flags on display at annual pancake breakfast

Status of LGBTQ People


The President's Commission on the Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People (LGBTQ+) exists to help make UNH a place that is welcoming and inclusive of its gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

The mission of the UNH President's Commission on the Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer+ People is to facilitate the development of a university community that is equitable and inclusive of all sexual orientations and gender expressions through advocacy, education, assessment, and activism.

The LGBTQ+ Commission achieves this mission by monitoring the campus climate for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer faculty, students and staff, reviewing the policies and programs that might affect this community, and advising and assisting the university President, and the Associate Vice President of the Office of Community, Equity and Diversity, on these issues. The commission also provides educational and awareness programs to help encourage an inclusive and equitable climate.

The GLBT Commission was established in 1992 as a Task Force; in 2002, then-President Joan Leitzel authorized the establishment of the commission. The commission changed its name to UNH President's Commission on the Status of LGBTQ+ People in 2015. The Commission meets monthly during the academic year. Its membership includes gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, transgender and allied university faculty, students, staff and community members who are appointed by the President and the Associate Vice President of the Office of Community, Equity and Diversity.

Painting of UNH GSO

When UNH's first recognized gay student group fought for its rights it paved the way for the rest of the country. Read the story on the history of the GSO.

Members of the Commission

The Commission reviews its membership at the end of the spring semester. Candidates for membership (faculty, staff and students) are recommended by the Commission and appointed by the University President. If you are interested in applying for membership on the LGBTQ+ Commission, please contact us at (603) 862-1058 or via email.

In addition to the official membership opportunity, another way to get involved in the work of the Commission is to join one of its working groups. Please contact us if you would like to learn more about current efforts.

Members of the UNH LGBTQ+ Commission

2017-2018 Members

  • Zachary Ahmad-Kahloon: Co-Chair, Male Victim Program Coordinator and Educator, SHARPP
  • Holly Cashman: Co-Chair, Department Chair, Associate Professor of Spanish
  • Kyle Belmont, Social Media Producer, UNH Cooperative Extension
  • John Berst, Assistant Professor, Dept of Theater & Dance
  • Della Burke, Sociology, PhD candidate
  • Paul Chapman, Director Strength and Conditioning, Dept of Athletics
  • Kelly Ducharme, Applications Portfolio Mgr, IT Enterprise Computing
  • Emily Dunlop, Undergrad student
  • Lillian Gilbert, Undergrad student, Alliance Rep
  • Ellen Musinsky, Professor Emerita, School of Law
  • Kiley Remiszewski, Natural Resources & Earth Systems Science, PhD candidate
  • Elena Ryan, Undergrad student
  • Erica Vazza, Residence Hall Director
  • Mary Young, Communications Project Mgr, Services Enhancement Initiatives, UNHM

Ex-Officio Members

  • Lu Ferrell, Associate Director of OMSA and LGBTQ Coordinator
  • Donna Marie Sorrentino, Director, Affimative Action & Equity Office
  • Sylvia Foster, Educational Program Coordinator, Office of Community, Equity and Diversity
  • Janice Pierson, Administrative Coordinator, Office of Community, Equity and Diversity

Policies and Procedures

Commission Bylaws

Annual Reports

September - June cycle

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Find out more about Preferred Name Option
Additional information on using Preferred Name on class rosters, dorm room assignments...

Tools for Authenticity in Fine Art

Rae Senarighi standing in front of brick wall

Thurs, April 26
4-5pm, Paul Creative Arts Center, Rm A218

Artist Rae Senarighi deliberately uses no natural skin tones, instead drawing upon vibrant rainbow colors deliberately chosen to take pride in our intersectional identities uniting us in celebration.  The artist paints all clothing in gray-scale using simple black paint on white canvas. Choosing gray-scale (especially in the cases of many fashion trailblazers) helps to not distract from the vibrant living breathing souls represented while carefully respecting their style.

"Transgender is not just about one experience, not linear and not simple. Each transgender person is unique with incredibly diverse experiences yet we are united in a common struggle."

You Can Play

UNH Men's Hockey - You Can Play