New procedures include hiring a designated Hate-Bias Response Coordinator and increased communication between offices.
The University of Maryland announces a new hate-bias incident response protocol that will ensure a coordinated response, provide support to impacted community members and ensure transparency with the campus community. In addition to the new protocol, the university’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion will hire a Hate-Bias Response Coordinator to assist with these efforts as part of UMD’s ongoing efforts to combat hate and create a safer campus.
“A clear and transparent protocol for hate-bias incidents on our campus is essential to ensuring a sense of safety for our students, faculty and staff,” said Roger L. Worthington, UMD’s chief diversity officer. “I believe this is an important step forward in maintaining a campus community deeply rooted in equity, diversity, and inclusion.”
Under the protocol, community members can report hate-bias incidents to the University of Maryland Police Department (UMPD) or the university’s Office of Civil Rights & Sexual Misconduct (OCRSM). Once the incident report is reviewed, the offices inform one another and consult with relevant campus administrators regarding necessary and appropriate action. To ensure transparency for all hate-bias incidents on campus, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion in the future will maintain a log of incidents that will be updated as reports are received. A system for notifying the broader campus community is in the final stages of development and will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Hate-Bias Response Coordinator will provide leadership for a newly established Hate-Bias Response Team, whose membership is currently under development. The coordinator will formulate action plans in coordination with the Hate-Bias Response Team and work with individuals and/or groups affected by any hate-bias incidents. The coordinator, along with members of the Hate-Bias Response Team, will be available for support and guidance to individuals and communities affected by hate-bias incidents. The Office of Diversity & Inclusion will work to continually improve the protocol to ensure its effectiveness based on feedback from the Hate-Bias Response Team.
The protocol has been formally submitted to the Joint President/Senate Inclusion & Respect Task Force to ensure it is reviewed within the wider frame of the task force’s charge to consider how to best nurture a climate that is respectful and inclusive of all members of the campus community, stands against hate and reaffirms the values that define the university. The task force will have the opportunity to make recommendations for revisions to the protocol if appropriate.
The full protocol can be found at https://faculty.umd.edu/diversity/documents/hate-bias-protocol.pdf.