Supporting VTA and the San José community in the aftermath of today’s shooting

Dear campus community,

On a day we hoped would be reserved for the celebration of our Spring 2021 graduating class, we instead are grappling once again with the grim aftermath of a horrific mass shooting that today took the lives of several individuals here in San José.

While details continue to emerge, the incident is a shocking and unsettling  reminder that our own community is not immune to the gun violence and terror that plague our nation.

Incidents of violence, no matter where they occur, always spark outrage, pain and sadness. But when these awful and lethal actions take place in our own backyard, the emotions run even deeper. Those who lost their lives are, literally, our own neighbors, and we mourn with their family members and friends.

Compounding our sadness even further is the strong relationship the SJSU community has developed over the years with the Valley Transportation Authority. 

SJSU students, faculty and staff utilize VTA’s transportation services. Our Mineta Transportation Institute works with VTA on transit and passenger issues. They are our friends, neighbors and colleagues. SJSU enjoys a bond with VTA that will not break.

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 VTA families and friends, as well as the broader San José community. We stand with them to condemn this random act of violence and offer them our support in whatever way we can.

A vigil will take place tomorrow, May 27, at City Hall Plaza at 6 p.m. to remember the victims of today’s tragic shooting. Members of the SJSU community who would like to grieve alongside their San José friends and neighbors are encouraged to attend.




Dr. Mary A. Papazian