Sac State, ASI presidents issue apology regarding antisemitic incident at KSSU

Student body president said bias reporting process failed students


Emma Hall

(L-R) Associated Students, Inc. President Salma Pacheco next to Sac State President Robert Nelsen in a SacSend video addressing antisemitism on campus Friday, April 7, 2023. In the video, Pacheco and Nelsen apologized for the antisemitic gesture at KSSU and a failed bias reporting process.

Sacramento State University president Robert S. Nelsen released a video statement with Associated Students Inc. President Salma Pacheco Friday afternoon in response to an incident of antisemitism at the university’s radio station.

In a campus-wide email, Nelsen and Pacheco apologized for the failed process the three students used to report ASI’s student services coordinator for KSSU, Aaron Wall, performing a Nazi salute.

The gesture was reportedly made by Wall during the recording of the students’ podcast for an episode on antisemitism and blood libel.

RELATED: Students recording podcast with KSSU say station advisor performed Nazi salute

“To our students, you did everything right,” Pacheco said. “You went through the process; you filed a bias report. You did everything right and I am so sorry the process failed you.”

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Nelsen apologized for the incident and said the university will fix the process for bias reporting and said he “already knows what went wrong” with the student’s attempt to report Wall’s actions. 

“We will make sure it does not happen again,” Nelsen said. “I am so sorry that it happened here. It does not matter if it was a joke. It does not matter if it was sincere.”

Nelsen said the reporting process should not have taken as long as it had and he has spoken with the students involved. Nelsen apologized to the students in the video, saying he also has spoken to faculty about the matter. 

“Most importantly we are doing what the students want, and that is making sure that the students can finish the podcast,” Nelsen said. “It will happen; they will finish their project.”

Brian Blomster, director of news and communications at Sac State, said the status of Wall’s employment is a personnel matter and is being handled through the Human Resources department. 

Blomster said he cannot comment on whether Wall is still employed with the university.

“We stand in solidarity with the Jewish community,” Pacheco said. “We will continue to denounce the harm that is being caused. We feel the hurt. We understand you. We see you. We hear you.”