Dear campus community,
We all are rattled by two unrelated recent events that threaten our sense of safety and community on campus. The first occurred when we received a report from Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety that a student had been making threats on social media. When our University Police Department made contact with the student, they discovered that the student was in possession of a loaded firearm. They then took the student into custody, where he remains.
Once the arrest was made late Wednesday and all the facts were gathered, we worked to communicate the details of the incident to our campus community as quickly as possible.
The second incident, reporting shots fired, occurred last night across the street from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library, causing damage to the seventh and eighth floors of the library. This incident is under investigation by the San Jose and University Police Departments. The impact on our campus community is very real. Students and employees who feel they need support are encouraged to take advantage of any number of the counseling and psychological services that we offer. Support is also available to SJSU staff and employees through our Employee Assistance Program.
In both cases, our University Police Department and others in the local law enforcement community coordinated effectively, did their jobs and did them well, and for that I am greatly appreciative.
As our vice president for student affairs, Patrick Day, reminded the campus community in an email message this week, one of the most effective ways to mitigate or prevent harm on our campus is the support of our own friends, colleagues and classmates. As Patrick wrote in his email, If you see something, say something. We all must remain vigilant about our surroundings and report behaviors or activities that seem suspicious.
Please know that the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and the entire campus community is of paramount importance to campus leadership. I hope you will reach out with questions, concerns, or ideas on how we collectively can make our campus as safe and secure as it possibly can be.
Dr. Mary A. Papazian