The University of Maryland Senate's new diversity task force will hold an open forum on Wednesday.
The forum will be held in Stamp Student Union's Colony Ballroom from noon to 2 p.m. and will allow students to share their thoughts on the group's mission, said co-chair Warren Kelley.
"Tomorrow is a way to just engage this campus in this conversation, to open up the door," Kelley said. "It's to enable people to share their perspectives about their experience on this campus and the questions they have and the work the task force is going to do."
The President and University Senate's Joint Task Force on Inclusion and Respect will decide whether existing university policy and programming on hate bias and campus safety requires strengthening or additions. It will also assess the Code of Student Conduct's treatment of hate bias incidents and free speech issues on the campus.
Its work will be finished by March 30, according to an Aug. 29 statement from University President Wallace Loh.
Loh announced the task force after the fatal stabbing of Bowie State University student 2nd Lt. Richard Collins on the campus in May. Sean Urbanski, who was a student at this university, has been indicted on murder charges, and the incident is under investigation as a possible hate crime. Urbanski is white, and Collins was black.
In the year leading up to Collins' death, this university also saw five reports of white nationalist posters on the campus, a noose hung in a fraternity house and chalkings advocating for the deportation of DREAMers.
Task force co-chair Ja'Nya Banks, the Student Government Association's diversity and inclusion director, said it's important for members of the campus community to come and share their thoughts.
"It's worthwhile for students or other people to come out just so they can be active, aware and hold us accountable," said Banks, a senior special education major. "The campus community can't really afford to be passive."
So far, the task force has broken into subcommittees to work on the different portions of their mission, Kelley said.
The task force plans to hold future open forums to discuss its mission and its conclusions, he said.