VI - 1.40  USM Policy on the Implementation and Monitoring of
Recommendations of the Cult Task Force

(Approved by the Board of Regents on December 8, 2000)

Origin and Purpose
In response to constituent concerns in the late 1990s, the
Maryland General Assembly mandated in House Joint Resolution 22
(1998 Legislative Session) the creation of a Task Force to Study
the Effects of Cult Activities on Public Senior Higher Education
Institutions, which adopted as its mission

          to determine the extent to which there are
          groups whose activities on the campuses of
          USM institutions, St. Mary's College, or
          Morgan State University are, intentionally or
          innocently, inappropriately, causing
          demonstrable physical, psychological or
          emotional harm to students; interfering
          substantially with the educational mission of
          the institution; and/or violating
          institutional policies and/or federal, state
          or local laws, and to make recommendations
          concerning courses of action that might be
          pursued by individuals or institutions to
          assist in the prevention and/or resolution of
          those problems.

The Task Force issued its final report in September 1999.  While
the Task Force found that the extent of such activities is very
small considering the large number of students attending public
institutions, there exists in some interactions between students
and groups the possibility for serious harm.  Therefore, the
Board of Regents supports efforts to ensure that students are
well-informed about opportunities for group participation, well-
prepared to make wise choices, and well-supported in those cases
where they perceive themselves to be under inappropriate or
undesirable pressure.

In order to respond to the concerns and recommendations of the
Task Force, each President shall:

1.   periodically assess the training needed for heightened
  institutional awareness of potential problems of groups
  referenced in the Task Force Mission Statement quoted above;

2.   provide a regular forum for interested members of the campus
  community (advisors, counselors, residential staff and chaplains,
  etc.) to exchange information about issues related to the
  activities of outside groups;

3.   where appropriate, include in policies for university
  personnel language concerning the need to be sensitive to the
  distinction between their professional responsibilities and their
  personal biases in discussing with students participation in
  extra-curricular groups;

4.   create and maintain a concise description of resources
  regarding interaction with groups and make them widely known and
  available to students;

5.   provide a central resource on campus to record complaints
  concerning group activities or actions and annually summarize the
  number and nature of such complaints and actions taken, if any,
  in response to them;

6.   have in place an institutional policy requiring registration
  and establishing clear guidelines for groups not sponsored by an
  institutional agency or program that wish to come onto campus to
  address students, and otherwise dealing with access to campuses
  by outside groups; and

7.   provide both new and returning students with educational
  programs designed to help them make informed choices in their
  decisions to participate in groups or activities.


In order to ensure that the above actions are taken and are
periodically monitored for compliance, an advisory committee,
comprising the chief institutional officers for student affairs
from each institution, is hereby constituted.  The advisory
committee, which shall be chaired by the Vice Chancellor for
Academic Affairs, shall meet periodically, but at least once
annually, specifically to review institutional activities with
regard to the implementation and administration of the actions
required by this policy.  The committee shall communicate
unresolved concerns about compliance to the Chancellor, who shall
report those concerns, along with appropriate recommendations for
their resolution, to the Board of Regents.