At request of Black student orgs, UMD admin launch plan to defund police, crack down on ‘hate speech’

The University of Maryland’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion released a set of proposals to crack down on purported 'hate speech' and decrease campus police presence.

Out of the 25 recommendations, 16 are considered 'in progress' by the university.

University of Maryland administrators released a set of recommendations to address “anti-Black racism” — including defunding campus police and curtailing “hate speech.”

The twenty five recommendations from the school’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion stemmed from a year-long dialogue with Black student organizations.

”In spring 2020, in light of increased social unrest, the administration reached out to Black students to be in community with them,” the Diversity & Inclusion website explains. “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.”

One recommendation is to “end the militarization of UMPD and sanctioning safe residential halls and environments by removing armed police & decreasing their presence,” which is marked “in progress” on the webpage. 

As of June 4, there are 16 recommendations designated as “in progress” including having an “immediate response to hate speech or actions from the university including a consequence (e.g: mark on the transcript or potential suspension).”

Other recommendations included removing “excess funds” from UMPD and distributing them to Black student organizations; instituting mandatory racial bias training; and creating a “racial incident hotline” to “cater to the mental health of BIPOC students.”

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The new changes are raising concerns.

University of Maryland senior Justin Wages criticized the proposals. “First and foremost,” Wages told Campus Reform, “these changes will create an unsafe environment at the university stemming from the defunding of UMPD. Crime is extremely high in the area, and defunding the police will hurt, not help, the student population.”

“Free speech is also under attack with the threat of a transcript notation if a student commits actions deemed to be ‘hate speech or actions’ with no definition whatsoever,” Wages continued.

Campus Reform reached out to the University of Maryland for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.