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At Home on Campus: Top 25 LGBT Colleges and Universities

Wednesday Aug 29, 2012
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - As lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth come out at younger ages, finding an LGBT-friendly college or university is high on their priority list.

Fortunately for these prospective students, Campus Pride and Huffington Post have already done the research for them, announcing today the 2012 "Top 25 List of LGBT-Friendly Colleges and Universities." The list is based on data from the Campus Pride Index (www.CampusPrideIndex.org), which rates colleges and universities based on LGBT-friendly policies, programs, and practices.

Campus Pride’s 2012 Top 25 LGBT-friendly Colleges and Universities include (in alphabetical order): Carleton College; Cornell University; Emory University; Indiana University; Ithaca College; Oberlin College; Portland State University; Stanford 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 Chicago; University of Illinois at Chicago; University of Maryland, College Park; University of Massachusetts, Amherst; University of Michigan; University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; University of Oregon; University of Pennsylvania; University of Utah; University of Vermont; and University of Washington.

"Praise and accolades are deserved for these ’Top 25’ colleges and universities. Each has demonstrated in policy, program and practice inclusion and safety for LGBT and ally student populations," said Campus Pride Executive Director Shane Windmeyer.

"It is also important to recognize the 300 plus additional colleges that have ’come out’ as LGBT-friendly on the Campus Pride Index, regardless of their star-rating. Every student deserves to feel safe on campus, and all of these colleges are committed to creating a more LGBT-friendly campus."

The Campus Pride Index lists nearly 350 publicly available campus climate reports online at www.campusprideindex.org. The nationally-praised Index takes an in-depth look at LGBT-friendly policies, programs and practices. Colleges are rated from one to five stars, depending on their answers to a detailed, voluntary questionnaire submitted to Campus Pride. Launched online in Fall 2007, the Index has become a staple in student and faculty research, campus organizing efforts and benchmarking for LGBT student safety and inclusion on campus.

"It is also important to recognize the 300 plus additional colleges that have ’come out’ as LGBT-friendly on the Campus Pride Index, regardless of their star-rating."

Unlike other national LGBT-friendliness rankings for colleges and universities, Campus Pride’s Campus Climate Index takes into account answers by students, faculty and staff to highly detailed, comprehensive questions assessing LGBT-friendly policies, programs and practices.

Next year, Campus Pride will be updating the index with new questions and criteria to raise the bar for college campuses. New questions and updates will include a greater focus on transgender students, mental health and well-being as well as recruitment and retention of LGBT populations.

"Campus Pride’s Index is the only one of its kind," said Windmeyer. "Unlike other commercially-driven rankings, our ratings are done for and by LGBT people and set in a foundation of solid research practice. The Campus Pride Index is the most reliable, trusted source for ratings on LGBT-friendly campuses."

In addition to the partnership with Huffington Post for the "Top 25 LGBT-friendly List," Campus Pride also recently partnered with The Advocate to release the first-ever list of the top ten trans-friendly colleges and universities across the country. The list was determined utilizing the Campus Pride Index ratings and the expertise of authors Windmeyer and noted transgender college author Dr. Genny Beemyn.

Starting this August in Charlotte, NC, Campus Pride’s Fall 2012 LGBT-Friendly National College Fair Program kicks off and gives campuses the opportunity to actively reach out and recruit talented and driven students from across the country. The fair’s tour begins in August and continues through November with stops in Charlotte, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York.

For more information on the Campus Pride Index, visit www.campusprideindex.org

For more details on the LGBT-Friendly National College Fair Program, visit www.campusprideindex.org/events

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