COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ) — The University of Maryland has concluded its investigation into a highly offensive email sent by a fraternity member.
Rick Ritter has more on the developments.
The president of the university says the private email, while hateful, did not violate university policies and is protected by the First Amendment. President Wallace Loh noted investigators didn’t find subsequent conduct that raised safety concerns.
“However, this determination does not mitigate the fact that the email is profoundly hurtful to the entire University community,” Loh said in the email sent to UMd. community members. “It caused anger and anguish, pain and fear, among many people. It subverts our core values of inclusivity, human dignity, safety, and mutual respect. When any one of us is harmed by the hateful speech of another, all of us are harmed.
As our University community seeks to heal, let us remember what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. taught us, ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.’ A university is a place to pursue education, truth, and reconciliation.”
The Kappa Sigma fraternity member sent the email to his fraternity brothers in January 2014.
It used racist slurs to describe black, Asian and Indian women and it alluded to raping women.
It was earlier announced the fraternity member will not return to campus, but the possibility exist he could return to campus with the investigation’s findings. The president’s letter also included an apology from the student.
“I apologize for the pain that I have caused you, the entire University of Maryland community, and many others who were offended by my words…. For this, I am deeply sorry. I regret sending that email more than I’ll ever be able to put into words. I know there is no way to erase this incident or the agony it has caused, but I want you to know that I will strive to never use such language again. I have learned an important life lesson, realizing there is no room for hate or prejudice of any kind in our community. I am committed to becoming a better person, a person that appreciates differences.”
Loh said his parents also apologized to the university. In addition, the student offered to undergo individualized training in diversity and cultural competence and proposed to perform extensive community service.
WJZ will continue to follow this story and bring you more details as they become available.