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New index rates LGBT-friendliness of colleges
Online tool sets five-star standard for inclusion

by David Stout . Q-Notes staff

‘By highlighting positive LGBT efforts, we can advocate more effectively for LGBT and ally progress for all campus communities.’
— Shane Windmeyer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Campus Pride launched Sept. 25 its new LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index, which assists colleges and universities in learning ways to improve their LGBT campus life. The national non-profit group for student leaders and campus organizations seeks to create safer, more LGBT-inclusive colleges and universities.

The Index gives campus administrators a tool to evaluate on a five-star scale their progress toward making the educational experience more welcoming and respectful of LGBT and allied students. It is the only online resource of its kind.

“Many campuses want to do everything they can to be more LGBT-friendly and welcoming to all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. Now they can learn how,” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride and author of “The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students,” which compiles and profiles the 100 most LGBT-friendly campuses.

“By highlighting positive LGBT efforts,” he continues, “we can advocate more effectively for LGBT and ally progress for all campus communities.”

In development since 2001, the LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index is a response to the increasing demand for resources to help campuses implement and assess LGBT-friendly programs, policies and practices.

The index was developed by Campus Pride with a team of national LGBT researchers including Brett Genny Beemyn, Ph.D, Susan R. Rankin, Ph.D., and Windmeyer, M.S. Ed.

To date, nearly 100 public and private four-year institutions of higher learning are ranked on the Index website, www.campusclimateindex.org, and almost double that number are signed up to complete the online assessment, consisting of 50-plus questions in eight different areas, in the near future.

Upon completion, each campus receives a confidential report with results and recommendations to improve the quality of campus life for LGBT and allied students. While participation is voluntary, Campus Pride encourages colleges and universities to be evaluated and listed.

“What’s truly revolutionary is that you can now go online and search campuses committed to creating a safe learning environment for LGBT and ally people,” said Windmeyer. “Not only do campuses have a way to measure their LGBT-friendly progress, but prospective LGBT and ally students and their families also have a reliable, free public resource to go and find more information for college.”

On the main page of the Index website visitors will find a Premier Campus Spotlight and an Honor Roll that highlights campuses scoring three stars or more. Each campus has a public profile that is available in the Campus Search. Plus, the “My Bookbag” feature allows individuals to choose an unlimited number of campus favorites to compare and request further information.

info: www.campusclimateindex.org, www.campuspride.org

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