University 2020 Partnership on Critical Issues Defined by Black Student Leaders

In spring 2020, in light of increased social unrest, the administration reached out to Black students to be in community with them. They have met together frequently since then. In fall 2020, the group of Black student leaders prioritized critical issues and goals, based on four years of research and current issues, and partnered with the administration to address them. The administration appreciates the students’ work and plans to provide regular updates while moving forward to address the issues identified, clarify requests, and examine institutional processes and policies. Some issues pose more challenges to implementation than others, but in all cases, the university will continue to work with students to understand the genesis of the concern and propose actionable solutions together. This page will be updated to include a timeline.

There is, of course, additional work that needs to happen; this is part of an ongoing effort to make our community TerrapinSTRONG. While this group is dedicated to addressing anti-Black racism, we also remain focused on advocating for social justice for any member of our Terrapin family who faces inequities and bias.

The critical issues identified below are the most salient concerns and priority issues the student leaders want the university to address. Students made recommendations for a campus response with the understanding that each will need to be reviewed with the responsible office(s). The process for review will be iterative, consultative, and will involve students, faculty and staff.

Invited Student Organizations

  • Afrochique at University of Maryland
  • Black Honors Caucus
  • Ethiopian & Eritrean Students Association
  • Multicultural Greek Council
  • Student Success Leadership Council
  • Charles R. Drew Pre-Health Society
  • African Student Association
  • African Students Progressive Action Committee
  • Alliance for Diversity in Science and Engineering
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated
  • Black Business Association
  • Black Engineers Society
  • Black Graduate Student Union
  • Black Terps Matter
  • Black Students in Public Policy
  • Caribbean Students Association
  • Code: Black
  • Diazporic Dance Team
  • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated
  • Maryland Association of Black Journalists
  • NAACP
  • National Association of Black Accountants
  • National Council of Negro Women
  • National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers
  • National Pan-Hellenic Council
  • Political Power Project
  • Riddim Ryderz
  • ROOTS Africa
  • SGA Diversity Leader
  • Society of African American Studies
  • Somali Students Association
  • The Black Student Union
  • The Star Strutters
  • UMSuccess

Progress

Last Updated March 25, 2021

25 Recommendations

02 Completed

07 Ongoing*

16 In Progress

*Ongoing recommendations have components that are complete, but require continual sustained coordination for long-term success


Critical Issues and Student Recommendations

01

Increase the number of Black faculty, staff, teaching assistants, administrators, and advisors at the university.


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the Provost


Status
Ongoing

Last Updated March 25, 2021

02

Making racial bias training mandatory for all students, faculty, staff, administrators, health professionals, and student organizations. Training should include history of racial bias, impacts of racial trauma, and critical examinations how racism impacts one's life and their counterparts.


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the President

Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion


Status
Ongoing

Last Updated March 25, 2021

03

Reevaluate and reduce the excessive funding to UMPD publicly. Redistribute these funds and resources to Black organizations on campus, Nyumburu Cultural Center, and the African American studies department.


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the President


Status
In Progress

Last Updated March 25, 2021

04

Immediate response to hate speech or actions from the university including a consequence (e.g: mark on the transcript or potential suspension)


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs


Status
In Progress

Last Updated March 25, 2021

05

Increase the number of BIPOC counselors represented within the Counseling Center and Health Center, especially those with experiences with discrimination.


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs


Status
In Progress

Last Updated March 25, 2021

06

Prioritizing minority enrollment by doubling the current enrollment of Black students from Prince George’s County and DC by 2025.


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the Provost


Status
Ongoing

Last Updated March 25, 2021

07

Create a Black career center (in Nyumburu or a new center) to better expose Black students to scholarships, conferences, and internships that value Black people.


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs


Status
In Progress

Last Updated March 25, 2021

08

Memorialize 1st Lt. Richard Collins III with a physical memorial in a visible location where all of the UMD community can participate in his remembrance.


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the President


Status
In Progress

Last Updated March 25, 2021

09

Holding the administration accountable and ensuring transparency in following through on these demands along with the initiatives President Pines is taking in order to create equity for our Black community


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the President

Office of the Provost


Status
Completed

Last Updated March 25, 2021

10

Create an oversight committee that evaluates and sanctions faculty members who have allegedly taken part in any discriminatory behavior towards undergraduate and graduate students


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the Provost


Status
Completed

Last Updated March 25, 2021

11

Creating more spaces on campus for Black students (such as the Black Engineers Society Lounge in the Engineering Building) so that they are not only relegated to Nyumburu by default (especially for LGBT Black students). These spaces will be non-discriminatory.


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

Office of the Provost


Status
In Progress

Last Updated March 25, 2021

12

Create partnerships and scholarships with Prince George’s County schools to increase the number of Prince George’s County students accepted and admitted to UMD, especially Black students.


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the Provost

Office of the Vice President for University Relations


Status
Ongoing

Last Updated March 25, 2021

13

End the militarization of UMPD and sanctioning safe residential halls and environments by removing armed police & decreasing their presence.


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the President


Status
In Progress

Last Updated March 25, 2021

14

Continuous mandatory training on implicit bias in policing and how to reduce its negative impacts on the UMD community.


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer


Status
Ongoing

Last Updated March 25, 2021

15

Divest from the Maryland Correctional Enterprises, as well as businesses and companies invested in it, and the prison industrial complex


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the President


Status
In Progress

Last Updated March 25, 2021

16

Immediate turnaround for the removal of hate speech printed or written on campus property, sidewalks, and boards.


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer


Status
Ongoing

Last Updated March 25, 2021

17

Creating a racial incident hotline through the Counseling Center to cater to the mental health of BIPOC students.


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion


Status
In Progress

Last Updated March 25, 2021

18

Establish a collaboration between Nyumburu and the Division of Student Affairs to streamline all resources and counseling services that exist to support Black students.


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion


Status
In Progress

Last Updated March 25, 2021

19

Improving and restoring relations between UMD and Prince George's County through directly partnering with local community leaders/activists and community organizations.


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer


Status
Ongoing

Last Updated March 25, 2021

20

Include teaching about the contributions that Prince George’s County residents have made to UMD, along with the Black history of this institution (ties to slavery, discrimination against Black people to admittance into UMD until the 1936 Murray v Maryland Decision).


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the Provost

Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion


Status
In Progress

Last Updated March 25, 2021

21

A land recognition that UMD is built on land stolen from the Piscataway people.


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the President


Status
In Progress

Last Updated March 25, 2021

22

Make continued reference to 1st Lt. Richard Collins' legacy, accomplishments, and the Richard W Collins III Leadership with Honor Scholarship on campus tours and orientation, and in general education courses.


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion


Status
In Progress

Last Updated March 25, 2021

23

Strengthening the Bias Incident Support Services office with at least 3 more employees to support in responding, educating, and reporting to the campus about hate-bias incidents.


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion


Status
In Progress

Last Updated March 25, 2021

24

Implementation of evaluations pertaining to diversity and inclusivity for each course to be completed by students every semester. This is in regards to specific colleges and the university as a whole and the results of these evaluations should be published for transparency.


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the Provost


Status
In Progress

Last Updated March 25, 2021

25

TerrapinSTRONG (or any other general orientation process that UMD goes with) needs to incorporate the provision of accurate resources to all students on bias incident reporting, counseling services, and other resources for BIPOC students.


Responsible University Partner(s)

Office of the President


Status
In Progress

Last Updated March 25, 2021