In 2018, a lawsuit alleging UMBC mishandled several sexual assault complaints focused campus attention on our community’s culture and processes related to sexual assault prevention and response. Administrative and shared governance leaders, faculty, staff, and students joined together in the Retriever Courage initiative to better understand implementation of the UMBC Sexual Misconduct Policy and hold ourselves accountable to our value of inclusive excellence. This deep look in the mirror strengthened the campus in important ways, leading to the creation of our new Office of Equity and Inclusion, now called the Office of Equity and Civil Rights, establishment of an Inclusion Council charged to support all members of the community affected by discrimination, and enhanced Title IX training required for all students, faculty, and staff.
In all matters of equity and inclusion, compliance with the law is essential but certainly not sufficient. We are proud of the thoughtful and transparent approach our campus community is continuing to take to more fully understand the issue of sexual assault prevention and response. We deeply appreciate the many shared governance leaders, students, and colleagues who devote their time and expertise not only to the Retriever Courage work, but also to other urgent equity issues, including anti-racism and support for the LGBTQ, religious, immigrant, and international communities.
We are grateful for the work of partners across campus who developed Retriever Courage and whose work improves our campus response to sexual violence.