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UMD Responds to Tragedy: University Community Grieves Loss of Life on Campus, Offers Resources and Moment of Reflection

May 22, 2017

Statement from University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh, Office of Diversity & Inclusion, Faculty Staff Assistance Program in the University Health Center, LGBT Equity Center, Nyumburu Cultural Center, Office of Civil Rights & Sexual Misconduct, Office of Community Engagement, Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Education, Office of Multicultural Involvement & Community Advocacy, President’s Commission on Ethnic Minority Issues, University Counseling Center and University of Maryland Police Department: 

We are devastated by the murder of Second Lieutenant Richard Collins III this weekend. We are devastated by the racism and hate that exists in this world.  And we are devastated that hate may have played a role in this and other horrific crimes across the country.

We want each of us to have the space and time they need to grieve and we need to collectively honor this young man’s life, offer our support to the other communities mourning right now, especially Bowie State University, and simultaneously find a path forward as a community.

We want to begin by making sure our community understands how they can be supported in the next week.  Here are collective resources you should be aware of:

  • Tuesday, May 23, 12-1:30pm, A place to gather, to share our thoughts and experiences with one another in a supportive environment.

- MICA Conference Room in the Stamp Student Union. Please note: This is specifically a space for students.

- Nyumburu Cultural Center Conference Room 0120. Facilitated by the Office of Diversity & Inclusion and the Counseling Center, this is a space for students, staff, and faculty.

- LGBT Equity Center in 2218 Marie Mount Hall.  This is a space for students, faculty, and staff.

  • Thursday, May 25th, 3pm-4:30pm, A place to gather, to share our thoughts and experiences with one another in a supportive environment.

- MICA Conference Room in the Stamp Student Union. Please note: This is specifically a space for students.

- LGBT Equity Center in 2218 Marie Mount Hall.  This is a space for students, faculty, and staff.

  • Counseling: For those able to come to campus, the University Counseling Center has established special drop-in hours anytime Monday - Friday between 8:30 am to 4:30 pm to meet with a counselor.  During evening and weekend hours, you may call the counseling center 301-314-7651 and receive immediate, brief support from a counselor by phone. For faculty and staff, the Faculty Staff Assistance Program is also available for support.
  • Wednesday, May 24, 1pm, Garden of Reflection of Remembrance, Memorial Chapel. We invite the campus community to join us for a moment of reflection hosted by the University Chaplains, to honor Lieutenant Collins and to stand in solidarity with his family, friends and the entire Bowie State University community.
  • Thursday, May 25, 11am-12pm, a community Twitter conversation about how to recover from racial trauma. We recognize that many of you are not physically present on campus, but are in need of community at this time.  We invite all students, faculty and staff to join in a supportive Twitter conversation, facilitated by the University Counseling Center. Please note this is not a confidential space.

The University is working closely with Bowie State University to help them celebrate their commencement exercises on campus tomorrow morning.  They very much appreciate the outpouring of support for their community.

We understand this may impact people differently, with a range of experiences and emotions.  That is okay. Please make a point of connecting with each other, taking care of yourself, and be gentle with yourself.

Please remember that you can report hate/bias through the University of Maryland Police Department or the Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct (OCRSM), which is responsible for monitoring the university’s civil rights response. Visit OCRSM online to report or learn more.

Our community of nearly 400,000 students, faculty, staff and alumni can be a powerful force for good. Together, and only together, can we fight back against hate in all its insidious forms.  We are building a coalition of individuals and groups across campus dedicated to ensuring an environment where we fight back against hate and bias, and where we can all thrive.