Bias Incident in Joe West Residence Hall

17 May 2024

Dear campus community, 

We are writing to share sad and concerning news regarding a bias incident that occurred on campus during the evening of 5/4. Hateful, White supremacist messages were written on a resident's dry erase board on the 7th floor of Joe West Residence Hall. The messages specifically contained both anti-Black and anti-Jewish epithets. To be clear, this behavior is not only a violation of our Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation policy and our student code of conduct, but also in stark contrast to our values as an institution. We strongly denounce past and present hate towards anyone in our campus community. 

While this incident may most immediately impact the residents of the 7th floor of Joe West Residence Hall, it also reverberates across our community and taps into our collective memory of similar incidents in SJSU’s past. The incident was first documented by the Student Conduct Office and University Housing on 5/5. Both offices reacted promptly and have remained in conversation with the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, SJSU’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation administrator, and the University Police Department about the investigation of the incident and next steps. More importantly, SJSU staff have reached out to impacted individuals and communities and have facilitated trauma-informed community meetings in the Joe West Residence Hall community, the Black Leadership and Opportunity Center (BLOC), and in other spaces on campus. 

We take this situation very seriously. Staff continue to work diligently to determine who committed this act and to hold responsible parties accountable for their actions. If you have any information that would assist with this investigation, we would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you. You can file a bias incident report by using the links below or by emailing our Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation administrator directly at Your reports can remain confidential through all these resources. 

In closing, we want to express our grief and anger at this example of hate that took place on our campus. We also want to let you know that we are here and that our offices and organizations are available to hold space and provide opportunities to process as a community or even one-on-one. Whether student or employee, our campus has counseling and resources available to you. 

Resources For Students: 
If you have a mental health emergency and need immediate assistance please contact Counseling and Psychological Services. There is always a staff member available to assist you. Please call 408-924-5910 or visit us at All of our services are being offered either in person or online through confidential video or phone sessions. For after-hours emergencies, please call 911. If you live on campus, please call campus police at 408-924-2222. You may also call our main number 408-924-5910 after hours and press 4 to connect with after-hours crisis service. 

Hillel of Silicon Valley: Phone: 408-286-6669, Facebook, Instagram 

Jewish Silicon Valley: Phone: 408-357-7429, Facebook, Instagram 

Black Leadership and Opportunity Center: Phone: 408-924-5105:  Instagram 

Resources For Employees: 
Visit LifeMatters® for more information. Password: SPARTANS 
To speak with someone from LifeMatters® confidentially, call 800-367-7474. 

Resources For All: 
You may also call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing or texting 9-8-8. In addition, you may contact the Crisis Text Line by sending a text for help: Text HOME to 741741. Both lines are available 24/7. 


Kristin Dukes 
Chief Diversity Officer 
Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 
Office of the President