lives of 49 individuals and seriously injured many others, this time at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch. I offer my heartfelt condolences to the family members and friends of all who were lost, and I know the entire SJSU community shares my grief and profound sadness. Words alone can never fully convey the indescribable sense of loss, heartache and outrage we are all experiencing.

Mass shootings such as these, particularly when they occur in sacred places of worship, are an affront to everything we value and hold dear at SJSU. At San Jose State, we value decency. We value acceptance. We value respect for other people, other cultures, other faiths. The killings in New Zealand represent none of those things.

While last night’s events occurred thousands of miles away, we share the pain of the victims and their families. We support our fellow world citizens and condemn the hatred that drove these horrific attacks. We stand, especially, in support of Muslims in our own community and around the world.

Each time we experience one of these horrific hate-based crimes, some of our students, faculty and staff may experience a variety of difficult emotions, including grief, fear, anxiety and even depression. Some members may even experience a heightened awareness about safety.

Please remember that SJSU offers a wide range of services to students and employees who need support, including counseling and psychological services. Support is also available to SJSU staff and employees through our Employee Assistance Program.The well-being and safety of all of our students, faculty, and staff are important priorities.  Although we have no indications of any threats, if you witness or receive threats to safety, please contact University Police at 408-924-2222 or dial 911.

Our fellow Spartans, our friends and our families are the best resources for ensuring that we remain a safe, caring, and inclusive community. Please look out for one another.

The unique diversity of our campus community sets us apart among our nation’s public higher education institutions. As we endure this difficult time, I ask that you join me in affirming our shared values of inclusion, equity, and diversity of all of our campus communities.


Dr. Mary A. Papazian