WASHINGTON — University of Maryland President Wallace Loh outlined new anti-hate initiatives Wednesday in the wake of last weekend’s fatal campus stabbing.
The killing of Lt. Richard Collins III, a Bowie State University student who was set to graduate this week, is being investigated as a possible hate crime. Suspect Sean Christopher Urbanski was reportedly a member of a white supremacist Facebook group called “Alt-Reich: Nation.”
Wednesday evening, Loh urged students to allow authorities the time “to do their work with due diligence.”
But beyond that, he said, “we must do more.”
The action plan, which is effective immediately, is comprised of these initial steps:
- Establishing a hate-bias and campus safety task force — composed of faculty, staff, students and alumni — to review relevant policies and procedures. That task force will then submit a report with recommendations and guidelines;
- Creating a rapid-response team — composed of faculty, staff and students — to provide support for victims of hate-bias incidents;
- Allocating $100,000 in supplemental funds to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for supporting diversity and inclusion efforts;
- Production of an annual report on all campus hate-bias incidents;
- Asking the university’s Athletic Council to consider ways to strengthen intercollegiate athletics policy to prohibit hate-bias symbols or actions in any venue.
More actions will be rolled out after the hate-bias and campus safety task force submits its recommendations, Loh said.
“We all want a culture that rejects hate and forges a more perfect union in our nation’s rich multicultural and multiethnic diversity,” he said.
“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.”