Brazilian students and security at JSU

November 21st, 2013 by jacksonstate

Normally,  I use this time to talk about the numerous achievements of JSU faculty, staff and students. Those achievements continue to be exciting as well as numerous.

Today I feel compelled to provide some accurate information on recent events concerning Brazilian students at Jackson State University.

JSU has 280 international students, representing 60 countries, on campus enrolled in our academic programs. The international diversity enriches the intellectual environment of our campus. With regards to our Brazilian students participating in the Brazilian Scientific Mobility Program, the first student enrolled in 2012 and successfully completed the yearlong program and is back in his home country.

This year, starting in the summer of 2013, 27 students from Brazil enrolled in JSU in English as a Second Language programs as well as traditional academic programs. Between their arrival in the summer of 2013 and the fall, there were three incidents involving these Brazilian exchange students. One involved, someone snatching a student’s cell phone. The other involved someone taking a backpack that was left unattended and the other was an armed robbery of a cell phone. The International Studies Program followed up with each student involved in each incident, and students were offered counseling and other services and opportunities. All but one student declined.

We take crime prevention very seriously on our campus. It is unfortunate that these events occurred, but there is no evidence to support targeting any foreign students. These were random occurrences.

During their tenure at Jackson State, the Brazilian students consistently praised the program. The students participated in numerous campus and off-campus activities. They even worked on a float for the Homecoming Parade.

To this day, we still don’t have any formal or informal communication from the Brazilian consulate or any of the participating students, despite our efforts to reach out to them.

Most recently, we have beefed up our security force and we are working with the city of Jackson to control some of the egress around streets and our campus. I’m hopeful we can complete that by the end of this term.

I want to reiterate that the safety of all of our students is important and we will continue to provide an environment where students receive a high-quality education.

Carolyn W. Meyers

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