UMD Suspended From LGBT Friendly Designation
Campus Pride Strips UMD's Title
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It was several weeks ago that the contracts of head women’s hockey coach, Shannon Miller and her coaching staff would not be renewed after this season ends.
Miller and her staff all happen to be gay or bisexual.
Now, a National Group is pulling UMD from consideration this year to be named an LGBT friendly school.
The group is called Campus Pride and UMD had received the designation from them each of the past two years.
UMD is the first school Campus Pride has removed from consideration for this title.
When informed about the decision, many LGBT leaders on campus had strong reactions.
“Our students will continue to work as hard as we have to get that title back,” said head of UMD’s Queer and Allied Student Union, Jace Carlson.
Jace believes the school needs to re-earn the designation.
But, support from the top is necessary.
“I think they will work harder to make it a more inclusive campus,” Carlson said.
UMD released a statement saying the administration is disappointed in Campus Pride’s decision.
“We hear the concerns that Campus Pride raised and take them very seriously. UMD is engaging the entire campus community in it’s inclusion efforts by hiring a nationally known consultant to help us conduct a thorough and unbiased assessment of our campus climate.”
Carlson thinks the way the administration handled Miller’s dismissal was disrespectful toward the LGBT community.
“When our administration doesn’t have our back than it’s really frustrating to watch and frustrating to see how it affects the players and our queer community on campus,” expressed Carlson.
Coach Miller has led the Women’s hockey program since 1999.
She has spoken out several times recently about UMD’s leadership.
“I think the UMD athletic department of administration should be ashamed of themselves. I am sickened by the way women are treated in our department. I am sickened and disgusted by the way my staff and I have been treated,” expressed Miller.
Carlson agrees with Miller and hopes losing the LGBT friendly label will put more pressure on the administration to step up their game.
“I think it’s something that is going to act as a wake up call,” Carlson expressed.
Miller has retained attorneys since the University made the decision not to renew her contract.
The University has said previously that move was necessary for budgetary reasons.