IU was named one of the top colleges for LGBTQ+ students according to Campus Pride, a nonprofit organization for students and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for LGBTQ+ students.
IU placed in Campus Pride’s 2023 Best of the Best LGBTQ+ friendly colleges list over the summer. This ranking is based on resources and opportunities a university provides to its LGBTQ+ students. The list included the country’s top 30 LGBTQ+ friendly universities, 12 of which were in the Midwest.
IU was recognized in Campus Pride’s 2022 Best of the Best list of top 40 LGBTQ+ friendly colleges in the country last year. Campus Pride said in an email that IU has been on the Best of the Best list for at least the last five years.
IU received a 5-star rating from Campus Pride after being scored on eight categories. To earn a 5-star ranking, IU received a percentage score of 90 to 100. The schools were graded on criteria such as policy inclusion, support and institutional commitment, academic life, student life, housing and residence life, campus safety, counseling and health and recruitment and retention efforts. IU received a 5-star rating in every category besides recruitment & retention efforts with a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Em Singleton, a junior at IU said they are happy about IU ranking but they feel the university could do more for the LGBTQ+ students.
“It’s really just student led initiatives like the Queer Student Union,” Singleton said. “The Culture Center has some resources, but they’re not given enough funding to adequately provide a welcoming space.”
Ethan Pranger, a fifth-year student at IU said he was not surprised by IU ranking fourth nationally because he has always felt that he could live authentically at IU.
“I think IU could take a more solid stance on trans rights in general,” Pranger said. “Like not being afraid to say that trans people deserve the same rights as the rest of us because of how bigots might react.”
Campus Pride later partnered with Best Colleges to find the top 25 most LGBTQ+ friendly colleges. Best Colleges is a website where students can find college’s rankings and view school profiles for students looking for what college to attend.
The list was published on August 18 and IU ranked fourth nationally under the University of Maryland, San Diego State University and the University of Washington. The website listed the LGBTQ+ Culture Center, LGBTQ+ Peer Mentorship Program and the Training Outreach Program as reasons for the high ranking.
James C. Wimbush, interim vice provost for diversity and inclusion at IU said in an IU press release IU has a long history of elevating environments that promote inclusivity.
“Being recognized once again by Campus Pride for our work to celebrate and embrace the LGBTQ+ community affirms our commitment and acknowledges the hard work of many to make IU a place where all can learn, grow and thrive,” Wimbush said.
Bruce Smail, director of the LGBTQ+ Culture Center said IU just added the option for students to self-identify sexual orientation on admission applications this semester. This was one criterion that caused IU to not get a perfect score from Campus Pride, including not annually participating in LGBTQ+ admission fairs.
“Starting this fall, students can identify their sexual and gender identity,” Smail said. “The same with some other demographics, so they've been working on it.”