Why Being a Black Trainee at the University of Maryland Does Not Feel Safe


One night last summer season, I strolled house from my school task at the University of Maryland College Park. I strolled alone, on the pathway of Path 1, after 10 p.m. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a figure throughout the street. I understood it was a male, and he headed my instructions. He moved behind me. I inspected behind my shoulder a couple of times.

For a 2nd, I seemed like he may have been following me.

I never ever feel safe on this school due to the fact that of the murder of Richard Collins III, an African-American male. Collins, a Bowie State College student, got stabbed one night in May 2017 while waiting on an Uber near a bus stop. A white male, Sean Urbanski, got charges with a hate criminal offense in the death. Just recently, the trial for Urbanski, a previous UMD trainee, got pressed back till July. This marks the 3rd time the case has actually been postponed.

To this day, it haunts me that it might have been anybody– any African-American trainee on this school– who was eliminated. Even me. In the evening, when I stroll along the boundaries of the school, an uncomfortable sensation hovers over me. I do not make late night journeys to the library alone any longer.

The weekend of the killing, I visited my home town of Baltimore when I inspected my e-mail and saw the strong subject line: UMD Security Notice-Homicide. I was ending my 2nd term as a transfer trainee, and I ended up being familiar with the consistent signals from the University of Maryland authorities. I frequently got e-mails about burglaries and break-ins near school. Nevertheless, being notified of a murder struck a deep nerve. I opened the e-mail and check out that a boy was fatally stabbed. That brilliant Sunday early morning ended up being dark.

I found out later on that a person of my buddies who went to Bowie State University was schoolmates with Collins.

I approached my mom’s space to inform her. Her face scrunched up in a weird method as she took in the news. She was upset and informed me I should not go to UMD any longer thinking about the burglaries and break-ins. However I firmly insisted that I wished to complete due to the fact that of the quantity of effort I put in at neighborhood college to go to the school. I actually desired a degree from UMD’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

Hailing a city with among greatest criminal offense rates in the United States, I have actually constantly needed to remain familiar with where I go and the buddies I keep in my circle. After the murder, I understood I should understand in a various method. Now I need to be conscious due to the fact that of the color of my skin.

In my everyday encounters at UMD, I have not been a victim of outright bigotry.

However being among a couple of black trainees, or the only black trainee in my classes, I have ideas that I might deal with microaggressions anytime.

Now, practically every day, I stroll by the bus stop where Collins was killed. The bus stop shelter utilized to act as a short-term memorial– boxed in with fall flowers, a picture of Collins, American flags and an indication with black letters celebrating the college senior. Now, all that’s left is the indication. The area does not seem like a memorial any longer.

Trainees sit and wait on the bench. Individuals walk around the location. The bus reoccurs. Whatever still runs typically. It’s as if absolutely nothing ever took place.