Recent reports from the news media have described a tragic COVID-19 crisis unfolding throughout India, one involving human suffering and pain both within the country itself as well as with victims’ family members and friends around the world. This includes a significant population of Asian Indian internationals and Asian Indian Americans who are a part of the SJSU community.
Roughly a year ago, those of us who work on campus—along with millions of others around the Bay Area and around the country—began working from home in adherence to the county’s shelter-in-place order. Though we continue to have much for which we can be grateful, I write today to acknowledge the sacrifices our campus community has made and the hard work we have performed to fulfill our mission over these past 12 months.
On Friday, I wrote letters to five key U.S. Senators, including Senators Feinstein and Harris, to request their urgently-needed support for San Jose State University and the entire California State University (CSU) system as we continue to come to grips with the devastating effects our institution faces due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I have since written to several House members as well. Specifically, we are asking legislators to support higher education in the third economic relief package now being negotiated.
“Not in my lifetime.” I keep saying those words over and over, as this moment truly is unprecedented. Just months or even weeks ago, many people had never heard the words “Coronavirus” or “COVID-19.” Things certainly can change quickly; the current public health crisis has now made those phrases household words and part of our national—or worldwide—lexicon.
Sadly, a resident of Santa Clara County died earlier today from the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has confirmed 37 cases at the time of this email. This number will escalate as more people report and are tested. After consulting with California State University System Chancellor Tim White and a variety of other leaders representing our unions, the Academic Senate, and the student body, I have made decisions regarding in-person classes.