Top 50 listing features the “Best of the Best;” Number of top-rated schools increases to 50, based on growing progress in creating LGBT-friendly campuses
(Friday, August 15, 2014) Campus Pride announced today the annual Campus Pride 2014 Top 50 LGBT-Friendly Colleges & Universities. The listing highlights the positive efforts to improve safety and academic life for LGBT students as well as the top institutions leading the way.
“More than ever colleges today want to be viewed as LGBT-friendly and a welcoming place for all students. LGBT students and their safety impacts the recruitment efforts of the entire campus,” said Windmeyer. “Upper-level administrators are now understanding how LGBT-friendliness is key to future institutional success. This Top 50 list is proof.”
This is the first year Campus Pride has released a list of the fifty “Best of the Best.” In years past, Campus Pride has only featured a “Top 25 List.” The listing is based on the final responses to the Campus Pride Index, a national benchmarking tool which self-assesses LGBT-friendly policies, programs and practices. The tool is free of charge and can be found online at www.CampusPrideIndex.org.
“For six years in a row, Campus Pride has seen an increase in the number of campuses coming out as LGBT-friendly and making notable improvements to LGBT academic life, so we decided to honor 50 campuses with our national distinction,” said Shane Windmeyer, Executive Director of Campus Pride and the creator of the Campus Pride Index. “Today the Campus Pride Index has over 425 campuses featured online and for the first time ever we have 56 campuses who achieved the highest 5 stars overall rating, the largest number to date.”
Unlike the Princeton Review LGBT rankings, the Campus Pride Index is based in research on policy, program and practice and is conducted “for and by” LGBT experts in the field of higher education. Annually campuses update and use the Campus Pride benchmarking tool to improve LGBT life on campus. For the third year in a row, over 80% of participating colleges improved their ratings from the previous year. In addition, the number of campuses located in the South increased this year, as did the number of religiously-affiliated campuses and Minority Serving Institutions.
According to Windmeyer, “there is a lot to be learned” from the Top 50 campuses on this listing. Many of these campuses are specifically addressing recruitment and academic retention efforts for LGBT students as well as concerns for transgender student safety. The Top 50 also geographically mirrors more progressive areas of the country where there has been a history of LGBT support and advocacy.
“While this Top 50 list demonstrates the positive progress to support LGBT students within higher education, we must also commit ourselves to the campuses not on the list — in rural areas, Southern states and other types of campuses like two year colleges, Historically Black Colleges & Universities and religious-affiliated campuses – where pioneering LGBT work to create a safe learning environment is still a real struggle,” Windmeyer said.
According to Campus Pride, a college had to achieve 5 stars overall in order to be in the Top 50 this year as well as have the highest percentages across the eight LGBT-friendly benchmarks for policy, program and practice. The listing this year includes colleges with student populations from 1600 to over 50,000, public and private schools alike. Each college listed on the Top 50 has a profile page with more details about the campus ratings online. The Top 50 list is in alphabetical order, as follows:
Central Washington University
Northern Arizona University
Oregon State University
Portland State University
San Diego State University
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Southern Oregon University
The Ohio State University
The Pennsylvania State University
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Riverside
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of Central Florida
University of Chicago
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Maryland, College Park
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
University of Michigan
University of Minnesota – Duluth
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
University of Oregon
University of Pennsylvania
University of Rhode Island
University of Southern California
University of Vermont
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
Warren Wilson College
Washington State University
Washington University in St. Louis
Campus Pride is the leading national educational organization for LGBTQ and ally college students and campus groups building future leaders and safer, more LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities. The organization provides resources and services to thousands of college students and nearly 1400 campuses annually. Learn more online at CampusPride.org.
University of Iowa becomes the first public institution and the second, and largest, U.S. institution of higher education to ask students demographic questions on sexual orientation and gender identity in college admissions
Campus Pride, the nation’s leading educational organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students, is praising the decision today by administrators at the University of Iowa in Iowa City for including optional questions about students’ sexual orientation and gender identity in their college admission application.
The University of Iowa, a public institution of higher education founded in 1847, becomes the first public institution and the second U.S. college or university to add LGBT-specific demographic questions to its college admission form. The school follows Elmhurst College, a private four-year liberal arts college, which made history in August 2011 as the first U.S. institution of higher education to ask such demographic questions on their admission form. Elmhurst’s and Iowa’s decisions reflect a conscious choice by administrators at the schools to actively exercise responsibility for retention and academic success of LGBT students.
Campus Pride releases first-ever list of the top ten trans-friendly colleges & universities across the nation →
Woohoo! We love this.
Campus Pride, the nation’s leading educational organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students, announced today the first-ever national “Top 10 List of Trans-Friendly Colleges & Universities.” This transgender-specific resource listing was created in part from data complied annually since 2007 in the Campus Pride Index, which takes an in-depth look at LGBT-friendly policies, programs, and practices.
The message It Gets Better sends is important — it inspires, empowers and motivates young people to take a stand and work to create safer, more inclusive spaces on the campuses and in their communities for their fellow students, for other local LGBTQ young people and for future generations.—Shane L. Windmeyer, M.S., Ed., is a leading author on gay campus issues, a national leader in gay and lesbian civil rights, and a champion for LGBT issues on college campuses. He is co-founder and executive director of Campus Pride, the leading national organization for student leaders and campus organizations working to create a safer college environment for LGBT students. Learn more online at www.CampusPride.org.
For the last fifteen years, I have had the opportunity to see the positive impact of LGBTQ activism on college campuses. It all started when I was an undergraduate college student on my rural campus of Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas.
This was before the days of out high-profile celebrities such as Ellen Degeneres and long before the media was even paying attention to LGBTQ youth issues. My campus passed “sexual orientation” as part of an inclusive nondiscrimination statement and also created one of the first national “Safe Zone” programs for gay and lesbian students. I look back on this remembering how difficult it was to get college administrators to listen, understand and then make the changes. Of course, I am quite proud of this accomplishment back in the early 90s — and in the middle of Kansas.
Since then, I have seen LGBTQ and ally college students do the same fierce activism and, in most instances, still encountering difficult challenges from college administrators. Sometimes the LGBTQ and ally students stage peaceful sit-in protests and other times using “glitter bombs” to get necessary attention. As the founder and executive director of Campus Pride, the leading national nonprofit organization for LGBT and ally college students, I applaud the college students working tirelessly to continue this legacy of activism and truly help others.
A safe, welcoming learning environment should be afforded to all students.
GBT teens are twice as likely as straight teens to report incidences of physical assault at school, according to a recent survey of more than 10,000 LGBT youth by the Human Rights Campaign, and a shocking 92 percent of LGBT teens say they hear negative messages about their sexuality at school. However, HRC officials also note that “these youth are quite resilient. They find safe havens among their peers, online and in their schools.”
This is why high school Gay-Straight Alliance clubs, typically created and run by students, are important and supportive spaces in so many local communities. In honor of Pride Month, we’re showcasing 10 of the most inspiring high school GSAs in the country.