On “Some UMD students say they’re hesitant to speak up on controversial topics

A recent article titled “Some UMD students say they’re hesitant to speak up on controversial topics” stated that 62 percent of college students are reluctant to talk about controversial topics. However, the writer found not one student to support this statistic. As a parent of a current student and former student of UMD who are represented by that astounding 62 percent statistic, are we to believe this is not a problem at UMD? Why are students hesitant to speak freely? Could it be because we don’t allow others to freely share ideas without repercussions? Or because we just aren’t interested in differing viewpoints? I would be curious to hear from the student who said something “mildly Republican” and if they felt it could simply be described as “classmates not reacting well?” This article seems dismissive towards those with differing views.

The UMD community’s mission statement on inclusivity states that it “strives to achieve the highest levels of excellence in our work and our studies that accrue through inclusive practices. We recognize that as a thriving and striving community, the success of our institution and our members is dependent on how well we value, include, and engage all members. This belief must be actively and consistently embedded in every aspect and practice of the UMD community” including the Diamondback.

I write to challenge the editor to properly address the lack of confidence students have to share differing opinions. If the staff of the school’s newspaper can’t address the hard topics, then how will students find their own voices in exercising their freedom of speech?

This article completely missed the opportunity to live out the mission of the University of Maryland.

Kelly Foster


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