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.