Dear students, faculty and staff,
A number of community members have raised concern about an event held yesterday by an outside group on campus, during which anti-Semetic and racial terms were used. An important truth exists: we have a responsibility to protect free speech, even when certain speech seeks to defame or demean. Nevertheless, speech that is anti-Semetic or encourages hatred of a particular group, is reprehensible and counter to the inclusive environment we support at SDSU.
We deeply value what each member of our campus community brings, and we appreciate existing, compassion-driven efforts that serve to create a more welcoming community for all. Our most powerful action is to meet these types of situations with a push for more understanding.
We encourage you to read the full statement shared earlier today by Chief Diversity Officer J. Luke Wood:
Some members of our Jewish community, along with members of other groups, have expressed concerns about an event held by an outside group on campus yesterday, February 19.
We affirm that statements that are hateful, Anti-semitic, or in opposition to individuals of Jewish faith or ethnicity are counter to our core campus values. We find hateful statements to be reprehensible, as they are against our goals of creating a welcoming and affirming environment for all communities.
In addition, we support individual rights to speech and have a responsibility, as a public university, to uphold this democratic right, even when we disagree with the nature of the speech.
I will be reaching out to members of the community in the coming weeks to open a structured dialogue in support of identifying potential actions to support an inclusive environment. If you have any questions, or have interest in serving participating in these discussions, please email [email protected].
As we have acknowledged before, we remain proud of the inclusive nature of our community and we will continue to nurture a welcoming environment.
Adela de la Torre
San Diego State University President
Salvador Hector Ochoa
Provost and Senior Vice President
J. Luke Wood
Chief Diversity Officer