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MILLS COLLEGE ACTIVISM FOSTERS HARASSMENT-FREE ATHLETICS
Oakland, CA - The collaborative efforts of the Mills College soccer team, Athletics Department, Student Diversity Programs, President, senior officers, and legal counsel have resulted in a change in a national rule governing men’s and women’s soccer that will foster a harassment-free environment for all student-athletes.
Mills College has been working to change the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) soccer ejection rule (Rule 12.15.7) that listed "abusive, threatening or obscene language, behavior, or conduct" as cause for ejection, but failed to include specific language referring to harassment.
This past season, the Mills soccer team reported experiencing verbal harassment by an opponent while competing at another Bay Area college. Formal complaints from the Mills College President, dean of student life, athletics director, head soccer coach, and legal counsel were sent to the athletics director and president of the institution where the incident occurred, as well as to the chair of the West Coast Soccer Officials Association and the commissioner of the California Pacific Conference.
In response to the Mills complaints and proposals, the California Pacific Conference and the NCAA Soccer Rules Committee acted to make explicit the authority and expectation of officials to penalize those who engage in “hostile or abusive language or harassment that refers to race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or national origin or other abusive threatening or obscene language, behavior, or conduct.” The California Pacific Conference voted to adopt this legislation as part of their sportsmanship policy (Constitutional Bylaw Article V. Section 3), and the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel adopted the ejection rule change for soccer on March 12, 2007.
Mills College is a nationally renowned, independent liberal arts college offering innovative degree programs for undergraduate women, and graduate degree and certificate programs for women and men. Consistently recognized as one of the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Mills currently ranks among the top 20 most diverse liberal arts colleges. The New York Times recently selected Mills as one of three leading California colleges for students to consider.
In 2006, the Washington Monthly College Rankings named Mills a leading liberal arts college based on community service, research spending, quality of preparation for graduate education, and social mobility. In addition, The Princeton Review’s annual guide, the Best 361 Colleges (2007) included Mills for the second year in a row among top U.S. institutions offering students an outstanding undergraduate education.
Nestled in the foothills of Oakland, California on 135 lush acres, Mills provides a dynamic liberal arts education fostering women’s leadership, social responsibility, and creativity.