The University of Mississippi on Friday announced measures to be taken in response to reports that student-athletes and other students were disruptive during a theater performance of "The Laramie Project," a play about the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, an openly gay University of Wyoming student.
A six-person committee of faculty and staff that investigates discrimination claims released a statement Friday regarding allegations that the theater department production was subjected to laughter and gay slurs from the audience, which included members of the Ole Miss football team.
According to The Daily Journal, the committee did not call for the players to be suspended, but rather required all students who attended the performance to participate in an educational dialogue session. Cast members and production crew, who met with the committee last week and voiced the preference that audience members not be punished, are invited to participate, as well. The session will be led by university faculty and Allies, a university organization that supports the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community.
Friday's statement encourages "faculty, staff, students and community members to fully support our LGBTQ community by attending and supporting PRIDE week activities." The university's previously scheduled Pride Week begins today, and the committee will hold a meeting at which it will make long-term recommendations to faculty members in the theater department, staff members in the athletic department and students.