Dear USF Parents and Families,
As you may have heard from your student, our community was rightfully distressed and concerned Sunday evening, after an incident involving one of our students took place on campus. Accompanying social media posts and the student’s widely shared messages fueled false rumors of an active shooter on campus. There is a great deal of information circulating at this time, and I wanted to be sure you have the most accurate and up-to-date information. I sent this same information to students earlier today.
Several students received messages over social media from this student, who was taken into custody last night by the San Francisco Police Department. He will not be returning to campus, pending the university’s disciplinary review.
I want to emphasize that — contrary to social media posts and rumors — at no time on Sunday was this an active shooter situation. The campus was never officially on lockdown.
While we are continuing to investigate and develop a detailed timeline, I want you to have a sense of how events unfolded and how the community was alerted on Sunday evening:
At 3:36 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24, a student notified Public Safety (PS) about receiving threatening messages on social media. PS began its investigation and an hour later learned of a second threatening message to another student. PS worked with the students and contacted the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD). PS and SFPD worked collaboratively to assess the situation and determined there was not a threat to the general campus community. During this time, many community members became aware of the posts on social media. At approximately 7:30 p.m. the student was located as he was returning to campus with a family member. He was immediately detained and arrested.
The safety and wellbeing of our students is USF’s highest priority. We are particularly concerned about a video currently circulating in which the student uses reprehensible language, included the n-word. We acknowledge the harmful impact that this rhetoric and racist words have on our community, particularly black-identified community members and persons of color.
We thank our students who came forward to express concerns about this individual’s behavior, messages, and social media posts. We are continuing to work with our established protocols and procedures, including our Community Policing Standards and our Bias Education and Response Team. We have an ongoing commitment to continue to review our processes and procedures as we learn from this incident.
We will also continue to keep our community updated on opportunities to discuss this incident; in fact, university staff will hold an open session this afternoon and all students are invited to attend if they are available. You should also be aware that students can access the Counseling and Psychological Services Center (CAPS), located in Gillson Hall. CAPS' after-hours line provides free support and consultation 24/7 at (855) 531-0761. Other resources include University Ministry support services and additional supports listed on the USF Counseling and Psychological Services website.
Please let my office know if you have additional questions or need more information. You can reach Public Safety at (415) 422-4201.
With all good wishes for a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving,
Vice Provost, Student Life