By Steve Nakata, Student Affairs
Campus Pride, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making colleges and universities safer and more inclusive for LGBTQ individuals, recently released its annual “Top 30-LGBTQ Friendly Colleges and Universities.” It is the third time WSU has been included.
The Campus Pride rating is based on policy, program and practice and is conducted for and by LGBTQ experts in higher education. Each campus updates its index annually and uses the Campus Pride benchmarking tool to make improvements. Many of these specifically address recruitment and retention efforts for LGBTQ students as well as concerns for transgender student safety.
Inclusion in the Top 30 helps WSU attract new LGBT students, said Heidi Stanton Schnebly, director of WSU’s Gender Identity Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center: “I know that parents are using Campus Pride rankings as a tool for searching for safe campuses for their LGBT students.”
“Now more than ever, there are colleges that are recruiting LGBTQ,” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride. “This Top 30 list showcases those campuses leading the way.”
While Stanton Schnebly said she is proud of WSU’s accomplishments, she added that more can be done to make LGBT students welcome and successful on campus.
“Our attention this year will focus on policy changes and implementation, as well as researching potential ways to grow our program to support issues of men and masculinity,” she said. Her office plans to continue addressing the barriers and needs of students who are undocumented and also part of the LGBTQ community, she said.
WSU is one of four universities from the Pacific Northwest in the Top 30. Others include Portland State University, Southern Oregon University and the University of Washington. To view all schools in the Top 30, visit https://www.campusprideindex.org/.
Heidi Stanton Schnebly, WSU Gender Identity Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center, 509-335-8841, firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Nakata, WSU Student Affairs communications & marketing, 509-335-1774, email@example.com