Caring for Our Community in Stormy Days

Sent: March 15, 2023

From: Vincent J. Del Casino, Jr., Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dear SJSU Community,

I hope this email finds you well. I know that many of you have had your lives disrupted by the most recent winter storm. In some areas, flooding has made travel impossible, while in other regions power outages have disrupted the ability of faculty to teach, students to learn, and staff to deliver services. Some of our community members have also had to evacuate their homes and find shelter elsewhere while they wait for flooding to abate or power to return. If that wasn’t enough, the Internet went down on the main campus for several hours today. It sometimes makes us wonder - are we ever going to catch a break?! 

Given all that is going on, I am writing to ask that we continue a policy we all picked up during the pandemic - to be kind, flexible, and supportive of one another. What does this look like in practical terms? Well, we might need to be flexible with academic assignments, perhaps giving students the opportunity to make up for work they missed through no fault of their own. Students might need to understand that a faculty or staff member is taking a bit longer to get back to them because their life was disrupted by a power outage in their neighborhood. We also all need to recognize that our outstanding facilities team is doing everything possible to manage damage to buildings and maintain services. Finally, those of us in administration have to appreciate that some of the “hard deadlines” we set for our colleagues need to flex as people try to mitigate the most recent set of challenges beyond their control. 

I am only in my fourth year at SJSU. Many of you have served this institution much longer than myself. But, in that short time I have come to deeply appreciate this community. SJSU is a special place. It has its challenges, but it also has passionate and committed faculty, staff, and students. When push comes to shove - and there has been so much “push” and “shove” over the last three years - this community comes together. 

For those of you directly affected by the most recent winter storm, please stay safe. Reach out if you need help. For those of us who can make it to campus safely, thank you for being here for one another, for continuing the ongoing student services that make this place run, and for the value you bring to SJSU everyday in and beyond the classroom. 

As always, please reach out if you need anything. 

In solidarity,