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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