ProtectUMD, a coalition of 25 student organizations at the University of Maryland, sent a letter to administrators in late November outlining their




new programs, resources and initiatives

to serve marginalized student populations. The Diamondback spoke with members of these communities, who discuss the ways each demand could impact life on campus.

Anders TigheAnders Tighe
Brianna Hill Brianna Hill
Chris Bangert-Drowns Christ Bangert-Drowns
John Terzi John Tezri
Eric Billings Eric Billings
Karla Kasique Karla Casique
Lilia Hinojosa Lilia Hinojosa
Bibiana Valdes Bibiana Valdes
Sarwat Kazmi Sarwat Kazmi
Erica Fuentes Erica Fuentes
Taj Ingram Taj Ingram
Robyn Mucy Robyn Mucy
Chris Walkup Chris Walkup
Laila Abujuma Laila Abujuma
James Maffie James Maffie
Chelsea Hanson Chelsea Hanson
Catalina Mejia Catalina Mejia
Aiyah Sibay Aiyah Sibay
Kai Kai Mascarenas Kai Kai Mascarenas
Sarah Eshera Sarah Eshera
Kesanet Seleshi Kesanet Seleshi
Chioma Ahaghotu Chioma Ahaghotu
Yanet Amanuel Yanet Amanuel
Michelle Joseph Michelle Joseph
Brenda Testa Brenda Testa
Misha Bucknor Misha Bucknor
Keith Jernigan Keith Jernigan
Zaakira Ahmed Zaakira Ahmed
Tatiana Escobar Tatiana Escobar
Anders TigheAnders Tighe
Brianna Hill Brianna Hill
Chris Bangert-Drowns Christ Bangert-Drowns
John Terzi John Tezri
Eric Billings Eric Billings
Karla Kasique Karla Casique
Lilia Hinojosa Lilia Hinojosa
Bibiana Valdes Bibiana Valdes
Sarwat Kazmi Sarwat Kazmi
Erica Fuentes Erica Fuentes
Taj Ingram Taj Ingram
Robyn Mucy Robyn Mucy
Chris Walkup Chris Walkup

    At university President Wallace Loh’s request, some senior administrators met Friday to review ProtectUMD's demands. The group included the chief diversity officer, Loh’s chief of staff, the provost, the vice president of administration and finance and the vice president of student affairs.

    Brian Ullmann, a university spokesman who was present at the meeting, sent The Diamondback the following statement Sunday: "At President Loh's request, a group of senior administrators conducted an initial review of the letter submitted by ProtectUMD. Many of the items are already in place and others require additional evaluation. We look forward to working with students, faculty and staff on efforts to advance our strategic plan on diversity and inclusion.”

    Below is the list of 64 demands. Scroll through and click on each one to find the accompanying stories.

    For All Marginalized Student Communities
  1. Required diversity training for SGA recognized and Greek organizations.
  2. The University employ more professors of color in all university departments
  3. Increased mental health support and resources for students of color.
  4. University scholarships for students of marginalized communities.
  5. A statement from President Loh reassuring marginalized UMD students that the University is committed to making UMD a safe space for all marginalized groups in response to the election and urging these students to speak out when they feel that the university is not meeting this goal.
  6. Accountability for hate speech or action:
  7. Immediate response to hate speech or actions from the University including a consequence (e.g. mark on transcript, potential suspension);
  8. Immediate turnaround for the removal of hate speech printed or written on campus property, sidewalks and boards;
  9. A task force separate from UMPD officers to look into investigations.
  10. Revamping of the Diversity and Cultural Competency General Education requirement.
    • Students that meet this requirement should take a class that allows them not only to understand other cultures, but also by the end of the course have an understanding of privilege, oppression, and marginalized groups.
  11. Representation of students of color on UMD Student Judiciary and Senate.
  12. Study into the punishment statistics by race/gender/etc. of students at some point in the coming year - the legal system is rife with discrimination against minorities, especially those in poverty. It is crucial that our student judiciary is more equitable and gives all students a fair judgement.
  13. Establishing a voluntary accreditation for activist groups.
  14. Administration should support and defend activist groups by nullifying slander and smear campaign from bigger group. Example: Many members of SJP were slandered as anti-Semitic for being pro-Palestine;
  15. Make free legal advice available for students participating in activism who face slander or other dishonest claims while exercising their rights to protest and free speech;
  16. Provide protection during campus events that might make students feel unsafe because of their political implications [ie Israel Fest for Muslim and Arab students, Columbus day and Independence Day for American Indian students etc.].
  17. The University of Maryland match the campus minimum wage to Prince George’s minimum wage.
  18. An established safe, secure and permanent location for the Office of Civil Rights & Sexual Misconduct at The University of Maryland.
  19. The creation and implementation of Dean of Students with supporting staff.
    • Role
      • Serve as liaison for student needs and concerns on behalf of administration
      • Get to know student groups on campus and is actively available for students; makes efforts to attend student engagements
      • Serve as an ally to marginalized students
    • Help implement policy change on behalf of student concerns
    • Requirements:
      • Master’s or Doctoral degree in Education Administration
      • Experience in diversity and inclusion on institutional level
      • Preferably a representative from a vulnerable group
    • Approach:
      • Students serve on Dean of Students search committee along with other staff, professors and administrators

  20. For the American Indian Student Community
  21. The University officially remove the Christopher Columbus Day holiday from all university materials and mediums. Replace it with Indigenous Peoples’ Day to take away the stain of colonialism from our University.
  22. Acknowledge during every event, that "this is indigenous land." Make efforts to officially recognize the tribe or nation whose land upon which the University of Maryland is built.
  23. Establish an Indigenous Studies minor.
  24. Funding for AISU and departments such as Multicultural Involvement and Community Advocacy office, who supports indigenous students and their efforts.
  25. The official recognition of the Sarah Winnemucca award in the University awards.
  26. An indigenous scholarship for college students as well as high school students.
  27. An indigenous cultural center where students can explore their indigenous identity and others.

  28. For the Black Student Community
  29. University System of Maryland divestment from Maryland Correctional Enterprises.
  30. UMD student divestment from businesses and companies invested in MCE and the prison industrial complex.
  31. Tenure for African American professors.
  32. Increased funding for the Nyumburu Cultural Center and making the Nyumburu Cultural Center a stop during UMD campus tours.

  33. For the Latinx Student Community
  34. A claim to physical space on campus. A school that prides itself on diversity has failed to give students of color adequate, quality space such as a Latinx Cultural Center.
  35. University recruitment practices involving students of color that making them and their friends feel welcome and included on campus.
  36. A faculty body that is more diverse and representative of branches of academia that deal with the history and discourse of minority populations and integrating this into majors such as a USLT major and a road for tenure for the professors who teach in these departments.
  37. More funding allocated for multicultural student organizations in order to execute educational and cultural programming to help bridge the diversity divide on campus.

  38. For the LGBTQIA+ Student Community
  39. Mandated faculty training in the fundamentals of campus inclusion of queer folks.
  40. Students be allowed the choice of different gender roommates in the residence halls through random matching.
  41. Multi-stall gender-inclusive bathrooms in every building with multi-stall bathrooms.
  42. Converting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Studies program into a department in order to provide curricular autonomy.
  43. Including pronouns in addition to names on student rosters seen by faculty and advisors.
  44. Implementing a campus wide policy to replace male-female checkboxes with write-in boxes on all forms, surveys, and applications.
  45. Gender neutral bathrooms in all buildings on campus.
  46. Faculty (especially those working in the health center and counseling center), students, and college park police take part in queer diversity training, such as the Rainbow Terrapin Network.
  47. The administration advocate for and defend the Arts and Humanities, as they are one of the departments most sensitive to LGBTQ issues and also one of the most at risk under new new state and federal leadership.

  48. For the Muslim Student Community
  49. Protect the names and religious/ethnic affiliations of students should they be demanded from the government for harmful use.
  50. An increase in the number of safe, designated prayer areas on campus.
  51. One room in each major building (e.g. SPH, Chemistry, McKeldin etc.) designated for prayer.
  52. Shuttle services to the Diyanet Center of America for Muslim students to have access to a place of worship and participate in the many activities that the center hosts.
  53. Increased discussions about the diversity of the Muslim community on campus and worldwide.
  54. More classes offered pertaining to Islam and the Muslim world taught by Muslim professors, who will counteract the negativity surrounding the name of Islam that is perpetuated by our culture and media.
  55. Measures to prevent situations similar to the “American Sniper” situation from happening again.
    • SEE and other organizations on campus should have better judgement when choosing to show movies that perpetuate false narratives and stereotypes of Muslim and should be held accountable if they do not take this into consideration.
  56. More Zabiha options on the campus meal plan to accommodate Muslims who adhere to those rulings.
  57. More counselors who are sensitive to the needs of Muslim students. Ensure that the have the training be sensitive to the nuances in the Muslim community and are from the communities we often come from.
    • Additional training or staff is necessary.

  58. For the Pro-Palestine student communities
  59. The encouragement of equal and positive representation of Pro-Palestinian human rights activists on campus. Specifically, condemning the conflation of Pro-Palestinian activism with racism and Anti-Semitism.
    • Pro-Palestinian activists are people who seek the fair treatment of Palestinians in Palestine and the rest of the world. Pro-Palestinians do not reject the human rights of any group of people, and encourage a fair and just system of governance across the globe.
  60. The active encouragement of faculty and students to engage in discourse and learning about the Palestinians’ struggles and the Boycott Divest and Sanction movement without fear of consequences by the university administration.
  61. Faculty and students have long been targeted for their political stances and their rights to free speech impeded, especially on this issue. We hope the university administration recognizes their disenfranchised groups and helps develop an environment within which it is safe for them to voice their opinions.

  62. For the Undocumented student community
  63. A full-time Undocumented Student Coordinator to advocate for, advise, represent, and protect undocumented and DACAmented students.
  64. A declaration of the University of Maryland, College Park as a sanctuary campus for undocumented and DACAmented students and their families.
  65. Ensured protection of student information about immigration status from local, state, and government agencies.
  66. A system to ensure reaction and protection from the UMD Administration if an undocumented or DACAmented student faces detention or deportation proceedings.
  67. A full-time immigration attorney for the Offices of Undergraduate and Graduate Student Legal Aid.
  68. An Undocumented Student Resource Office to provide academic counseling, legal support, mental health counseling, and to guide students to university resources.
  69. Mandatory training about undocumented students’ unique experiences and needs in academic settings for all university faculty and staff.
  70. A significant expansion of mental health services for all students of color, especially undocumented and DACAmented students.
  71. A system to ensure that DACAmented students can continue to receive in-state tuition if their DACA status is cancelled.
  72. An opening up of merit scholarships and emergency funds to undocumented and DACAmented students.

Signed by: African Students Progressive Action Committee, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated Theta Nu Chapter, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated Iota Zeta Chapter, The American Indian Student Union, Ashley Vasquez, BSOS UMD Senator, Committee on Committees Undergraduate Rep, Bisexuals at Maryland, The Black Student Union, Chi Chapter of Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha, Incorporada, The Coalition of Latinx Student Organizations, Community Roots, Eta Beta Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc, Ethiopian Eritrean Student Association, Kappa Phi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Katherine Swanson, Student Body President, NAACP, University of Maryland, Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. Upsilon Chapter, Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc. Delta Eta Chapter, The Muslim Student Association, True Colors of Maryland, Political Latinxs United for Movement and Action in Society, Preventing Sexual Assault, The Pride Alliance, Students for Justice in Palestine, Student Labor Action Project, Our Revolution

The following university officials declined to comment on specific demands before publication:

University President Wallace Loh, Chief Diversity Officer Kumea Shorter-Gooden, Provost Mary Ann Rankin, Associate Provost and Undergraduate Studies Dean William A. Cohen, University Police spokeswoman Sgt. Rosanne Hoaas, Vice President for Student Affairs Linda Clement, Counseling Center associate director David Petersen, The Clarice spokeswoman Sarah Snyder and College of Arts and Humanities spokeswoman Nicky Everette.

Officials recommended Diamondback reporters speak with the communications office. University spokeswoman Crystal Brown wrote in an email that “there will not be a point by point response to the list of demands, but rather a comprehensive response that addresses the collective group of concerns raised.”


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Reporting by
Diamondback Staff