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A message from Dr. Roger Schultz

On Monday, I sent out a message to all employees reiterating our unwavering commitment at Mt. San Jacinto College to support and protect Americans of Chinese, Asian, or Pacific Islander descent or those who are or are perceived to be of Chinese, Asian, or Pacific Islander descent. This community has experienced a rise in physical violence, bullying, harassment and stereotyping since the pandemic began.

On Tuesday (March 16, 2021), an unspeakable shooting in Atlanta was reported that killed eight people, six of them of Asian descent. We fully acknowledge the impact this act of hate and violence has had on the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, our students, and faculty.  Yesterday, I released a statement to students on behalf of the College focusing on our anti-discrimination efforts and policies.  As a follow-up, I wanted to share that statement with all of you in hopes that you would not only join me in standing in solidarity with our Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, but that you would vow to go beyond words and show your support in a visible way.

This is the moment to call these events and behaviors what they are: racism. Violence and racist action against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders must stop and we at MSJC can be part of the solution.

This is the moment to consider recommitting your support of the MSJC Equity Pledge. Help us continue to create an institutional environment that vows to eradicate racism, hate and discrimination, particularly for our Asian American and Pacific Islander brothers and sisters.

This is the moment to learn more about the Asian American and Pacific Islander community by watching documentaries or reading literature about their experience and the politics of racism. We will post some examples on the MSJC Professional Development Sharepoint site next week - https://mymsjc.sharepoint.com/sites/MSJCProfessionalDevelopment 

This is a moment to make a donation to the MSJC Foundation to designate financial support specifically for our MSJC Asian American and Pacific Islander students.

Through these various actions, let us show our Asian American and Pacific Islander community that we are committed to eradicating systemic racism and we -- all of us at MSJC -- are rallying to support employees and students who have experienced trauma from this event.

Please read the message below that was sent to students and was posted to social media. It includes the steps you can take to report discrimination. If you know of someone who needs additional support, please refer them to our Student Health Centers.

Message to students:

 

Mt. San Jacinto College is aware of the disturbing news about the rise in physical violence, bullying, harassment and stereotyping against Americans of Chinese or Asian descent or those who are or are perceived to be of Chinese or Asian descent since the pandemic began. This week's shootings in Atlanta further inflict pain and stress on that community. Authorities are not yet certain as to the motives behind the shootings, but we must stand together to support those who may experience discrimination, whether it is related to COVID-19 or in any other circumstance.

MSJC urges all employees, students, and the surrounding communities to report hostile behavior and/or language toward people of Asian descent, Chinese Americans, and Pacific Islanders as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and more issues that may surface in the news related to the shootings.   

Let’s be clear: Mt. San Jacinto College does not tolerate discrimination of any kind and has a strict non-discrimination policy and procedures. MSJC is committed to becoming an anti-racist institution by dismantling systemic racism. That starts with supporting those who report or are victims of discrimination. 

If we receive reports of discrimination occurring on campuses, in Zoom meetings and/or classes, or during any activity related to college district business, we will take swift and immediate action. That action may lead to the dismissal, removal or expulsion of perpetrators who are proven to have committed such offenses.   

If you experience or have witnessed discrimination of any kind during your experience at MSJC, please immediately contact Jeannine Stokes, Chief Human Resources Officer, at 951-346-2058 or jstokes@msjc.edu, and Aysia Brown, Director of Student Judicial Affairs, at 951-888-1506 or aybrown@msjc.edu

Sincerely,
Roger W. Schultz, Ph.D.
Superintendent/President 

Will the budget development deadlines remain in place?  ​

Yes. All budget development deadlines will remain in place. We will be working with strategies for offering the training remotely and providing essential staff with access to specific tools/programs necessary for budget development. Please know that any purchasing exceptions must be communicated to the Deans/Vice Presidents.

How will MSJC learn if there is a confirmed COVID-19 case that directly impacts the college? How will I know if I came into immediate contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19?

If a confirmed case has a direct impact on MSJC, public health officials will notify us. Through their tracing protocols, anyone who had direct contact with a confirmed case in a certain period of time, public health officials would notify them directly. The adage “No news is good news” is appropriate here.

 

What regulations govern the release of information about a confirmed case of COVID-19?

We must protect the privacy of our students by abiding by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Health Insurance Portability Act (HIPPA). If a student reports to you that they have a contagious disease, including COVID-19, please direct them immediately to Lisa McAllister, Associate Dean of Health Services at MSJC: 951-639-5206 or lmcallister@msjc.edu.

What steps take place when a suspected case of COVID-19 is reported?
It is the Associate Dean of Health Services’ responsibility to gather the pertinent information and report it to Riverside County public health officials. The county agency is responsible for confirming the illness with qualified physicians and through appropriate testing.

The county health agency conducts a tracing protocol to determine who may have been exposed to the individual with a confirmed contagious illness that poses significant risk to the public.

The county health agency then contacts those individuals who are at high risk of exposure. The county in which a confirmed, infected individual lives is the county responsible for counting that individual as one of its cases, even if the individual hasn’t returned to their county of residence with the disease.

 

Isn’t it my duty to tell others if I think they may have been exposed to COVID-19?

No. It is the duty of the Riverside County public health to notify individuals who may have been exposed. In some instances, Associate Dean McAllister may be authorized to notify individuals. MSJC employees are prohibited from sharing any information about a possible case to anyone other than those previously identified in this correspondence, as this can create undue panic and can result in circulating false information if it is later determined the individual does not have a contagious disease.



How will MSJC know if an individual has been exposed to COVID-19?

MSJC is tracking the dates and hours of all employees who are called in for essential duty. It is imperative that you do not come onto campus without prior authorization from your supervisor. Your supervisor is required to record your time through the Essential Staff Attendance Form, which is on Sharepoint under District Forms. MSJC conducts a thorough and rigorous cleaning procedure at the close of each week day.

 

How do employees request leave for COVID-19 purposes?

If you have been advised by a healthcare provider to quarantine/self-isolate, and/or are experiencing symptoms, and/or have tested positive for COVID-19, please contact Veronica Contreras via email at vcontreras@msjc.edu within 24 hours. Please note that leave eligibility and start date/end date of medical leave will be confirmed by Human Resources and will be communicated via letter to the employee and the employee’s department.

MSJC employees have been provided with the COVID-19 protocols for working safely. Please visit www.msjc.edu/coronavirus/faculty-staff-faq.html for more information.