IU Bloomington named one of top LGBT-friendly universities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington is included in the Campus Pride list of the top 50 LGBT-friendly colleges and universities for 2014, which was announced today.
Campus Pride, founded in 2001, is a national nonprofit network of student leaders and campus groups devoted to improving college life for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students across the United States.
This is the first time Campus Pride has expanded its "Best of the Best" list to 50 colleges. In previous years, the top 25 institutions were honored. IU Bloomington appeared on the list in 2012. In 2011, the campus received a top rating of five stars in Campus Pride's LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index.
Campus Pride executive director Shane Windmeyer said the larger number of honorees reflects the progress colleges and universities have made in improving safety and academic life for LGBT students.
"I’m thrilled with this news," said Doug Bauder, coordinator of GLBT Student Support Services at Indiana University. "Shane has been working tirelessly with campuses across the country ever since graduating from IU. He volunteered in our office as a grad student, and we have been working along with him."
"A number of the schools on this expanded list are those with whom we have consulted over the years, so I’m delighted that the number of honorees has increased," Bauder said. "Since the GLBT Office on the Bloomington campus opened in 1994, scores of administrators and students have asked us how we’ve created such a GLBT-friendly climate here at IUB. I’m guessing we’ve offered advice to several hundred colleges over the years."
The Campus Pride top 50 list is based on data from the Campus Pride Index, which includes detailed reports on the policies, programs and practices toward LGBT students, faculty and staff at more than 425 college campuses.
"More than ever, colleges today want to be viewed as LGBT-friendly and a welcoming place for all students." Windmeyer said. "Upper-level administrators are now understanding how LGBT-friendliness is key to future institutional success."
Windmeyer earned a master's degree in education from IU in 1997 and received the first IU GLBT Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award in 2012.
"I am pleased that IU has been named to the top 50 LGBT-friendly colleges and universities in the nation," said Mike Shumate, IU Foundation Board director and former president of IU's GLBT Alumni Association.
Shumate said the Campus Pride ranking has become a critical factor for LGBT students and their families when choosing a university.
"It is also yet another confirmation that all of our IU students can strive for their aspirations and learn in a safe and welcoming environment," he said. "It is especially exciting that this ranking follows our groundbreaking, first-ever GLBTAA student scholarship campaign in the nation."