Univ. of Maryland to Hire Hate-Bias Response Coordinator

Move to form new position prompted by several hate-bias incidents in the campus community, including a stabbing.
Published: November 30, 2017

The University of Maryland (UM), College Park is responding to months of racial tensions on campus by hiring a hate-bias response coordinator. The new coordinator, who has not been hired yet, will help carry out new procedures designed to address hate or bias incidents in the community.

The move to address racial tensions was initially prompted by the fatal stabbing of a black Bowie State student by a white UM student in May, reports the Baltimore Sun. The suspect was a member of the Facebook group Alt Reich: Nation. The former UM student has been charged with a hate crime and first- and second-degree murder

The new protocol includes the following steps that will be taken in response to the report of an incident:

  1. Report will be taken by campus police (UMPD) or the Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct (OCRSM) as soon as it is received.
  2. Acknowledge receipt of the report and review within 48 hours.
    1. UMPD will offer a verbal acknowledgement and conduct an investigation.
    2. OCRSM will provide electronic acknowledgment.
    3. Copy Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) Hate-Bias Response Coordinator on acknowledgement and refer individuals who report hate-bias incidents to ODI for support and guidance.
  3. Inform and consult with relevant campus administrators regarding any necessary and appropriate action.
  4. ODI Hate-Bias Response Coordinator will consult with individuals affected by the hate-bias incident and formulate an action plan in coordination with Hate-Bias Response Team.
  5. ODI will maintain a log of hate-bias incidents on a webpage that will be updated as reports are received. Periodic (opt-in) e-mail announcements regarding newly reported hate-bias incidents will be sent to campus community.

UM Chief Diversity Officer Roger Worthington says his school wants to hire someone for the new position who has extensive experience dealing with hate and bias issues in higher education, reports Chronicle.com.

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In addition to the stabbing in May, UM has experienced multiple hate-motivated incidents, including white-supremacist posters being placed around campus and a noose found hanging at a fraternity house.

Following the stabbing, UM’s president created a task force on bias and campus safety and collaborated with the Anti-Defamation League.

Photo: Thinkstock

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