The University of Maryland will host a ceremony Thursday in recognition of the anniversary of the death of 2nd Lt. Richard Collins.
The ceremony will include a tribute from the Maryland Honor Guard, as well as university chaplains. It will take place in the Garden of Reflection and Remembrance near the Memorial Chapel from noon to 1 p.m., according to an email to the campus community.
Collins, a Bowie State University student, was fatally stabbed on this university’s campus on May 20, 2017. Police said he was standing near the Montgomery Hall bus stop with friends when he was stabbed.
Former university student Sean Urbanski is charged with first-degree murder and a hate crime in the killing. Collins was black and Urbanski is white.
The true anniversary of Collins’ death falls on the day of the campuswide commencement ceremony for spring graduates.
On May 24, 2017 — four days after Collins’ death — hundreds attended a vigil for him in the garden’s labyrinth. Visitors laid flowers at the labyrinth’s center, listened to hymns and wrote in journals about how they felt in the wake of the killing.
In the year since Collins was killed, the university convened a task force to address campus diversity issues. The task force’s recommendations — which university President Wallace Loh has signed — include a ban on threatening or intimidating conduct that’s driven by “an individual or group’s actual or perceived protected status.”
Alongside the news that Loh approved the policies came the results of a campus diversity survey, in which some minority students indicated concerns for their personal safety on the campus.
Thirty-three percent of students and 30 percent of administrators said in the survey that the administration has not effectively responded to campus hate bias incidents.
Last semester, there were 27 reported hate bias incidents, 15 of which were later verified by the administration. Three hate bias incidents have been reported so far this semester.