October 24, 2001
To Our International Students and Scholars:
The weeks since September 11 have been difficult for all of us, but especially, perhaps for you, our international students and scholars, who are far from home and family. I want you to know that you also have a family here - this University community. You are an integral and enriching part of this campus, and a great many people are making a particular effort now to offer you the support, friendship, and comfort that will keep your San Francisco State experience a good one.
I know that you have heard from some of those people directly. Dr. Yenbo Wu and Mr. Jay Ward of the Office of International Programs have written, held meetings, made calls, and sought to make you aware that we care about you, we are thinking about you, and that at this stressful time, we want you to be aware of the many support services available to you as San Francisco State University students.
I trust that you have been receiving my e-mail messages to the campus, sent to all faculty, students and staff with "sfsu.edu" e-mail addresses. I have praised the campus for coming together in mutual support and for striving to balance free speech and civility. Faculty, counselors, and others are seeking to maintain the spirit of understanding, mutual respect and kindness in which the campus first came together, on September 12.
We appear to be doing a good job of this, but we remain vigilant. We are determined that no one on this campus, whether student, faculty, or staff; whether citizen, immigrant, or visa student; whether Muslim, Jew, Christian, Buddhist - of any religion or none, will feel the pain of stereotyping or of any harassment, no matter how subtle. Some of you may feel greater anxiety about this, and I can only assure you that we are committed to supporting you, to maintaining San Francisco State as a safe and stable environment for everyone here. If you ever find it otherwise, if you have any bad experience, please let us know through Public safety, OIP, a professor - anyone to whom you feel comfortable speaking. You can also e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I promise you that we will respond and will work hard to make you feel once again secure and at home on this campus. We will not tolerate discrimination or harassment.
In a day-to-day way, we can offer you very practical assistance, from counseling services to escorts from Public Safety. You'll find a listing of helpful services on our "Campus Responds" section of the SFSU home page.
Next month, I will have a chance to meet and talk with you face-to-face at the November 12 reception that opens our International Week Festival. I hope that many of you will attend. I would like to meet you as individuals and hear from you about your studies and aspirations. In the meanwhile, I hope you will share this message with your parents and ease any worries they may have about your continued well-being on this campus. I look forward to seeing you on the 12th.
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