President Papazian’s message on Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting

Dear Campus Community,

The San Jose State community and I once again are filled with heartache and mourning as we share in the pain, sadness and outrage of another horrific tragedy that has hit so close to home for many of us. Yesterday’s senseless mass shooting at the beloved annual garlic festival in Gilroy shattered a family community cornerstone tradition that has been celebrated for over 41 years. 

I know the entire SJSU community shares my grief and sorrow since many of our own faculty, staff, students and alumni are personally connected in one way or another to our neighboring community of Gilroy — less than 35 miles from campus. We pause to reflect and mourn with family members and friends of those who were lost and injured. 

Some of our students, faculty and staff members may experience a variety of difficult emotions, including grief, fear, anxiety and even depression. Some members also may 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 members are important priorities.  Although we have no indication of any threats, as a reminder, if you witness or receive threats to safety, please contact University Police at 408-924-2222 or dial 911. 

As we pause and process the unavoidable questions of why and how this tragedy took place, I ask that you join me in coming together to console our families and friends of Gilroy. We stand with them to condemn this random act of hatred and violence and offer them our support in whatever way we can.


Dr. Mary A. Papazian