Next Week’s Return to Campus

Dear campus community,

In response to my Feb. 8 message about our return to in-person instruction, we have received a lot of feedback. Much of it has been positive, as many are sharing their excitement about getting back together. But others are feeling anxious and worried.

To those who have reached out, thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and concerns with us. We can imagine how challenging these last couple of years have been and continue to be, and we are here to support you in all ways possible.

COVID-19 is with us for the foreseeable future. We need to move to a place where we can live, learn, work, and rebuild our social fabric with this in mind. We know it will be different and difficult, but we can do it together. We know there is stress and anxiety for many as we return to in-person instruction with each of us having specific needs and concerns. We are here to support you and work to provide what you need.

Our number one goal is to provide a transformational educational experience for our students at San José State, and we work every day to make that happen. With this in mind, our faculty and staff have designed the course schedule for this spring semester with the understanding that we are not out of the pandemic. It is a mix of approximately 60% in person classes and 40% virtual. Each course was designed to best achieve the learning outcomes necessary for success. Some have specifically asked to require that all classes be taught in a hyflex mode. While that may seem like a solution, it is not feasible to do so at this time.

Given the circumstances we see in our community regarding the pandemic with falling infection rates, very low positivity rates on campus, very high percentage of people with boosters and the booster requirement for those coming to campus, masking, and available testing on campus, at this point in time we feel it is best for us to return to what we know is the best college experience we can provide.

This optimism in public health indicators is balanced with continuing concerns many of us have had to work through during the pandemic for ourselves, our families and our communities. Our Health Advisories website provides up-to-date information on continuing mitigation, safety protocols, and guidance.

We know this will be challenging for everyone and some will need our support. In order to work through these challenges, it is important that:

  • Students understand the make-up policies for any missed work related to any illness in their courses;
  • Students reach out to their faculty if they have difficulty accessing a course or the course materials to see if there are support services they can access to help them in the class;
  • Students reach out to academic advisors and our student affairs professionals on campus if there is something that we can do to help;
  • Members of the campus community who need a medical accommodation reach out to the Accessible Education Center (AEC);  
  • Students reach out online to Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) or at (408) 924-5910, and employees to reach out to our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for help with stress, anxiety, or any other mental health challenges;
  • Students connect with SJSU Cares if they have basic needs including but not limited to housing and food insecurity. 

Most of all, please be there to support each other when needed.

As I said, I can’t wait to get back together and see (and for me, meet) everyone. We have missed being around each other and need to get back together to begin rebuilding our campus community and social bonds that have been so difficult, if not impossible, to maintain. 

Our campus is best when we are together, and we have our faculty, staff, and students to thank for being able to achieve this both virtually and in-person through the course of the pandemic. As we move into this new phase, we can strengthen our social fabric and in some ways be better for it. What this will take is creativity and care for each other. I know we can do it.

Thank you for all you do.

Steve Perez
Interim President

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