Indiana University Bloomington was recently honored as one of the top-50 best colleges for LGBTQ students by College Choice.
College Choice, an independent online publication “dedicated to helping students and their families find the right college,” cited IU Bloomington’s LGBTQ+ Culture Center, an Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs (OVPDEMA) program, the “balance of services and resources” found on campus, student-led LGBTQ+ organizations and discussion groups, and the support provided to LGBTQ+ students by the GLBT Alumni Association as just some of the reasons IU Bloomington earned the No. 38 ranking on its list.
“While it’s great to have IU on this list, I’m even more excited that the number of colleges and universities who are paying attention to their LGBTQ+ students is growing,” said Doug Bauder, director of IU Bloomington’s LGBTQ+ Culture Center. “College campuses have been the setting for significant cultural changes over the decades and at a time when there is a backlash to the progress the queer community has made in recent years, these rankings are important on many levels.”
IU Bloomington has previously been honored by Campus Pride, a national nonprofit network of student leaders and campus groups devoted to improving college life for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, making the organization’s “Best of the Best” list of top-30 LGBTQ-friendly campuses in 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016.
Some of the criteria used by College Choice in formulating its rankings include a non-discrimination policy that includes gender expression and sexual orientation, comprehensive health care, a queer and trans-inclusive faculty board, a curriculum that represents LGBTQ+ voices and histories, and an LGBTQ+ resource center with diverse events, education, outreach, and programming. Among other considerations were the academic reputation, student satisfaction, affordability, and average annual salary of the institutions.
“Here at College Choice we sought out those schools that protect their LGBTQ students through policy inclusion, those that offer a number of resources and services for LGBTQ students—from queer-specific health care and counseling to safe spaces and queer centers—and those schools that intentionally promote LGBTQ perspectives in their curriculum,” the publication stated in an explanation of its rankings. “Clearly, the University of Indiana–Bloomington cares for its queer and trans community in several ways, easily making its way onto our ranking for top colleges and universities for LGBTQ students.”
College Choice also praised the LGBTQ+ Culture Center’s QNews email newsletter and LGBTQ+ Library, IU Bloomington’s queer and gender studies programs, LGBTQ+ fraternities and sororities, and the university’s campus safety department, which is committed to preventing crimes and incidents against LGBTQ+ students, faculty, and staff.