Dear campus community, As part of our collective goal to ensure that every campus community member feels welcomed, affirmed and experiences a sense of belonging at the University of Maryland, the Division of Student Affairs leadership has prioritized meeting with students who belong to communities that have experienced exclusion and underrepresentation. During these meetings, we asked questions to better understand new and different ways to strengthen the University's commitment to inclusive excellence, and we listened.
Recently, antisemitic flyers were found at several off-campus residences, including several Greek houses. This follows an earlier incident of anti-Jewish hate displayed in a residence hall. These events mirror an alarming rise in hate-bias incidents targeting the Jewish community across the country and across the globe. In light of these events, I feel that I must be very clear: We reject and condemn all acts of hate, bias, and racism against the Jewish community.
Today marks a new start for all of us, a fresh beginning. Today I ask everyone to take the opportunity to recommit ourselves to the two priorities that I have established for our university: pursue excellence in everything we do; and establish a more inclusive, multicultural campus. These two goals are intrinsically interconnected to inclusive excellence. You can't have one without the other.
We have witnessed increasing incidences of transgender people publically harassed and ridiculed, and there has been an avalanche of anti-transgender legislation proposed in dozens of states. We are committed to increasing our support for our transgender and nonbinary populations and we oppose legislation or any other actions that would limit or diminish that support.
Earlier this morning, I had the personal and professional honor of a lifetime bestowed upon me as University System of Maryland Chancellor Jay Perman and Chair of the Board of Regents Linda Gooden presided over my investiture as the 34th President of the University of Maryland.
Despite overwhelming video evidence, many of us wrung our hands and expressed concerns or skepticism about what the outcome may be. We did this because our nation has a difficult history to reconcile when race intersects with the criminal justice system. Today, Derek Chauvin was convicted on all charges and found guilty in the murder of Mr. George Floyd.
Last year, the university granted employees administrative leave to observe Juneteenth. This day of celebration and reflection commemorates the end of slavery in the United States—two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. To continue this important tradition, University System of Maryland Chancellor Jay A. Perman has announced that Juneteenth will be designated as a holiday across USM institutions.
Last week, the deadly attack in Atlanta only emphasized the surge in anti-Asian sentiment that has plagued our country. I stand in solidarity with members of the Asian and Asian American community and condemn these senseless acts of hate and violence. We must unite to fight against this hate.
Since the beginning of the pandemic there has been a surge in anti-Asian sentiment in the U.S. The university offers messages of support and solidarity to the UMD community and beyond.
With renewed hope on the horizon after a year of uncertainty for many, we are pleased to announce that more students than ever see their potential future at the University of Maryland. The university is on the cusp of receiving a record-breaking achievement of 50,000 applications for admission this year, and we are proud that this number also includes record-high applications from Black and Latinx students. This is a significant step forward in our efforts to increase the diversity of our student body.