June is Pride Month

Raising awareness and highlighting achievements for LGBTQIA community are focal points

UND currently has a four-out-of-five-star rating on the Campus Pride Index website, which maintains a national list of LGBTQIA-friendly colleges and universities. As Pride Month commences, UND is looking to both celebrate and further support LGBTQIA visibility and inclusion on campus.

June is Pride Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness, celebrating identity, and highlighting achievements for the LGBTQIA community.

“As we enter a new normal, it’s important that we really do what we can as a campus community to promote LGBTQIA visibility, support, and inclusion, “ said Jeff Maliskey, assistant director of Student Diversity & Inclusion/LGBTQ Initiatives. “It’s the perfect time to come together and demonstrate how we strive for inclusion as a campus community.”

This past year, teams around campus have been working on ways to support the LGBTQIA campus community in all aspects of campus life.

“We have been so grateful for our partners across campus as we brought a group together to address the use of pronouns and chosen name in our campus systems and communication,” Maliskey said. “We want to recognize their work and the work of a few others who are really diving into inclusion efforts to make a difference.”

  • The Admissions and Enrollment Management teams have been working hard to see how chosen name and pronouns are used on enrollment applications and student communication, in financial aid, and in processes through One-Stop Student Services; efforts lead by Janelle Kilgore, Matt Lukach, and Chelsea Larson.
  • Scott Correll, university registrar, has been working to advance preferred pronouns and gender identity fields in Campus Connection.
  • Policy work to support Transgender, Non-binary, and Gender-nonconforming students, faculty, and staff carried out by Donna Smith and Beth Valentine continues to affirm our goal for building a more inclusive campus.
  • The development of an LGBTQ Graduate Student Alliance led by Chris Nelson.
  • Collaboration set up by Keri Frantell for Graduate Counseling Psychology students to work on LGBTQ issues as part of the Social Justice Consultation Project.
  • TTaDA Book read of “The Fight for Our Lives” by Saeed Jones to learn about intersections of a Queer and Black Identity experiences.
  • LGBTQIA faculty and staff continue to provide mentoring opportunities for students.

Maliskey said recognition is also deserved for President Andrew Armacost.

“We have a leader who does not shy away from addressing the needs and concerns for LGBTQIA students. That message has been loud and clear since day one of Andy’s arrival to campus, and it has really helped change the attitude and climate at UND.”

The LGBTQIA Ally Training Program is also one way faculty, staff, and students, have taken that next step to actively show support. More than 260 faculty and staff have completed ally training, and the number continues to grow each semester. Faculty and staff that who completed training are listed on the Pride Center webpage to recognize their commitment to students and to let LGBTQIA students, faculty and staff know where to find support on campus.

“There has been tremendous growth in LGBTQIA education, support, and advocacy during the last year and much of that is a result of Jeff’s leadership. As a staff, we thought it was important to recognize departments and individuals who are helping to create more inclusive spaces and policies at UND for our LGBTQIA population. I think it’s just as important to recognize all that Jeff is doing to help create change at UND,” said Stacey Borboa-Peterson, director of Student Diversity & Inclusion. “Under Jeff’s leadership, UND has secured a rating of 4 out of 5 stars on the Campus Pride Index and is currently listed as the ‘Premier LGBTQ campus’ for the state of North Dakota.  Since 2008, the Campus Pride Index has been the premier LGBTQ national benchmarking tool for colleges and universities to create safer, more inclusive campus communities.”

The online Campus Pride Index features multiple categories describing how UND addresses issues and policies of importance to the LGBTQIA community. The site has also distinguished UND as the “Premier LGBTQ Campus” for the state of North Dakota. Web screenshot.

Celebrate Pride

Student Diversity & Inclusion is offering a variety of opportunities this year for the campus community to get involved and celebrate Pride Month.

“You will see more visibility from our LGBTQIA faculty and staff, more rainbows around campus, and more ways to demonstrate your support as a visible ally,” Maliskey said.

A great place to start is following Student Diversity & Inclusion on social media; they will be posting a variety of topics relating to LGBTQIA awareness, visibility, and education. Pride events will also be held for all members of the campus community to attend.

“Celebrating Pride as an ally often means just showing up, your presence alone means a lot,” Maliskey said.

More information on getting involved available at:

— Written by Stacey Borboa-Peterson, director for student diversity & inclusion