Over the past few days, we have been aware of content on social media that has negatively impacted members of our community, especially members of our LGBTQ+ and Muslim communities. We regret that this social media content has made some feel unsafe or invalidated and wish to offer our unwavering support to these communities.
The diversity of UMBC’s community and our commitment to inclusive excellence are among our greatest strengths. We are committed to creating a welcoming community for all and honoring diverse experiences and identities.
At the same time, we also acknowledge our community members’ right to free speech. This is important to us and constitutionally required of us as a public university. We have been pleased to see some community members thoughtfully engage in discussion and advocacy and call for acceptance, care, and meaningful dialogue.
Please know that our office of Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) is responding to these concerns. While we cannot share details, you can read more about how OEI responds to these issues in the message issued last week here. Community members who believe they have experienced an incident of hate, bias, or discrimination can complete the OEI’s Confidential Online Reporting/Referral Form.
We want to take this opportunity to note the care and support resources available to community members.
Initiatives for Identity, Inclusion, and Belonging (i3b) staff are also available to community members and student organizations in need of support. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students can contact the Counseling Center for confidential support at (410) 455-2472 on weekdays, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., or the after-hours support line at (410) 455-3230.
Employees can access confidential support through the Employee Assistance Program.
To encourage further discussion on these issues, we will begin the spring semester with a community-wide gathering, The Empowered University: Balancing Inclusion and Free Speech, on January 27 at 4pm. More details will be coming soon.
President Freeman Hrabowski
Provost Philip Rous
Mehrshad Devin, President, Student Government Association
Bobby Lubaszewski, President, Professional Staff Senate
Alex Rittle, President, Graduate Student Association
Orianne Smith, President, Faculty Senate
Melody Wright, President, Non-Exempt Staff Senate