Response to the Supreme Court’s decisions
June 22, 2020
Dear Members of the University of Maryland, College Park Community,
We are keenly aware that even in these turbulent and complicated times, hope emerges. We celebrate the Supreme Court’s June 15 decision that under United States federal law LGBTQ+ colleagues will be protected against discrimination in the workplace because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This decision is a momentous change and advancement for equality.
Also, this past week the University of Maryland was named the No. 1 college in the nation for LGBTQ+ students, according to rankings released by Campus Pride and BestColleges. The rankings recognize U.S. schools that have established the highest standards for inclusive environments. We know that much of this honor is thanks to the more than 20 years of work of our campus LGBT Equity Center, which provides the campus with leadership and expertise in building a fully equitable community; strengthens and supports people of diverse sexes, gender identities or expressions, and sexual orientations; and develops visible and vibrant LGBTQ+ campus communities. Staff in our LGBT Equity Center remain available to support our community in all ways possible.
We also celebrate the Supreme Court’s June 18 decision that overturns the current administration’s attempt to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides work permits and protection from deportation for close to 700,000 recipients. We are encouraged by this decision, as DACA opened up educational pathways for our students and for many others across the country through access to in-state tuition. DACA program participants have been contributing to our communities and country in tremendous ways, including serving as researchers, educators and essential workers throughout the global pandemic.
The University of Maryland remains dedicated in our support of our DACA recipients, as well as undocumented and immigrant students. Staff in the Undocumented and Immigrant Student Life office, based in the Adele H. Stamp Student Union, are here to help you navigate the university and connect you with the resources in place at UMD for DACA recipients and undocumented students. We encourage you to connect with them during this time by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support services for DACA recipients include dedicated mental health professionals and emergency aid such as the food pantry, emergency meal cards and the Student Crisis Fund. The Undergraduate and Graduate Legal Aid offices work closely with local immigration attorneys. Anticipating a decision in the DACA case, we planned for an immigration attorney to provide a dedicated webinar explaining the details of the decision and one-on-one consultations this summer for students. Details for the webinar and consultations will be listed in the UndocuTerp newsletter.
Our LGBTQ+ and DACA students, faculty and staff have the full support of our institution. While the Supreme Court’s decisions allow our programs, resources and services to continue in support of our communities, we recognize there is still work to do. We remain committed to enabling the continued success and thriving of all members of our campus community.
In solidarity and community,
Georgina Dodge, PhDVice President for Diversity and Inclusion