Two female students walking near South Campus Commons heard someone shout a racial slur, among other offensive language, on April 26, according to University of Maryland Police. This marked the third reported hate bias incident this semester at the university.
The students were walking near Commons 3 and 4 when they heard someone shout the slur, police spokeswoman Sgt. Rosanne Hoaas said. The students reported they saw a room at Commons 4 with an open window, Hoaas said. A third female student also heard the yelling and walked over to the other two students after the incident, she added.
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Officers responded to the scene at 2:50 p.m., Hoaas said. Police searched the room the students had seen with the open window to gather more information, and a University Police detective is investigating the incident. Officers also conducted a witness canvas, she added.
In response to the incident, the Department of Resident Life sent a letter to South Campus Commons 3 and 4 residents, urging anyone with information to reach out to police and emphasizing the need for all students to maintain an inclusive community.
University spokeswoman Jessica Jennings wrote in an email that "this type of behavior is not acceptable in our community and does not align with our values." The Office of Diversity and Inclusion reached out to the victim and offered support, she added.
There were 27 reported hate bias incidents from the beginning of the fall semester to Dec. 8. University administration verified 15 of those incidents. In the spring semester, there have been two reports — racial slurs were written on a Cumberland Hall dry erase board, and a male near the Leonardtown apartments reportedly shouted a racial slur at a black female student.
"We are writing to notify you because acts such as this one are appalling and hurt and impact all of us," the Resident Life letter read. "As a community, we must work together to combat hate, confront bias, and support each other."