A Black Lives Matter flag is currently flying at the campus of the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.

Interim Chancellor Randy Helm released a letter on Tuesday saying the flag is being flown as part of a new “flag policy” that provides a process by which requests to fly flags for specific causes and organizations.

Helm says the request to fly the flag was made by the school's Council on Diversity and Inclusion and approved after extensive consultation and research, and vetting by the Cabinet.

In the wake of the recent Presidential Election Helm says a sharp increase in hate crimes and violence against people of color and that the flag is a way to signal the school's "strong support for their lives and their dignity."

Helms says they are taking the words "Black Lives Matter" literally and that it isn't an endorsement of the political agenda or platform of any off-campus group or organization.

He also says the school doesn't endorse views that are anti-Police or anti-Semitic and doesn't agree with any BLM organizations that may have embraced such positions.

Helms also praised the school's Public Safety Officers and other law enforcement officials througout the region who "have a very difficult and often thankless job, and who do an outstanding job of keeping us safe, often in challenging situations."

He says he hopes that by flying the flag the school can "encourage civil and respectful dialogue at a time of deep divisions in our country."

The new flag policy was announced on Nov. 18 and can be viewed here.

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