Another tragedy reminds us to care for each other

Dear San José State campus community,

I write to you today with deep sadness.  A horrific act of violence in Buffalo, New York compels me to speak to our campus community. There should be no place in our society for hate, especially hatred based on race, religion or place of origin. The shooter’s violent ideology extends to many communities, vividly reminding us that a person who hates one type of community likely hates others too. This type of corrosive, destructive ideology leaves no community untouched.

Law enforcement indicates that this shooting was a hate crime targeting the Black community by a white supremacist touting racist and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Hate crimes draw their power from the terror they inflict on innocent communities selected because of their identities, defined by historical and systemic discrimination. Similar to mass shootings at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, at Emmanuel AME church in Charleston, and at a Walmart in El Paso, the shooter targeted places with the intention of killing groups of people and  terrorizing entire communities at the institutions they frequent, support and find sanctuary.

While these actions are on the other side of our country, the repercussions, fear, and echoes of the past (and present) will be felt in our state and on our campus. I know that our San José State University community is hurting deeply.

I believe we can and must choose to care for each other, we can choose to reach out to others, we can choose to accept, and in fact, embrace our differences. And we must choose care, we must choose love. 

Please take time to reach out to those you know and even those you don’t know, take time to care for each other, take time to get to know each other. For anyone affected by this tragedy we have resources available for you to attempt to cope with your emotions. Please know that you are not alone. Whether student or employee, our campus has counseling and resources available to you.

Students and employees have access to emotional support and counseling services. Students are encouraged to contact Counseling and Psychological Services or SJSU Cares and employees are encouraged to contact the Employee Assistance Program. As a reminder, our campus has a Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) also takes referrals regarding individuals who may need help in terms of mental health. BIT can consult or can reach out to individuals to provide support. Call 408-924-6339 or use this non-emergency referral form

Additionally, students can reach out to the BLOC, Black Leadership Opportunity Center and Program Director Emerald Green. You can also reach out to our Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to schedule a meeting with our staff. Dr. Patience Bryant, Director of Black/African American Equity will also be holding in person office hours in The BLOC on Monday, 05/16 @ 12:30-2:00 pm, located in the Student Union. Faculty and staff can also reach out to Felicia Fegans, President of the Black Faculty and Staff Association.  Please note that while they are not licensed therapists, they can provide support, listen and help individuals and groups connect with services. 

With deepest regards,

Steve Perez
Interim President

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