Exposing hate and bias on campuses

Bill would require reporting in Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Just days before his graduation from Bowie State, Lt. Richard Collins III died in a stabbing at the University of Maryland-College Park at the hands of a suspect with ties to neo-Nazis, and he never saw it coming.
    
But signs of such hatred had plagued the campus for months.

"Things like nooses being hung... you know the "n" word being put in different restrooms," said Del. Angela Angel (D-Prince George’s County).  
    
While administrators at College Park moved quickly to take steps to deal with such incidents, Angel wants every campus to follow suit.
    
That's why she sponsored the Hate Bias Prevention Bill.

"They will collect any incidents of hate or bias that are happening on the campus,” said Angel, “It will also make those incidents available to the public and it will also make sure that they report how the incidents were resolved even if it's that the case was never solved.  We don't know who did it, but right now what they will tell you is that they don't know what happened."
    
That means hiring a bias coordinator to collect and report incidents, an alert system to notify students and mandated cultural diversity training for every incoming freshman.
    
A Maryland resident, Taylor Dumpson, believes such measures are necessary across the country.
    
She became a target for hate when she became the first African-American elected to head the student government at American University in the nation's capital.

"An individual hung bananas from nooses in various places around campus emblazoned with phrases that were identifying,” said Dumpson, “They put Harambe referencing the gorilla that was killed at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2016, and this was all in my first day in office."
    
While stringent reporting measures and training may not have saved the life of Lt. Richard Collins, supporters say it could shine light on a problem that has long existed in the dark.

"It's a shame that someone had to lose their life for this to shed a light on how prolific it is one some of our campuses, but it absolutely is a legacy and an homage to him,” said Angel, “He made a difference in his life and he's continuing to make a difference in his death."

The bill also would require the Maryland Higher Education Commission to report to lawmakers each year on any incidents reported on the state's various campuses and what was done to address them.
 

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