FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Donntay Moore-Thomas: (510) 395-0407, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brianna Leon: (408) 409-9943, email@example.com
An Unjust Verdict: The Recent Sentencing of Former SJSU Students Did Not Meet The Severity of Their Crime
SAN JOSE, CA- On Thursday, March 17 at 11:30 am, Black Unity Group, with alliance to Black Student Union will hold a rally and press conference at the Tower Lawn to discuss the recent hate crime verdict on our campus along with other demands, and our request for immediate action on these issues.
The sentencing was held on Monday March, 14. Three former San Jose University Students were sentenced to the lesser crime of probation and community service, following their misdemeanor battery against their former Black roommate. They were acquitted of the Hate Crime. These incidents took place in the Fall of 2013 during the student’s first year of college. Following, the conclusion of the sentencing, interim President Sue Martin, gave a brief response that focused on school climate. As a result of the verdict, there is still little improvement in the increasing racial tensions on the campus. There has been no further push to engage in discussion regarding the verdict.
Black Unity Group is frustrated that:
1. There are still tensions among the various racial groups on campus. There has been no improvement to increase diversity sensitivity on campus. Institutional racism and individual acts remain unaddressed.
2. There has been no formal apology from the University regarding the heinous crime.
3. There has been a lack of communication between students and the administration. The source of communication has been asynchronous [no room for back and forth emailing from students]. The emails written from The interim President and Vice President for Student Affairs do not allow feedback from students.
4. None of the previous demands that were brought to the administration in 2013 have been met in a timely manner.
The verdict adds to the growing issue of San Jose State University’s Black students’ need for a direct action to increase their security, safety, and voice on campus.
Students of Black Unity Group DEMAND:
1. Zero Tolerance Policy for Racial Harassment that will disallow anything that represents or symbolizes an attack on any ethnic, religious or gender group in housing and anywhere on campus.
2. A letter from the president/incoming president to make improving the racial climate a top priority.
3. To improve specialized resources for students of color to feel more welcomed on campus.
Black Unity Group is a student activist organization that branches off of Black Student Union. Our goal is to effectively come together to bring about pressing issues that surround the Black community on SJSU’s campus. We offer a safe space to unite, educate, and enrich students of color on San Jose State’s campus.
Black Unity Group