Syracuse University

SU News

SU earns five-star ranking as one of nation's most LGBT-friendly campuses

September 15, 2010

Carol Kim Masiclat
(315) 443-8568

For the third year in a row, Syracuse University has earned five out of five stars in the Campus Pride LGBT Pride Climate Index. The rankings are conducted by Campus Pride, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to creating safer, more inclusive college environments for LGBT students. The index, released this summer, lists more than 230 colleges and universities and rates them between one and five stars, based on detailed questionnaire responses submitted by the institution to Campus Pride.

campuspride“The five-star rating is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of the LGBT Resource Center in the nine years since the center was created,” says D. Chase Catalano, director of the LGBT Resource Center. “The rating is evidence of the allyship and collaborative efforts by student, staff and faculty communities to make SU a more inclusive place for all genders and sexualities. ”

Campus Pride’s Climate Index assesses factors such as LGBT-friendly policies, programs and practices. Focus areas on the questionnaire include:

  • LGBT policy inclusion
  • LGBT support and institutional commitment
  • LGBT academic life
  • LGBT student life
  • LGBT housing and residence life
  • LGBT campus safety
  • LGBT counseling and health
  • LGBT recruitment and retention efforts

SU was one of 19 institutions to earn the five-star rating from Campus Pride. The other campuses include Carleton College; Humboldt State University; Ithaca College; Oberlin College; Oregon State University; Princeton University; San Diego State University; The Ohio State University; Pennsylvania State University; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Riverside; University of Maine, Farmington; University of Oregon; University of Pennsylvania; University of Southern California; University of Vermont; and Washington University in St. Louis.

“We are incredibly proud to earn Campus Pride’s highest rating again this year,” says Thomas V. Wolfe, senior vice president and dean of student affairs. “We are committed to making Syracuse University a place where everyone is welcome, represented and respected. The culture of inclusiveness is something everyone at SU works hard to build and care for, and this year’s rating is a wonderful affirmation that our efforts are making a difference.”

The LGBT Resource Center was established in 2001 with the unanimous support of the University Senate. The Division of Student Affairs was charged with creating and staffing the center, part of the Inclusion, Community, and Citizenship portfolio, to provide safe space, support, education and advocacy for the LGBT community on campus. The overarching commitment of the LGBT Resource Center to issues of social justice encourages campus community members to think about the complex impact of gender and sexuality on students’ experiences and to work with colleagues to develop support and programming addressing the intersections of identities.

The LGBT Studies Program was created in 2005. With almost 20 courses from five different schools and colleges, it offers an 18-credit, interdisciplinary minor in LGBT studies, first-year forums for LGBT students and allies, and other academic initiatives such as conferences, speakers and SU Abroad offerings. “Our courses draw students from all across the campus, both LGBT-identified and not, who are interested in a chance to talk together about fundamental questions about sexualities, genders, bodies, politics, activism and communities in a challenging academic environment,” says Margaret Himley, professor of writing and rhetoric in The College of Arts and Sciences and co-director of the LGBT Studies Program and minor, along with Andrew S. London, professor of sociology in the Maxwell School. “With funds from a Chancellor’s Leadership Project, we are ‘transnationalizing’ our courses, working to understand how sexuality and gender work as ideologies and embodied experiences across the globe,” she says.

Among the other SU initiatives leading to the Campus Pride honor are the establishment of an LGBTA Learning Community, the inclusion of gender identity and gender expression in the institution’s non-discrimination policy, expansive programming offered around LGBT issues and the Office of Human Resources’ affirmation of equity in the processes and procedures surrounding domestic partner benefits administration.

Recent News