Hearing at San Jose State focused on recent hate crimes

The recent racial hate crimes at San Jose State, the administration’s communication and the campus’ effort to create a safe environment were the focus of an Assembly committee meeting held at the university on March 21.

Assembly Members Tom Ammiano, Nora Campos, Paul Fong, and Philip Ting attended the Assembly Select Committee on Campus Climate hearing, which was chaired by Assembly Member Shirley N. Weber.

The three-hour informational hearing, which drew campus administrators, faculty staff, students and community members to the Morris Daily Auditorium, consisted of three panels, with each focusing on three different areas: What is currently happening on campuses and how are campuses responding; What are students’ experiences on campuses; and Civil Rights Groups.  

Dr. Mary Wardell-Ghirarduzzi, vice provost for diversity engagement and community outreach at the University of San Francisco, also gave a short presentation on the definition of campus climate.

Committee members focused on the recent racial hate crimes that occurred in the residential halls at San Jose State University. Specifically, they questioned the administration’s communication within the organization and the campus’ effort to create a safe environment for all students.

The student panel was asked if they were aware of any diversity office that met the needs of the multiple identities found on their campuses. The public also was provided an opportunity to speak on the issue of campus climate.  

Legislators largely “chided San Jose State leaders and housing officials for their delayed response to the alleged tormenting of a black freshman by his white roommates in a case that generated national outrage and led to misdemeanor hate crime charges,” according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Future hearing dates have not yet been set.

CFA continues to urge faculty and the campus community to participate in the hearings.  

“This is a great opportunity for all CSU faculty to express their thoughts about campus climate to the Assembly Committee,” says CFA Chapter President of SJSU Kell Fujimoto.  ”The committee needs to hear what is happening on all of our campuses.”