Personal anecdote about Anoka, Minnesota. Located next door in Coon Rapids is Anoka-Ramsey Community College (2-year program), which I visited often as a representative of a larger 4-year university. Initially as their "Transfer Specialist," a title I created myself in 1999 to disguish me from a regular Enrollment Specialist, and later as the university's Assistant Registrar. In that role I helped to create the transfer guides that determined which junior college coursework would transfer to our 4-year degree programs. That product still exists online for Anoka-Ramsey, I note, another of my innovations at the time, though in summarized form now, not giving actual classroom courses as it once did. The UND phone number & URL are still the same, though [NOSTALGIC SIGH]:http://www.anokaramsey.edu/Classes/Transfers/~/media/Files/Classes/Transfers/transfer/und.ashx
I'd spend a day at Anoka-Ramsey a few times a semester, interviewing their students and visiting ones from local high schools, who were told of my presence on campus. They would have included the school in question in this gay discrimination case, though before this young man's time. I may have even gone to his HS itself, but I honestly don't remember, I visited so many.
That area northeast of Minneapolis was once all farmland, now growing bedroom community suburbs, and said to vote heavily Republican, though the Mpls city core remains more liberal. Anoka-Ramsey didn't have any GLBT student organizations back then as I recall, nor do I think it officially does today, though they claim an 11,000 student enrollment, including distant learners.
On one visit, someone whom I think was a student from the community college itself, literally swished up to my table and display in a lobby. He laughingly asked me if UND had any gay student activities, I suppose expecting me to be flustered.
"Oh, yes, UND has the Ten Percent Society (TPS) for GLBT students, an official student campus organization. It's very active, and has 2 Staff and Faculty Advisors, of which I am one. Can I give you some contact information?"
Blank stare. I didn't know if this was a hoax, or a genuinely gay man who wanted to make me feel uncomfortable. You can't play that game with me, and I remained smiling, courteous and helpful, totally unfazed, though I think he regretted misjudging me.
I gave him some TPS info, I recall withholding the fact that the student President of the TPS was the best known drag queen in our area, if he'd ever visited Grand Forks, North Dakota. And those are memories I have whenever I hear something about Anoka, Minnesota. http://www.und.edu/org/tenps/