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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