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Office of The President California State University, Sacramento

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Presidential Communications

President Robert S. Nelsen’s messages to students, faculty, and staff.

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Sac State's COVID-19 Screening Program

Feb. 23, 2021 - Sacramento State has launched a COVID-19 Screening Program. If you have received an email from the Division of Student Affairs that says, “Important Reminder about COVID-19 Screening,” it means you were randomly selected to participate in the COVID-19 surveillance screening program. Please consider registering to be tested. The testing is not mandatory, but highly encouraged. Being tested can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to your family, friends, classmates, or professors. Testing is done at the Student Health Center and is by appointment only. The screening program is for faculty, staff, and students, who will be randomly selected each week to participate throughout the spring semester.

Sacramento State is partnering with Avellino Labs to make the COVID-19 testing program available for faculty, staff, and students. For more information about Avellino labs, please visit their website.

For additional information regarding the Sacramento State COVID-19 Screening Program, please visit the Coronavirus Information for Students web page or email questions to covidquestions@csus.edu.

Stay safe, Hornets. Let’s all do our part to protect one another. Stingers Up!

Commencement

Feb. 22, 2021 - I know that many members of the Hornet Family are anxiously waiting for news on Commencement, and I encourage everyone to read this message in its entirety.

By now, we had hoped that the pandemic would be over, or at least contained enough to host in-person Commencement ceremonies once again in 2021. Sadly, we are not there yet.

In light of the ongoing danger related to COVID-19, we will not, and cannot, risk holding large, formal, in-person Commencement ceremonies in the near future. Not even outdoors. After significant planning, we believe the safest option for the 2020 and 2021 graduates is an on-campus, drive-through Commencement celebration we are calling “CARmencement.”

I sincerely apologize to this and last years’ graduates. I promised that we would meet at Golden 1 Center, and we cannot. Your hearts are broken, and so is mine. Last year, I committed to in-person ceremonies to celebrate the classes of 2020 and 2021. At the time, I fully believed we would be celebrating at Golden 1 Center this May, but that is not possible. I made a promise to our graduates that we could not keep. Therefore, by the end of April, we will be automatically refunding the portion of graduation fees ($48.50) that covers the Commencement ceremony. The refund will apply to graduates who completed their degree in the following semesters: Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021.

Graduates should enroll in eRefund and ensure that their mailing address is current in the Student Center. Graduates do not need to take any action to receive their refund, which will be automatically processed. For students applying to graduate in 2021 who have yet to pay their graduation application fees, only the portion of the fee that goes toward their diploma ($28) will be charged. The refund is only for graduates listed above who have paid the full graduation fee.

Instead of a Golden 1 Center Commencement, each graduate will be invited to come to Sacramento State beginning Friday, May 21, to participate in a drive-through CARmencement celebration on our beautiful campus. The celebration will include a parade-type experience through campus where each graduate will be individually recognized. The event will include music, two official Sacramento State Commencement programs, a special gift for each graduate, and COVID-safe interaction with faculty and staff who supported and cheered students to reach their academic goals. We hope that you will choose to celebrate safely with us in the best way we can, given the extraordinary circumstances in which we continue to find ourselves.

More details about CARmencement will be coming soon, including how to register and what to expect during the event. I understand that there are many questions, and we have prepared an FAQ document that has been added to the Sac State Commencement website. The website also will be continually updated with the most up-to-date CARmencement information. Please send specific questions to commencement@csus.edu. Further, we will share information about what led us to this decision and our vision for CARmencement, as well as answer questions, during two virtual information sessions in the next two weeks. Please be on the lookout for invitations to these upcoming information sessions on these dates:

  • Graduates and guests: 2 p.m. Friday, March 5.
  • Faculty and staff: 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 10.
I am incredibly proud of the Hornet Family. Please continue to take care of yourself and one another. We will endure, and we will do it together. Stingers Up!

Emergency grants for students

Feb. 18, 2021 - Many of you have been waiting for news about the most recent round of Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) money, authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (CRRSAA), and when and how it will be distributed to Sacramento State students. I am pleased to share that Sacramento State has received $17.8 million in CRRSAA funds (also called HEERF II) to provide grants to students. Congress intends for students to use the funds for expenses – such as food, housing, course materials, healthcare, and childcare – related to the disruption of their studies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While we waited for guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, we worked to determine how best to allocate the grants in alignment with guidance from Congress to prioritize grants for students with the most need. The current information we have on file for financial need (FAFSA) is based upon tax returns from 2019, which may not accurately demonstrate the financial challenges our students have faced since March 2020.

Obviously, every student has been affected in one way or another by the pandemic. Therefore, we have worked to ensure that all students will receive relief, while acknowledging that students who currently receive high-need federal financial aid in the form of a Pell grant might continue to have increased need. Therefore, the CRRSAA funds will be allocated to all students as shown in the table at the bottom of this message.

Based on our current enrollment, the sum of these allocations will exceed the $17.8 million of CRRSAA funds, so the University will add about $5 million more of HEERF institutional funds to augment the awards for our students.

The CRRSAA and HEERF funding cannot be used for international students or undocumented students, but we have set aside funds from other University sources to provide these students with the same amounts listed above. Last May, we were dismayed to learn that students already in fully online programs would not qualify for the HEERF funding. I am pleased that the restriction has been removed by Congress for this round of funding. Students in fully online programs through the College of Continuing Education will receive identical funding from CRRSAA.

All students will automatically receive their grant via eRefund or a mailed check. Our goal is to have eRefund grants disbursed at the end of next week, with checks going out the full week after. It is extremely important that students have updated their directory information in their Student Center, because checks will be sent to the address listed there. The quickest way for students to receive their grant is via eRefund. Students should strongly consider signing up for eRefund if they have not already done so. Students should also double check that their eRefund bank account is still active. Students can find eRefund in their Student Center. Information on how to access eRefund can be found on the Campus Bursar's Office web page. Students who have a balance due or a hold on their account will still receive a full grant. They can, but are not required to, use their grant to pay down their balance or resolve any holds.

Obviously, the COVID-19 crisis has dramatically changed the financial situation for many students and their families. Hence, Sacramento State also has set aside an additional $1.5 million of the University’s share of HEERF and CRRSAA funds for students in crisis. Information about how to apply for these supplemental grants can be found on the HEERF Emergency Grants page.

I know that many of our students are facing substantial, significant financial challenges that these grants cannot cover. We remain committed to finding ways to support the Hornet Family through this crisis. Many generous donors have come forward to help. Students facing additional needs should consider applying for the Sacramento State emergency grant and emergency housing programs.

Please be safe and stay strong. I hope to see you all on campus again soon. Stingers up!

  Enrolled in 7 or more units Enrolled in 6 or less units
Pell Eligible EFC $850 $700
Not Pell-eligible EFC $750 $600

COVID-19 Vaccine Info for Employees

Feb. 17, 2021 - On Feb. 16, Sacramento County moved to COVID-19 vaccination Phase 1a, Tier 2. Educators, including Sacramento State employees (faculty, staff, and administrators), now are eligible to receive the vaccine. We at Sacramento State will be able to provide the vaccinations, as will multiple other sources such as CVS, Walgreens, Cal Expo, and local medical providers. You can register with Vaccinate Sacramento to receive information about scheduling appointments in the county. Students are not eligible to be vaccinated on campus at this time.

We know that many of you are excited about the opportunity to receive the vaccine, and this news brings hope. As much as we wish everyone could be vaccinated tomorrow, please remember that the number of people vaccinated per day is completely dependent on the amount of vaccine available. Each week, Sacramento State receives doses from the county; the number of doses depends on how many doses the county receives for overall distribution. Currently, supplies are very limited and vary from week to week. We encourage everyone to seek vaccinations from all available sources.

This week, employees will start receiving email invitations to sign up for an appointment to be vaccinated at the vaccination site in the University Union. If you would like to decline or if you have already received your vaccine, then you can simply delete the invitation. The limited quantity of vaccine has forced us to make difficult decisions about who should receive the vaccination first and who will receive subsequent inoculations, but we will be guided by our commitment to the Hornet Family. Individuals currently teaching face-to-face classes, those who are doing active research with students required for graduation, and those who are directly supporting students and employees in face-to-face situations (for example, custodians, housing staff, facilities staff, mail services staff) will receive the initial invitations. Employees who have less interaction on campus or who are teleworking will be subsequently considered.

When it is time, faculty and staff will receive an email from “Vaccination Clinics” that will include a link to register for an appointment on campus. Vaccines will be given by appointment only. To follow Sacramento County Public Health guidance, appointments are only available to Sacramento State employees who receive the link. The invitation cannot be shared with others, even if they work at Sacramento State. Employees will be asked to show their OneCard. Anyone who is identified as registering for a vaccine with a shared link will have the registration canceled. We appreciate everyone’s understanding of the importance of following the county’s vaccination protocol.

At this time, vaccinations cannot be required. The current vaccinations have been cleared for Emergency Use Authorization only. Once they are fully vetted and approved by the FDA, we will be able to consider requiring the vaccinations for anyone who is physically on our campus. Until that approval, we must rely on our mutual respect, understanding, and care to keep the Hornet Family safe and healthy.

It is important to remember that we are not repopulating campus. Everyone who can telework should continue to do so. The vaccine decreases the severity of illness for the individual, but it does not prevent someone from catching or spreading COVID-19.

Please visit Sacramento State’s COVID-19 website for updated information. Stingers Up!

Condemning violence against Asians and Asian Americans

Feb. 12, 2021 - The past year has been difficult for many members and populations of our campus community because of the pandemic, ongoing economic crises, a contentious election, violence at the Capitol, and a summer of unrest and activism after the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.

As I shared in 2020, Asians and Asian Americans have seen a sharp rise in hate incidents in the aftermath of racist rhetoric around the COVID-19 pandemic. These incidents were fueled by politicians blaming China for the pandemic. Recently, the Bay Area has experienced a series of attacks on Asian American and Pacific Islanders living in the region, particularly the elderly. In January, Vicha Ratanapakdee, 84, was murdered in San Francisco during his morning walk. In Oakland’s Chinatown neighborhood, a woman, 52, was shot in the head with a flare gun and a 91-year-old man was recently attacked on the sidewalk. While any form of violence or hatred aimed at a community should have no place in our society, to target the vulnerable is especially egregious and cowardly. I strongly believe that we must condemn these attacks and condemn the hateful rhetoric aimed at Asians and Asian Americans. While the news of these attacks has not been as widely broadcast as other violence, we cannot remain silent or unaware of the racism and terror aimed at Asian and Asian American communities.

The damage done by the prolific anti-Asian rhetoric cannot be undone, but we as citizens must work together against all forms of racism toward anyone in our community. It is not us against each other; it must be us together against racism. President Biden’s signing of an executive order condemning racism against Asian American Pacific Islander communities is a good first step, but we cannot move forward as a country until we find ways to unify, heal, and put an end to racial violence and hate. It is tragic that in this time that should be filled with joy and happiness as many in the Asian community celebrate Lunar New Year, so many are living in terror.

The mental trauma of racism and bigotry cannot be underestimated and dismissed. For those in need of support, please consider the services and resources offered by Sacramento State. Students should visit Student Health and Counseling Services online, or call 916-278-6461. Sacramento State has counselors ready to support faculty and staff through our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) online, or call 800-367-7474.

Remembering Lorall Hann

Feb. 10, 2021 - I am devastated to share that Lorall Marrece Hann, a Psychology major, passed away at the young age of 34 on Jan. 27, 2021. He was a mainstay of our Hornet Family — we all knew his smile. And as he spun himself across campus, he made us all smile. I do not have adequate words to express my personal sorrow and the collective grief of our campus at this extraordinary loss. Lorall was a regular at football games and fundraising events, and was deeply committed to giving back to his fellow students and improving his community. He was a fierce advocate for students who faced access and mobility challenges on our campus. Lorall was an intellectual, a dreamer, a poet, and a friend — and a darn good DJ at KSSU.

As highlighted in a powerful video profile about Lorall in 2019 (follow this link to see the video), he persisted through significant obstacles to live a rich life on his terms. Lorall wanted to be a counselor. He would have been an amazing counselor. He understood hardship and devastation, and he understood what it was like to be supported by his family and his community. I know that my heartache is shared by many of you as you process this terrible news. Lorall’s life is one that ended far too early and so tragically close to the fulfillment of a longtime dream – graduating college. Later this semester, we will present Lorall’s family with a posthumous degree in recognition of his academic achievement at Sacramento State.

The past year has been difficult for us all. It has been a year filled with extraordinary challenges and extraordinary losses. Out of respect for the wishes of family, I am often unable to share information about members of the Hornet Family who have passed. I am grateful that Lorall’s family is allowing us to celebrate his life and legacy publicly. I hope you will join the Hornet Family for a campus-wide virtual memorial event at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, to celebrate Lorall’s life. Please follow this link to register for Lorall’s virtual memorial:

https://csus.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMldu2vqDMrHt1TjkpmfqGUHKaAa3aBiQ-O

We know Lorall made an impact on the Hornet Family, and many of you may want to honor his memory in a lasting and meaningful way. If you would like to donate to the Guardian Scholars Program in Lorall’s name, you can do so here by following this link.

This devastating loss touches so many on our campus. For those seeking grief counseling, please consider the services and resources offered by Sacramento State. Students should visit Student Health and Counseling Services online, or call 916-278-6461. We have counselors ready to help you through this difficult time. Faculty and staff should contact our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) online, or call 800-367-7474. Please continue to take care of yourselves and each other during this difficult time.

Dean Robin Carter has retired from Sac State

Feb. 8, 2021 - As Provost Perez shared earlier today, Dr. Robin Carter, Dean of the College of Health and Human Services has retired, effective immediately. To say that I am heartbroken is an understatement. Dean Carter is an institution at Sacramento State, and her stellar reputation on our campus is unparalleled. While this decision is a shock to many of us, I urge everyone to respect her privacy during this time.

Most recently, Dean Carter was appointed to her position in December 2020 after a national search. She was “Made at Sac State,” earning both her bachelor's and master’s degrees in Social Work here. She then went on to complete a master’s and doctoral degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.

Dean Carter’s impact and career at Sacramento State spans decades. She joined the faculty in 1989, eventually rising to a full professor in the Division of Social Work. She has served as a Department Chair, Associate Dean, and as Interim Vice Provost in Academic Affairs. Dean Carter was the inaugural Executive Director for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, which has grown into the Division of Inclusive Excellence. Her work as Interim Executive Director of Diversity and Inclusion laid critical groundwork for the establishment of this office at Sacramento State. In spite of her outstanding work in this area, she chose to pursue her dreams of earning a deanship. In 2019, she was appointed as the Interim Dean of the College of Health and Human Services after the retirement of Dean Fred Baldini. In December, she earned the well-deserved honor of being named Dean of the college.

Few people have had the career span and time at a single institution to truly make an impact in the way that Dean Carter has. She is truly the epitome and spirit of the Hornet Family. I cannot imagine this campus without her bright, bold, and caring leadership. I hope that we will all celebrate Dean Carter’s legacy at Sacramento State and wish her the best in this new phase of life. Associate Dean Mary Maguire will serve as Administrator in Charge of Health and Human Services for the immediate future.

Robin is a friend, a trusted colleague, and an admired leader at Sacramento State. She is truly irreplaceable. We all owe her immense thanks for her time, energy, and commitment to making Sacramento State a better place for our students, staff, and faculty. Robin is and always will be the best of the Hornet Family.

Approved face-to-face classes may begin in-person instruction Feb. 1

Jan. 27, 2021 - The spring semester is off to another exciting, yet challenging start. My first campus message of the semester this morning was about possible power outages from the high winds our region experienced last night. Not an ideal way to begin a virtual semester, but the Hornet Family persists.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced earlier this week that the statewide Stay-at-Home Order for the Greater Sacramento Region has been lifted. Therefore, those classes that already have been approved for face-to-face instruction for Spring 2021 may begin in-person meetings beginning Feb. 1, 2021. Please review the following for updates and clarification about University operations.

Classes and labs:

  • The vast majority of classes and labs will be delivered virtually for Spring 2021.
  • Previously approved face-to-face classes and labs may begin in-person instruction starting Feb. 1, 2021.
  • Faculty teaching face-to-face classes and labs must communicate with their department chair and students as soon as possible regarding when they intend to resume in-person class and lab meetings.
For students:
  • Residence halls will remain open.
  • Protocols established by each department during the fall will be observed for equipment return. If changes or new procedures are needed, Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) will provide prompt review (call 916-278-2020).
  • The Hornet Bookstore is open with limited hours to allow pick-up and return of course materials. Please check the Bookstore website for hours of operation.
  • Student Health and Counseling Services remains open. Please check its website for hours of operation.
  • The ASI Children’s Center is open. Please check the Center website for more details.
  • Limited outdoor activities will continue to be available by appointment at The Well and Aquatic Center. Please check their website for details.
On-campus research:
  • Previously approved on-campus research involving students may continue if deemed necessary for graduation by the provost.
  • Previously approved on-campus research that does not involve students may continue.
For employees:
  • All employees who are teleworking shall continue to do so.
  • The protocol for staff and faculty returning to campus can be found on the Risk Management web page.
All employees who come to campus must have completed COVID-19 Safety Training and should have received their Safety Equipment Package with face coverings and hand sanitizer. Managers should ensure that all employees in their reporting line have sufficient face coverings and sanitizers to remain in compliance with our protocols and to keep our employees protected. Direct any questions about safety training or safety equipment to EHS.
Athletics:
  • Men’s and Women’s Basketball are currently competing. You can watch them play for free on PlutoTV. Stingers Up!
  • We will follow all NCAA Resocialization protocols in determining next steps for spring sports.
  • I know everyone is seeking information about Sacramento State’s COVID-19 testing and vaccination programs, and more information on will be coming soon. Meanwhile, please click on the links in the COVID-19 banner on the University’s main web page for more immediate information.
For those who need additional support, please consider the services and resources offered by Sacramento State. Students should visit Student Health and Counseling Services online, or call 916-278-6461. We have counselors ready to help you through this difficult time. Faculty and staff should contact our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) online, or call 800-367-7474.

Possible power outages for students, faculty, and staff

Jan. 27, 2021 - Due to high winds, our region is facing the possibility of extended power outages. If a power outage prohibits you from going to class, teaching a class, or teleworking, please see the following information for appropriate actions:

Students:

  • Please contact your instructor as soon as you are able and explain your situation.
  • Please be patient with your faculty, as they also may be impacted by the power outages.
Faculty:
  • If you cannot deliver a synchronous class, please contact your department chair.
  • If you are unable to contact your students, please work with your chair or associate dean to get a message to them.
  • Please be understanding with students who are affected by power outages.
Staff and Management:
  • Please contact your manager as soon as you are able.
  • Managers should work with employees to determine options for completing their work or taking time off.
  • Please be patient with managers and employees, as many are affected by the outage.
I must reiterate that everyone who can study or work remotely should continue to do so. Let’s continue to care for one another and ourselves. Please be kind and understanding as people navigate the aftermath of these storms.

Reminder: Virtual Spring Address

Jan. 19, 2021 - As a friendly reminder, I hope that you will join me via Zoom webinar at 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, for my virtual Spring Address.

Here is the direct link: https://csus.zoom.us/j/89363486981.

You can also locate the link on Sacramento State’s website.

The Spring Address will be recorded so that it will be available for those who are not able to watch the event live. ASL interpretation and real-time captioning will be provided. If you require additional accommodations to view the Spring Address, please contact events@csus.edu.

My intention for the Spring Address is to shed light on what we know, what we anticipate, and what we think it means for Sacramento State. Stingers Up!

Virtual Spring Address - Thursday, January 21, 2021

Jan. 15, 2021 - Please join me via Zoom webinar at 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, for what I hope will be my last virtual Spring Address.

Here is the link: https://csus.zoom.us/j/89363486981.

The Spring Address will be recorded so that it will be available for those who are not able to watch the event live. ASL interpretation and real-time captioning will be provided. If you require additional accommodations to view the Spring Address, please contact events@csus.edu.

We have been through turmoil over the past several months, as a Hornet Family and as a nation (including just the past few weeks). Obviously, there are many questions about what’s next. My intention for the Spring Address is to shed light on what we know, what we anticipate, and what we think it means for Sacramento State.

I am experiencing Zoom fatigue, and I am sure you are too. I look forward to the day when we can be together in person. I am extremely grateful for all the work that you have done to ensure that the spring semester can begin safely and productively and for moving our University forward. Stingers Up!

Stay at Home Order Extended

Jan. 12, 2021 - On Dec. 9, 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that since ICU bed availability in the Greater Sacramento Region (including Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba counties) had dropped below 15%, the Regional Stay at Home Order would be put in place.

The Regional Stay at Home Order was to be in effect for at least three weeks. After that period, the order could have been lifted if our region’s projected ICU capacity met or exceeded 15%. Unfortunately, the situation has only deteriorated—our region’s ICU capacity has continued to decrease, and after the recent holidays, the forecast does not look any more promising. Therefore, the Stay at Home Order has been extended until we learn otherwise.

We still intend to begin instruction—both face-to-face and virtual—Jan. 25. As you know, we decided that the first week of instruction would be 100% virtual, even for face-to-face classes. That decision was made in anticipation of the now very-real spike in COVID cases and hospitalizations, and it was the right decision. Depending on conditions, we may need to extend 100% virtual instruction beyond the first week of classes. We will continually assess the situation over the next few weeks and will communicate as soon as a decision is reached about the subsequent weeks of the spring semester.

Meanwhile, please review the following for updates and clarification about University operations.

Classes and labs:

  • All classes and labs (including those approved as face-to-face for Spring 2021) scheduled for Jan. 25 – 29 will be delivered virtually.
  • Depending on our region’s Stay at Home Order status, virtual delivery may be extended beyond the first week of instruction.
For students:
  • Residence halls will remain open.
  • Students living in the residence halls should monitor their email for notices about returning/move-in assignments. Most students will be returning or moving in starting Jan. 21.
  • Protocols established by each department during the fall will be observed for equipment return. If changes or new procedures are needed, Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) will provide prompt review (call 916-278-2020).
  • The Hornet Bookstore will remain open with limited hours to allow pick-up and return of course materials. Please check the Bookstore website for hours of operation.
  • Student Health and Counseling Services remains open. Please check its website for hours of operation.
  • The ASI Children’s Center will remain open. Please check the Center website for more details.
  • Limited outdoor activities will continue to be available by appointment at The Well and Aquatic Center. Please check their website for details.
On-campus research:
  • Previously approved on-campus research involving students may continue if deemed necessary for graduation by the provost.
  • Previously approved on-campus research that does not involve students may continue.
For employees:
  • All employees who are teleworking shall continue to do so.
  • In departments that have employees with approved return-to-work plans, managers must re-assess operational/business needs to determine which employees need to report physically to campus to conduct standard University operations.
  • All employees who have not received affirmative clearance to report to campus since we depopulated on Nov. 23 must receive new clearance via email from their appropriate administrator/MPP before returning to campus to work.
  • All employees who come to campus must have completed COVID-19 Safety Training and should have received their Safety Equipment Package with face coverings and hand sanitizer. Managers should ensure that all employees in their reporting line have sufficient face coverings and sanitizers to remain in compliance with our protocols and to keep our employees protected. Direct any questions about safety training or safety equipment to EHS.
Athletics:
  • Men’s and Women’s Basketball are currently competing, albeit with no fans present. You can watch them play for free on PlutoTV. Stingers Up!
  • We will follow all NCAA Resocialization protocols in determining next steps for spring sports.
While we are still in the throes of this global pandemic, I am looking forward to the start of a new semester. The Hornet Family faces another period of challenges as we work to deliver a virtual education and continue our operations remotely. I cannot express enough how thankful I am to our staff and faculty for their dedication to our students and our campus. Our students are working diligently despite unprecedented challenges, and they deserve our patience and recognition. These are difficult times for everyone, and I hope we can continue to act with a spirit of generosity, understanding, and kindness as we navigate this semester together.

For those who need additional support, please consider the services and resources offered by Sacramento State. Students should visit Student Health and Counseling Services online, or call 916-278-6461. We have counselors ready to help you through this difficult time. Faculty and staff should contact our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) online, or call 800-367-7474.

Today’s attack on democracy

Jan. 6, 2021 - Education, and specifically higher education, is dedicated to preserving democracy. Storming the United States Capitol is not an act of free speech. It is not a protest – it is an attack. The participants are not protestors. They are not “special.” They are domestic terrorists. Live on television, on our cell phones, on our computers, we are witnessing terrorists trying to destroy the very foundations of our country. I strongly believe that we must condemn this attack and condemn those who are participating in it, along with those who encouraged it with their dangerous rhetoric.

President-elect Joe Biden referred to today’s events as an “unprecedented assault on the citadel of liberty.” He said, “The words of a president matter. … At best, the words can inspire. At worst, a president’s words can incite.” Biden’s words ring absolutely true. As I write this message to the Hornet Family, I fear that this situation has the potential to get worse before it gets better, especially if we do not speak for democracy and against what is happening in our nation’s capital. We do not know how today will end, but we do know that our country must and will move forward, move past this most ugly day.

Today’s work may have been interrupted by chaos, but Sacramento State’s work, and the work of all of us in higher education, will persist. We will endure; we will prevail. But we must do so with love, not with hate.