September 6, 2018 at 8:42 am EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
University of Maryland investigates anti-LGBT ‘hate bias’ incident

Campus Pride Index, gay news, Washington Blade

Campus police are investigating a series of anti-LGBT messages that were left on dorm whiteboards at the University of Maryland in College Park. (Photo by Bgervais; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Campus police at the University of Maryland in College Park are investigating two “hate bias” incidents in which anti-LGBT comments were found written on whiteboards in one dormitory this past weekend and a swastika was found scrawled on a whiteboard in another dorm.
 
A student found the anti-LGBT comments about 3:40 p.m. on whiteboards at Queen Anne’s Hall dormitory on Sept. 2, according to campus police. At about 8:07 p.m. that same day students discovered a swastika had been drawn onto a whiteboard at La Plata Hall dorm, police said.
 
Campus police didn’t disclose what the anti-LGBT comments said.
 
“In both incidents, a detective was immediately assigned, witness canvasses were conducted and follow-up interviews were completed,” the Diamondback, the university’s student newspaper, quoted a campus police official as saying in an email.
 
“Video reviews of the cameras in the area of both locations are underway along with a review of the card swipe access system,” the Diamondback quoted the police official as saying.
 
“The University of Maryland Police Department takes these matters very seriously,” WTOP News quoted the same official, Sgt. Rosanne Hoaas, as saying. “As our investigations continue, we call on our community for their help. If you have any information, please contact us. We want to hear from you,” WTOP quoted her as saying.
 
Anyone with information on either case is asked to call campus police at 301-405-3555.
 
Shige Sakurai, acting director of the College Park campus’s LGBT Equality Center, told the Washington Blade the Center will have an event on Thursday “so that students and others would have a place to come and decompress and get support if they feel affected by this.”
 
Sakurai added, “Suffice it to say that as an LGBT Center, we’re very concerned and want to make sure that we have supports out to our communities and that people can come together and prevent these kinds of situations from happening in the future.”

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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