We are failing as a system. The racial incident at San Jose State University was on the 7th floor of Campus Village Building C.
Recently, I discovered which dorm room it was happening in.
I lived in that exact same dorm room two years ago, during my first year of college.
This incident is a reminder to San Jose State that although we are living in our utopian bubble, racism still exists. Not only does it exist, it is happening in our own backyard. While the four white students being charged for the crimes claim it was all meant in a humorous and satirical way, the evidence indicates other intentions. There was Nazi imagery on the dorm walls and the students referred to the victim as “three-fifths,” as a reference to an old constitutional provision that regarded slaves as three-fifths of a person. San Jose Mercury News reports that two years ago, a San Jose study found students describing incidents of racism on campus–years before the dorm incident occurred. This study was never publicized. Mohammed Qayoumi, the current president of San Jose State University, separated the diversity group that conducted the study and started his own diversity group that has only met once until the racial incident in the dorms occurred.
Where is our institution headed? We are paying far more attention to football games and campus renovation than the way students are being treated. The university offers an exceptional Women’s Studies program that stresses such systems of oppression. The Women’s Studies program is now being threatened by budget cuts.
It is time to wake up. It is time for San Jose State University to stand up and announce who we truly are. We are not a racist campus. We need to start showing it.