- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A coalition of student groups at the University of Maryland — spurred in part by the election of Donald Trump — has issued a list of 64 demands to the school’s administration, including a call to “prevent” on-campus movie screenings that could be deemed offensive by Muslim students.

That demand was just one of nine expressed by Muslim student groups within the so-called ProtectUMD coalition, which sent the letter of demands to the administration late last month, the Diamondback student newspaper reported Monday.

“I think [these demands] are ridiculously easy [to accomplish],” said Muslim Student Association member Khaled Nurhssien, according to the Diamondback. “They’re very easy. All it would take is consideration on the part of the SEE board. It doesn’t even have to be a longer process than they already have — it just requires that the person who’s making decisions to keep in mind the effect of the movies he or she is choosing. That’s all it requires.”

The coalition name refers to a row which made national news in spring 2015 when the university’s Student Entertainment Events (SEE) scheduled “American Sniper” for screenings in the student union’s movie theater.

In April 2015, following a backlash that included an online petition at left-leaning site Change.org, the student-run SEE postponed the planned screening, saying it wished to feature it in the fall semester with a panel discussion immediately afterwards, the Diamondback reported.

The campus administration had no role in the decision, the Diamondback reported.

The film was eventually shown in May 2015, co-hosted by the campuses College Republicans and College Democrats chapter and featuring a panel discussion.

In addition to the “American Sniper”-inspired movie ban, ProtectUMD student activists have called for “an increase in the number of safe, designated prayer areas on campus” with “one room in each major building … designated for prayer” in addition to designated shuttle services to mosque that is nearly a half-hour’s drive away from the College Park campus.

Other demands have been made by ProtectUMD in the name of “marginalized student communities” in general as well as specific action items for varying ethnic groups, “undocumented” students and the LGBT community.

Read their full list of demands here.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide