Richard Wilbur Collins III, a 23-year-old Black man who had just been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army was stabbed to death on May 20 as he was waiting for an Uber driver at the University of Maryland College Park. Collins was scheduled to graduate from Bowie State University in Maryland this past Tuesday. An empty seat, draped with his graduation gown, sat in the arena to honor him throughout the commencement ceremony.
Police arrested Sean Christopher Urbanski for the murder. Urbanski is a member of an Alt-Right group and police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.
In response to the incident, the university quickly announced new measures aimed at creating a safer campus for all members of the community.
- The university will create a rapid response team that will provide support and services to victims of hate-related incidents.
- An additional allocation of $100,000 has been given to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for diversity education programs.
- The university will publish an annual report on hate crime incidents on campus.
- Actions will be taken to prohibit any hate-bias symbols or actions at university athletic events with violators being immediately expelled from the field or arena.
- A task force will be established to examine the effectiveness of all of the university’s anti-bias and campus safety programs and to make recommendations on how to make the campus an environment where hate is not tolerated.
Wallace D. Loh, president of the University of Maryland, stated that “it is on all of us to stand up and fight the racism, extremism, and hate that are cancers in our body politic.”