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UMD Reflects

The horrific murder of a promising young man from Bowie State University has shaken our campus community. This website is being provided to bring together news and resources into one central location.


PINNED POST  /  August 17, 2017

Moment of Reflection with Bowie State University: August 30

Dear members of the University of Maryland community, 

The University of Maryland, together with Bowie State University, will jointly observe a moment of reflection on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 12:05 pm, to honor Second Lt. Richard Collins III who was tragically killed on our campus last May.
 
 
Both institutions will pause in silence for one minute. We do this to remember the life of a promising young man and to reaffirm – especially in these fraught times – core values of our country and our campuses: diversity, inclusion, respect, and civil discourse.
 
For the University of Maryland, this observance will launch a year of campus-wide actions, dialogues, and healing that will involve our students, faculty, staff, and alumni.  We are resolved to combat the spreading scourge of racism, hate, and violence. We are determined to wrest from tragedy the necessary changes to our campus climate and culture so that we embody more fully the values that we stand for.
 
You will hear more after classes begin and throughout the coming year.
 
Sincerely,
 
Wallace D. Loh
President, University of Maryland

LATEST UPDATE  /  August 21, 2017

Updates to Athletic Policies to Enhance Fan Safety

As part of the University of Maryland's action plan to combat hate and create a safer campus, the university announced it would examine strengthening existing Intercollegiate Athletics policy to explicitly prohibit any hate-bias symbols or actions in any athletic venue. As a result of these efforts, the University of Maryland Department of Intercollegiate Athletics made the following announcement last week: 

The University of Maryland Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has adopted a series of changes to the university’s “Fan Code of Conduct” and “Prohibited Items & Behavior” policies to enhance fan safety during sporting events. Following a recommendation from the university's Athletic Council, the changes strengthen and clarify the existing policies, and affirm the university’s core values of diversity, inclusion and respect.
 
"We engaged in a comprehensive review of our policies as a reflection of our campus’ ongoing work to combat hate and create a safer campus,” said Kevin Anderson, Director of Athletics. “We are incredibly proud of the positive and supportive behavior that fans of the Maryland Terrapins exhibit, and believe these proactive changes to our policy will ultimately benefit the fan experience for all.”
 
“The Athletic Council felt strongly that our policies against items and behavior designed to intimidate our fans should be as clear and specific as possible to allow our fans to feel both physically and emotionally safe at our events. We are pleased that our recommendations have been accepted and put into effect,” according to a joint statement from the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Athletic Council.
 
Changes to the “Fan Code of Conduct” emphasize the university's commitment to creating a safe, comfortable and enjoyable experience not only for fans of all ages, but for student-athletes, coaches and officials; and the importance of that experience both in the athletic venue and across the entire campus. The changes also clarify that fighting, as well as obscene, profane or abusive language or behavior can result in ejection from games.
 
While intimidating items and actions have already been banned from athletic events, the revised “Prohibited Items & Behavior” language is intended to strengthen the policy. Several items were added to the policy’s prohibited list, including facsimile weapons and flammables of any kind. The changes also reflect clarity in prohibited signage, apparel or other items that display, depict or represent recognizable symbols and/or words that incite, intimidate, or threaten members of the UMD community, specifying both nooses and swastikas in the new policy.
 
The new policies can be found here.

August 17, 2017

Interfaith Service of Prayers for Healing

The campus community is invited to Memorial Chapel on Wednesday, August 23 at 12 p.m. to offer healing prayers for those grieving from acts of hate and violence.
 
Following the service and throughout the entire afternoon, community members are welcome to walk the meditative garden labyrinth and spend time reflecting and writing in nearby journals.
 

August 17, 2017

Resources Available – Solutions in Action: Countering Divisiveness

This summer, the university hosted a brown-bag series for UMD faculty and staff titled “Solutions in Action: Counteracting Divisiveness.”

Co-sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Studies, the Teaching and Learning Transformation Center, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and ADVANCE, the series was an interactive forum for understanding and working together to address acts of hatred and intimidation. Gathering hundreds of faculty and staff from across campus, the series tackled issues from hate incidents at UMD and campuses across the country to identity privilege to free speech versus hate speech.
 
A compilation of resources is available from the series, including FAQs, suggested readings, presentations and more.
 
The resources are available here.

University of Maryland Action Plan to Combat Hate and Create a Safer Campus

The University of Maryland has announced an initial action plan to combat hate and create a safer campus. This is just the beginning, and our action will continue.
 

  • Create a task force on hate-bias and campus safety.
  • Create a trained, rapid-response team for hate-bias incidents.
  • Increase funding for campus-wide diversity and inclusion efforts.
  • Affirm and demonstrate our core values of unity and respect as a university community.
  • Compile and publish an annual report on hate-bias incidents on campus.
  • Strengthen existing Intercollegiate Athletics policy to explicitly prohibit any hate-bias symbols or actions in any athletic venue.
  • Review our Code of Student Conduct to strengthen sanctions for hate and bias.

July 6

Announcement: Chief Diversity Officer

Dear University of Maryland community,

The tragic and senseless murder on our campus of 2nd Lt. Richard Collins III has shaken us all. We have begun an intensive effort to combat the rising incidents of racism, hate, and violence that are spreading across the country. The Joint President and University Senate Task Force on Respect and Unity (comprised of faculty, staff, students, and alumni) will start this summer its work to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for all. 
 
It is urgent that we fill an important leadership vacancy, the Chief Diversity Officer (CDO).
 
Over the past few months, we conducted a national search for a CDO that resulted in the identification of qualified external candidates. During the course of the search, others and I came to the realization that the individual best fitted for this position at this time was already on our campus.  Provost Rankin and I consulted with the search committee . With the committee’s strong endorsement, we went forward with the decision on the CDO.
 
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Roger L. Worthington. Initially, he will hold the title of Interim Associate Provost and will be a member of the President's cabinet, the Provost’s senior staff, and the Council of Deans.
 
Since his arrival at UMD in 2014, Professor Worthington has chaired the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education in our College of Education.  
 
He is a leading scholar in the fields of diversity, multicultural counseling, and education. He is the editor of the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. A Fellow of the American Psychological Association, he received the Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. 
 
He is a seasoned administrator. During his years as Professor (1997-2014) at the University of Missouri, Columbia, where he won awards for teaching excellence and national service, he also served as CDO and Assistant Deputy Chancellor (2006-2011).
 
And, he is a nationally- recognized practitioner. He serves as a consultant to numerous colleges and universities on diversity planning, campus climate research, and intercultural student services. The Ford Foundation has funded his research, training, and practice on conducting difficult dialogues that bridge the racial, cultural, religious, and other divides on campuses.
 
A founding member of the board of directors for the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (2006-2011), he is the principal author of the Standards of Professional Practice for CDOs. The Governor of Missouri appointed him to the state’s Commission on Human Rights.  
 
I created the CDO position as recommended in UMD's 2010 diversity strategic plan. However, this plan also expressed a "preference" for someday elevating the CDO position to a Vice President with faculty rank. I believe that day has come.
 
T his would be a change in substance, not only in title. A VP for Diversity and Inclusion indicates a major institutional commitment of effort and resources in areas such as campus climate; recruitment and retention; scholarship and creative work on diversity; educational programs ; and community engagement pursuant to our land-grant mission. In the coming year, we will develop more fully this new VP position and set forth the process for appointment. 
 
Our world has changed since we began this search. This CDO appointment is on an interim basis until the VP position is established. However, the CDO has the authority and responsibilities of a permanent appointment. The search committee, Provost Rankin, and I are very appreciative that Professor Worthington accepted the call to service in these fraught times.
 
I thank all the search committee members for their work and this successful outcome. I also thank Cynthia Edmunds for serving so ably as interim CDO while performing her duties as Staff Ombudsperson and University Equity Administrator. 
 
And, I thank all of you for your ongoing commitment to -- and your efforts in support of -- the core values of inclusiveness and respect for human dignity that define us as an institution and as a nation.
 
Sincerely,
 
Wallace D. Loh
President, University of Maryland

June 20

UMD Senate and president’s office: We must be transparent and work together to fight hate

Dear Editor,

Combating hate and violence is something our entire country is grappling with and we must all learn from and lean on each other. It is imperative we work together to address these issues as the editorial board suggested.
 
The board is right to underscore the importance of transparency in rebuilding a sense of safety within our community. Transparency is a central tenant of the University Senate's work and will remain so. University President Wallace Loh and the University Senate are in agreement that this is key, especially as it relates to the upcoming work of the joint presidential/senate task force on hate-bias and campus safety.
 
Similar to our collaborative work on the joint sexual assault prevention task force, we will ensure the campus community has the opportunity to engage, listen and voice their opinions — and that they will be heard.
 
The task force will take a comprehensive look at how the university can change policies, improve programs, strengthen our community and foster an environment where hate is not tolerated.
 
From experience, we know this work will take time. Sharing incomplete information can stifle the very difficult conversations needed to tackle challenging societal issues, and how we address them on our campus. Important first steps, though, are already underway.
 
The University Senate and the President's Office are committed to keep all informed as we make progress to fight hate and create a safer campus together.
 
Daniel Falvey
Chair, University Senate
 
Michele Eastman
Assistant President and Chief of Staff
 
Read the full article from the The Diamondback.

June 20

Summer Brown Bag Series, Solutions in Action: Countering Divisiveness

Dear Community,

You are cordially invited to Solutions in Action: Counteracting Divisiveness, a summer brown-bag series developed by UMD faculty and staff for UMD faculty and staff. Held weekly on Wednesdays from 12 to 1:15 PM through the summer in 0201 Edward St. John (the TLTC multipurpose room), this series offers and interactive forum for understanding and working together to address acts of hatred and intimidation.  More information can be found at http://www.ugst.umd.edu/solutionsinaction.html.
 
Faculty and staff are welcome to attend on a drop-in basis, although it would help to RSVP so that the organizers can get an accurate count to ensure a sufficient number of drinks and desserts each week.
 
Time: Wednesdays, 12-1:15 PM
Location: 0201 Edward St. John (TLTC multipurpose room)
 
Solutions in Action: Tentative Topic Schedule
June 21: “What’s happening on campus and across the U.S.?” An honest dialogue about hate incidents at UMD and campuses across the country
June 28: “But I don’t feel privileged”: What is identity privilege and how does it affect us?
July 5: <To be determined by participants>
July 12: Free speech versus hate speech: How do we balance these at a public university?
July 19: “But what do these issues have to do with my class?” Teaching strategies
July 26: “But that wasn’t my intention…” Intentions, impact, and restoring relationships
August 2: Managing stress: A self-care workshop
August 9: “Where are we now?” What can we do as faculty and staff?
 
Sincerely,
Mary Ann Rankin, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President and Provost

June 19

Opportunities of Remembrance June 20, 2017

Dear Community,

We are thinking about you all and hope that you are taking the time you need to care for yourself and each other. Tomorrow Tuesday, June 20th, will mark one month since Lieutenant Collins’ murder. To honor Lt. Collins and in recognition of this passing of time, we offer these opportunities of remembrance. Please help us spread the word.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017
10am-2pm: Office of Diversity & Inclusion, 2411 Marie Mount Hall
Space to gather, to write notes of condolences to his friends and family, and to pick up stones to remember him. You can place a stone at the vigil space at the bus stop in front of Montgomery Hall and/or take a stone with you.
 
12pm-1:30pm: Interfaith Service of Prayers for Healing, Garden Chapel at Memorial Chapel
Following the interfaith service in the Garden Chapel from 12-1:30pm and throughout the afternoon, participants are welcome to walk the meditative garden labyrinth and spend time reflecting and writing in nearby journals.    
 
Please note the Bus Stop in front of Montgomery Hall is an on-going place to remember Lieutenant Collins. If you placed an item there that is no longer there due to weather damage and was not perishable (like non-potted flowers), you can email bdc1@umd.edu to ask if the item was delivered to ODI. 
 
Again, we are thinking about you all.
 
Sincerely,
The Office of Diversity & Inclusion

June 8, 2017

University of Maryland Alumni Association Board of Governors June 8, 2017 Statement

The University of Maryland Alumni Association Board of Governors – proud alumni and donors – represent the interests of alumni within the University, and act as ambassadors to the greater UMD community and beyond. We remain deeply saddened by the killing of Second Lt. Richard Collins III.  We are also saddened by other events on the campus in the recent past that have sought to cause division and fear among members of our campus community. These acts are all senseless and must be a call to action.

We support President Loh’s efforts to successfully address these mounting concerns and we will work tirelessly to ensure the University of Maryland continues to be an institution that welcomes and celebrates respect for all.

The University of Maryland is an institution of learning that is enriched by its inclusion and diversity. We are determined to be a part of the solution, in words and deeds, and stand with President Loh in the belief that "we all must fight racism, extremism, and hate." We call on all alumni, as well as other members of the campus community, to join us in this effort.


June 2, 2017

Trustees of the University of Maryland College Park Foundation June 2, 2017 Statement 

We, the Trustees of the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, are UMD alumni, community members and donors.  We serve and support the programs of the University and advance the interests of the members of our campus community – students, faculty, staff and our fellow alumni.

We collectively mourn the loss of Second Lt. Richard Collins III, a student at Bowie State University who had just been commissioned in the U.S. Army and was within days of his graduation. It is a tragedy.

We also recognize that acts on campus have caused division and fear within our community with acts of hatred, bigotry and violence. They have left many wondering where free speech ends and hate speech begins. We denounce all acts that are intended to create emotional or physical harm to any individual or group.

This is a difficult time on many college campuses across the country. We are fearless in our determination to maintain the University of Maryland as an institution of higher education that welcomes, celebrates and respects diversity in all forms. We stand firm in our support of the actions proposed by President Loh in his letters to the community. And we as a Board are committed to creating a more inclusive and safer community for all.

--Signed by the Executive Committee of the University of Maryland College Park Foundation Board of Trustees on behalf of the full Board


June 1, 2017

Update: Actions to Shape a More Respectful and Inclusive Culture at UMD

Dear University of Maryland community,

Last week I announced actions to fight hate and create a safer campus. I said these actions are just the beginning.

The past week, members of the University leadership team and I have listened to concerns and thoughts from the campus community (faculty, staff, students, and alumni) as well as from members of the USM Board of Regents, Foundation Board of Trustees, Alumni Board of Governors, and our elected State and Federal officials. I appreciated receiving the petition of our Black Student Union.

After considering all this constructive input, I am announcing some further actions, with work on them to begin immediately:

1. We will implement a new "Pledge of Respect and Unity" for all UMD students, both returning and incoming. This pledge will reaffirm our core values of respect for human dignity, diversity, inclusion and academic freedom. We will organize events in the fall where students can take the pledge together and embed these values more fully in the UMD culture and mindset.

2. Working through UMD's shared governance processes, we will clarify our Code of Student Conduct to strengthen sanctions for hate and bias. We will carefully consider the enactment of stiffer sanctions when conduct is found to be motivated by hate or bias.

In the coming weeks, in consultation with the University Senate and student government, we will announce the chairs and members of the task force to carry out -- starting this summer -- a comprehensive review of UMD policies and procedures related to bias, hate, and campus safety in order to shape a culture that is more respectful and inclusive of all persons.

Meanwhile, our Police Department continues its active investigation of the hate symbol discovered in a fraternity house. They will announce the results of their investigation when it is completed. 

There is much work ahead. Thank you to all the members of our community who have come forward to stand up for the values that are at the core of our University.

Sincerely,

Wallace D. Loh
President, University of Maryland


May 29, 2017

We All Must Fight Racism, Extremism, and Hate

In the early morning hours of Saturday, May 20, a young man was murdered on the University of Maryland College Park campus, a senseless and unprovoked act. Richard Collins III, a student at Bowie State University, had just been commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Army and was within days of his graduation. A promising life was ended all too soon, leaving families and communities to mourn.
 
The suspect is a UMD student. The state's attorney of Prince George's County is overseeing the investigation and prosecution of the suspect, supported by the county police, the UMD Police Department and the FBI. They will examine whether racial hatred was a motive, given the suspect's association with an online white supremacist group; the victim was black.
 
National polls show that most Americans believe that expressions of hate are increasing and going mainstream. Sadly, such incidents have affected our campus before.
 
By Wallace D. Loh
President, University of Maryland
 
Read the full article from the Baltimore Sun.

 


 

May 24, 2017

Reflection and Action

Dear University of Maryland community,

As we grieve the loss of Lt. Richard Collins III of Bowie State University, we must also act to combat hate and create a safer campus.

The investigation and prosecution of this heinous crime is underway, led by the State's Attorney for Prince George's County, supported by the Prince George's County Police Department, the University of Maryland Police Department (UMPD), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We must allow these law enforcement agencies the time to do their work with due diligence.

But we must do more. Based on advice I have received from a broad coalition of campus partners, I am announcing the following University actions, effective immediately.

1. We have asked the Office of Diversity & Inclusion (ODI) to create a trained, rapid-response team for any hate-bias incident. This action team—comprised of faculty, staff, and students—would provide support and services to any member of our community who is the subject of a hate incident.

2. We will allocate $100,000 in supplemental funds for the ODI to support diversity and inclusion efforts that educate all members of our community.

3. We will task the Office of Civil Rights & Sexual Misconduct to lead in the development and dissemination of an annual report on all hate-bias incidents on campus. This will provide information about incident rates and ongoing prevention, response and education measures.

4. We will ask the Athletic Council to immediately consider how to strengthen existing Intercollegiate Athletics policy to explicitly prohibit any hate-bias symbols or actions in any athletic venue, subject to immediate removal of the violator from that venue.

5. We will establish a task force on hate-bias and campus safety—comprised of faculty, staff, students, and alumni—to conduct a comprehensive review of all relevant university policies and procedures.  This task force will submit a final report with recommendations and guidelines to foster an environment where hate is not tolerated. 

  • It should engage the entire UMD community on difficult issues at the intersections of free speech, hate speech, and freedom of association. 
  • It should consider strengthened or new educational and curricular initiatives, and any special programming. 
  • And, it should work with UMD's communications staff on a public awareness effort to inform our campus community about its work.

 

This is the beginning. There will be more actions once the task force submits its final recommendations.

Today, UMD students, faculty, staff, and friends gathered for a moment of reflection to honor Lt. Collins and to draw strength from each other. We all want a culture that rejects hate and forges a more perfect union in our nation's rich multi-cultural and multi-ethnic diversity.

But these are fraught times, on our campus, across the nation, and the world. It is on all of us to stand up and fight the racism, extremism, and hate that are cancers in our body politic. 

United by this recent tragedy, we can be a force for good. Together, we can be stronger and smarter than those who would divide us and subvert the values that undergird our University and our democracy.

Sincerely,

Wallace D. Loh
President, University of Maryland


Community Gatherings

THURSDAY, MAY 25

11am-12pm
"Recovering from Racial Trauma." A community Twitter conversation about how to recover from racial trauma. We invite all students, faculty and staff to join in a supportive Twitter conversation, facilitated by the University Counseling Center, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, and the Office of Community Engagement.

1:30-3pm
Nanticoke Room, 1238 Stamp Student Union, Co-facilitated by MICA and the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, this is a space for students, faculty, and staff.

3pm-4:30pm
MICA Conference Room in the Stamp Student Union. Please note: This is specifically a space for students. 
LGBT Equity Center in 2218 Marie Mount Hall. This is a space for students, faculty, and staff.

 

WEDNESDAY, MAY 31

12-1:30pm
2242H School of Public Health, Dean's Conference Room, Co-facilitated by Office of Diversity & Inclusion and the School of Public Health. This is a space for students, faculty, and staff.

 

THURSDAY, JUNE 1

12-1:30pm
2517 Van Munching Hall, Executive Dining Hall. Sponsored by the Office of Diversity & Inclusion and the Office of Diversity Initiatives at the Smith School of Business. This is for students, faculty, and staff.

 

FRIDAY, JUNE 2

12-1pm
1202 Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center, facilitated by the Division of Student Affairs. This space is specifically for staff. 


May 23, 2017

UMD Community Responds to Tragedy

Dear Campus Community,

We are devastated by the murder of  Second Lieutenant Richard Collins III this weekend. We are devastated by the racism and hate that exists in this world.  And we are devastated that hate may have played a role in this and other horrific crimes across the country.

We want each of us to have the space and time they need to grieve and we need to collectively honor this young man’s life, offer our support to the other communities mourning right now, especially Bowie State University, and simultaneously find a path forward as a community.

We want to begin by making sure our community understands how they can be supported in the next week. Here are collective resources you should be aware of:

Tuesday, May 23, 12-1:30pm  
A place to gather, to share our thoughts and experiences with one another in a supportive environment.

• MICA Conference Room in the Stamp Student Union. Please note: This is specifically a space for students.  
• Nyumburu Cultural Center Conference Room 0120. Facilitated by the Office of Diversity & Inclusion and the Counseling Center, this is a space for students, staff, and faculty.
• LGBT Equity Center in 2218 Marie Mount Hall.  This is a space for students, faculty, and staff.

Thursday, May 25th, 3pm-4:30pm
​A place to gather, to share our thoughts and experiences with one another in a supportive environment.

• MICA Conference Room in the Stamp Student Union. Please note: This is specifically a space for students. 
• LGBT Equity Center in 2218 Marie Mount Hall.  This is a space for students, faculty, and staff. 
 

Counseling: For those able to come to campus, the University Counseling Center has established special drop-in hours anytime Monday - Friday between 8:30 am to 4:30 pm to meet with a counselor.  During evening and weekend hours, you may call the counseling center 301-314-7651 and receive immediate, brief support from a counselor by phone. For faculty and staff, the Faculty Staff Assistance Program is also available for support. 
 

Wednesday, May 24, 1pm, Garden of Reflection of Remembrance, Memorial Chapel. We invite the campus community to join us for a moment of reflection hosted by the University Chaplains, to honor Lieutenant Collins and to stand in solidarity with his family, friends and the entire Bowie State University community. 
 

Thursday, May 25, 11am-12pm, a community Twitter conversation about how to recover from racial trauma. We recognize that many of you are not physically present on campus, but are in need of community at this time.  We invite all students, faculty and staff to join in a supportive Twitter conversation, facilitated by the University Counseling Center. Please note this is not a confidential space.
 

The University is working closely with Bowie State University to help them celebrate their commencement exercises on campus tomorrow morning. They very much appreciate the outpouring of support for their community.

We understand this may impact people differently, with a range of experiences and emotions. That is okay. Please make a point of connecting with each other, taking care of yourself, and be gentle with yourself.

Please remember that you can report hate/bias through the University of Maryland Police Department or the Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct (OCRSM), which is responsible for monitoring the university’s civil rights response. Visit OCRSM online to report or learn more.

Our community of nearly 400,000 students, faculty, staff and alumni can be a powerful force for good. Together, and only together, can we fight back against hate in all its insidious forms.  We are building a coalition of individuals and groups across campus dedicated to ensuring an environment where we fight back against hate and bias, and where we can all thrive.

Sincerely,

Office of Diversity & Inclusion

Faculty Staff Assistance Program in the University Health Center

LGBT Equity Center

Nyumburu Cultural Center

Office of Civil Rights & Sexual Misconduct

Office of Community Engagement

Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Education

Office of Multicultural Involvement & Community Advocacy

President Wallace Loh

President’s Commission on Ethnic Minority Issues

University Counseling Center

University of Maryland Police Department

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