ITHACA, NY – Both Ithaca College and Cornell University made a list of the top 30 most LGBTQ-friendly higher education institutions in the United States, according to advocacy group Campus Pride.
Both institutions have made the list in previous years as well. Campus Pride gives each university an “index score” based on factors like LGBTQ policy inclusion, counseling services, housing and residence life services and campus safety.
Ithaca College scored five out of five stars, the highest rank, while Cornell holds a 4.5 out of five stars.
Ithaca College released the following statement:
[su_note]Campus Pride has once again included Ithaca College on its annual list of the most LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities in the country. The national organization — which works to create a safer environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning students — highlighted the 30 institutions that are most inclusive for those students.
Campus Pride chose these campuses to recognize based on their overall ratings on the Campus Pride Index and specific LGBTQ-inclusive benchmark measures. The index takes into account an institution’s LGBTQ-friendly policies, programs and practices. Ithaca College gained the highest possible rating, earning 5 out of 5 stars.
“We’re honored to have been selected as one of this year’s ‘best of the best’ LGBTQ-friendly campuses nationwide,” says Luca Maurer, program director of the Ithaca College Center for LGBT Education, Outreach and Services. “This designation reflects the dedicated, sustained and innovative efforts of many staff, students, faculty and alumni who work in partnership to not only maintain our services, programs and policies, but to continually evaluate, expand and improve them to best meet the existing and emerging needs of LGBTQ students, employees and their families.”
Maurer adds that, as more and more institutions begin and improve their own LGBTQ inclusion efforts, the bar keeps getting set higher.
“Distinguishing ourselves from amongst them becomes more of a challenge — a challenge we wholeheartedly embrace,” he says. “This process of continual assessment and improvement is good for our campus, good for all LGBTQ students and good for higher education throughout the country.”
Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride and creator of the Campus Pride Index, notes that prospective students and their families today expect colleges to be LGBTQ friendly, and they want to know which ones are doing the best job in providing programs, services and resources.
“Now more than ever, there are colleges that are recruiting LGBTQ youth — and they are investing in a campus that is fully supportive of LGBTQ students,” says Windmeyer. “This list showcases those ‘top’ campuses leading the way.”
Other institutions on the list include Cornell, Princeton, Penn, UCLA and the University of Washington.