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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Campus Climate Message and Resources

Dear UMD community members,

This message goes out to you as a follow-up to Chancellor Black's message a couple weeks ago. We would like to reaffirm our commitment to an inclusive campus community that is willing to pursue difficult conversations and be home to challenging dialogues. We must do so with respect, with a goal to understand one another, and, finally, to move beyond stereotypes and overgeneralizations and to a deeper understanding and sharing of ideas.  UMD stands firmly against intolerance and acts of hate and we think it is important to update members of the UMD community on actions and resources.

A number of activities have taken place following the recent national election.

  • On Wednesday, November 9, Student Life provided spaces in the Multicultural Center and in Housing and Residence Life for students to gather safely and process their reactions to the elections. Student Life staff were on hand to talk with students and offer support. In addition, several additional rooms were reserved in the event that students needed to talk individually with staff. A counselor in Health Services cleared the day so that walk-in appointments were available. Many students spent time in the Student Life spaces, with H&RL reporting that students from across the political spectrum participated in an active and meaningful way.
  • On Thursday, November 10, Chancellor Black sent a campus-wide message about the election results.  He shared his continued concern about the hateful, hurtful, and disrespectful dialogue that will not be tolerated at UMD.  
  • On Monday, November 14, a Speak Out event was held in the Kirby Lounge. Students from many different student organizations and groups took turns sharing stories, music, poetry, and expressing strong support for one another. In addition, resource tables were set up, with representatives from the H&RL, UMDPD, Student Conduct, Diversity and Inclusion, and the Commission on Ethnicity, Race, and Equity (CERE) participating. Speak Out participants were invited to sign a pledge for supporting a positive climate. That program will be the first in a series of Speak Out events.
  • On Wednesday, November 16, a meeting was held with international students to discuss their thoughts and concerns in relation to immigration policies and other issues such as reporting and safety.
There have been reports of incidents on or near campus since the election, and none of these incidents have been directly reported to the UMDPD, Student Conduct, or HR&EO. Faculty and staff are providing support. We continue to encourage students, faculty and staff to come forward and report. For those not sure how to report or seek other support resources, we suggest the following:
  • UMDPD - Call 911 to report an incident
  • Office of Student Conduct
  • Office of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity
In addition, there are a number of options for support for students, faculty and staff
  • Counseling Services (Health Services) - students
  • Office of Diversity and Inclusion

UMD is committed to equity, diversity, and social justice. UMD's values, mission, vision, and goals describe this commitment. As part of the commitment to equity, diversity, and social justice, UMD stands firmly against intolerance and acts of hate from those who work to undermine our goal of creating "a positive and inclusive campus climate for all." We encourage you to visit our Campus Climate website, if you are so inclined, to sign the pledge.

UMD is a great community of learners and scholars, let's continue to work hard to make our community welcome to all who seek to be members of our community and to pursue their professional and personal goals at our university.

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend.


Chancellor Lendley Black
Vice Chancellor Lisa Erwin
Special Assistant Susana Pelayo-Woodward
Executive Vice Chancellor Fernando Delgado
Vice Chancellor Steve Keto