August 28, 2016 at 11:38 am EST | by Staff reports
Univ. of Md. among top 30 LGBT-friendly campuses
Campus Pride Index, gay news, Washington Blade

The University of Maryland is the only D.C.-area university to make the Campus Pride list. (Photo by Bgervais; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Campus Pride released its annual “Best of the Best” Top 30 list of the LGBTQ-friendly campuses across the nation this week.

The eight-year-old list has highlighted the most LGBTQ-inclusive colleges and universities when it comes to policy, program and practice in higher education.

Campus Pride chose 30 campuses to highlight this year based on their overall ratings on the Campus Pride Index and specific LGBTQ-inclusive benchmark measures, according to a statement the group released Monday. The Campus Pride Index is a self-assessment tool evaluating LGBTQ-friendly policies, programs and practices. The tool is free available online at www.CampusPrideIndex.org.

“Prospective students and their families today expect colleges to be LGBTQ-friendly,” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride and creator of the Campus Pride Index. “They want to know what LGBTQ programs, services and resources are available on the campus – and which are the ‘Best of the Best.’ 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.”

The Campus Pride Index is based in research on policy, program and practice and is conducted for and by LGBTQ experts in the field of higher education, Windmeyer said in a statement. Each campus updates its index annually and uses the Campus Pride benchmarking tool to make improvements for LGBTQ life on campus. According to Windmeyer, “there is a lot to find for LGBTQ life at these campuses.”  Many of them are specifically addressing recruitment and academic retention efforts for LGBTQ students as well as concerns for transgender student safety, he noted.

In order to be in the Top 30 listing, an institution had to score the highest percentages in the LGBTQ-friendly benchmarks for policies, programs and practices. The listing this year includes colleges with student populations from 807 to more than 45,000, public and private schools alike. The Top 30 list is in alphabetical order, as follows:

Cornell University

Elon University

Harvey Mudd College

Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Indiana University, Bloomington

Ithaca College

Macalester College

Montclair State University

Portland State University

Princeton University

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick

San Diego State University

Southern Oregon University

The Pennsylvania State University

Tufts University

University of California Los Angeles

University of California, Davis

University of California, Santa Barbara

University of Illinois at Chicago

University of Louisville

University of Maine at Machias

University of Maryland, College Park

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

University of Minnesota Twin Cities

University of Pennsylvania

University of Vermont

University of Washington

University of Wisconsin – Green Bay

University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Washington State University

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