Recent hate incidents on campus and elsewhere

Dr. Mary A. Papazian

Dear Campus Community,

These are troubling times in which we live.

Rarely does a month go by, it seems, without another community in the U.S. or abroad being ripped apart by a mass shooting, a hate crime or a tragic incident of some sort.

These events have become too familiar, and sadly, they may continue.

Neither San Jose State nor other college campuses, including those within our own CSU family, are immune to such incidents.

SJSU, along with other campuses nationwide, recently discovered fliers and inappropriate items that contained racist and anti-immigrant discriminatory content at various campus locations. These items were removed immediately because they violated our time, place and manner regulations.

As the new academic year unfolds, we may see more activity that is inconsistent with our core values of diversity, inclusion, respect and understanding. And, while we will not suppress freedom of speech—to do so would negate those same core values and our  mandates as a public institution of higher learning—we will continue to review and enforce all appropriate policies and procedures governing such activity on campus.

Additionally, we will create spaces to hold respectful and meaningful discussions about these challenging issues. We seek to educate our community members about how to respond to such speech while being consistent with the values of a diverse democracy. Soon, you will be hearing about how to participate in these educational discussions from campus leaders, faculty, staff and student leaders.

At the same time, let me be clear. Even as we engage in dialogue and review our relevant policies and practices, San Jose State University also will denounce the actions of white supremacist and white nationalist hate groups. Our community will not tolerate bigotry, hatred, discrimination and other forms of social violence against individuals or groups on the basis of their race, ethnicity, immigrant status, religion or other identities. We are committed to providing a campus community that is safe, equitable and responsive. Our inclusive educational environment will always challenge bigotry and ignorance.

San Jose State University is proud to be one of the most diverse campus communities in the nation. As we start the new semester, please join with me in affirming our shared values of inclusion, equity, fairness, acceptance and respect.


Dr. Mary A. Papazian