Last May, Lt. John Collins III was visiting friends at the University of Maryland when he was stabbed and killed by senior Sean Urbanksi after a chance encounter on campus. Now the University of Maryland is looking to make an unusual hire for a job focused on to combating hate.
On the surface, the brutal attack played out in a predictable way. Urbanksi was charged with a hate crime, and the university offered students counseling and a moment of silence when they returned to campus — albeit in the fall, because the spring semester had essentially ended by the time of the attack.
But there was another response to Collins’s murder brewing on the administrative level. The school has since significantly increased funding for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and started the “Inclusion and Respect Task Force” in an effort to “nurture a climate that is more respectful and inclusive of all members of our campus community.” Now the school is focusing on hiring a “hate-bias coordinator,” the first position of its kind.
VICE News traveled to Maryland to see what this new position entails, and how the administration plans on dealing with a terrible hate crime.
This segment originally aired February 27, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.
Cover image: Students walking by The McKeldin Library at The University of Maryland.