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Police Investigate Weekend Hate-Bias Incidents

Students Report Anti-Semitic, -LGBT Acts in 2 Residence Halls

By Lauren Brown

Pocomoke Building

Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle

Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle

University of Maryland police are investigating reported hate-bias incidents in two residence halls over the weekend.

Around 3 p.m. Saturday, a resident of Queen Anne’s Hall contacted Department of Resident Life staff after discovering anti-LGBTQ comments written on whiteboards, then overhearing more comments the following night, police said.

Just after 8 p.m. Sunday, a resident of La Plata Hall reported finding a swastika drawn on a whiteboard, police said.

“The University of Maryland Police Department takes these matters very seriously,” said Sgt. Rosanne Hoaas, a UMPD spokesperson. “As our investigations continue, we call on our community for their help. If you have any information, please contact us. We want to hear from you.”

UMPD has assigned detectives to each case, and officers are reviewing security footage from both locations, as well as data from the card swipe access system, police said. Anyone with information is asked to call 301.405.3555. Individuals wishing to remain anonymous may submit an anonymous tip.

“These types of hateful incidents undermine the progress we are working hard to make to foster a safe, inclusive campus,” Cynthia Edmunds, interim chief diversity officer, wrote in a letter submitted yesterday to The Diamondback.

The weekend incidents will be included in a new online log of reported hate-bias incidents on campus. The log, which the Office of Diversity and Inclusion is developing, will provide timely and transparent information in a centralized location. A new online form to report specific hate-bias incidents was launched this summer.

Resident Life staff distributed letters to students on La Plata 4 and in Queen Anne’s denouncing the acts. They also encouraged students who were affected by the incidents to contact their resident assistant or Resident Life staff member on duty.

Anyone seeking support can visit the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s website for information on the hate-bias response team, created to provide support to impacted parties, as well as information on resources for hate-bias incidents.

The Counseling Center is also always available to students in distress, including an after-hours crisis line at 301.314.7651.

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