Dear incoming students and parents,
On behalf of the University of Maryland community, I am proud to welcome you as part of an incoming class that is among the most academically talented and diverse ever.
We will have a chance to meet in person in a few months. In the meantime, I would like to share information about recent events that have deeply affected our campus community. I also would like you to know of our actions taken in response.
Last month, a young man who was about to graduate from Bowie State University, and was visiting friends on our campus, lost his life here in a senseless and unprovoked act. I want to reassure you that the safety of all members of our community remains a top priority. The police, the FBI, and the State's Attorney are still investigating this crime and charges have been filed.
To answer questions about this tragedy, we created a website: www.umd.edu/UMDreflects.
We know that incidents of racial hatred are occurring more frequently across our country, including on college and university campuses. The University of Maryland Police Department, with over 100 officers, maintains a high visibility presence on campus, supported by hundreds of security cameras that are monitored 24/7. They also work together with the Prince George's County Police Department in patrolling neighborhoods of College Park.
We are taking action to strengthen our campus culture that is rooted in the core values of respect for human dignity, diversity, inclusion, and academic freedom, all of which are essential to education. Among other actions I have announced, all new and returning students will together take a “Pledge of Respect and Unity” to reaffirm these values. We are also strengthening our Code of Student Conduct to increase sanctions in instances of proven hate and bias.
There has been an outpouring of goodwill and support from the University of Maryland community – students, faculty, staff, and alumni – for our core values and principles. We stand united in rejecting racism, hate, and extremism on our campus and in our country. It is upon all of us to declare who we are, what we stand for, and be a force for good in these fraught times.
Should you have any questions about what I have shared with you today, or anything about becoming a member of the Terp family, please contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Again, to the incoming students, welcome to the start of a journey of intellectual, social, personal, and career development that I believe you will find deeply rewarding and transformative. And to parents and other family members, thank you for entrusting the education of your son or daughter to the University of Maryland. I, along with the faculty, staff, and administrators accept that trust as our highest duty, part of a calling to prepare the next generation of citizens and leaders of our country.