by Ward Mullens, Published August 17, 2010
YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University has been named one of the top gay friendly universities in the nation by the 2010 Campus Pride Climate Index.
The complete listing can be found at http://www.campusclimateindex.org/search/
"This is exciting news, and we are grateful for this recognition. It's a reflection of EMU's commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for our LGBT community," said Bernice Lindke, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management at EMU.
EMU was one of only three Michigan schools to earn a 4.5 star rating on the list. The others were the University of Michigan and Grand Valley State University. No Michigan public college or university had a higher rating than 4.5 stars.
Comments from EMU students included:
"EMU feels like a safe place because it has its own LGBT Resource Center. They sponsored 'Out Week' and coordinated with student organizations to have wonderful concerts, events, and movies, as well as discussions with high-end faculty and administration," said a 26 year-old, first-year graduate student.
"I think we have a really supportive campus," said a 22 year-old senior. "No matter who you are, there are always other students and faculty members that are there to support you, no matter what."
The Campus Pride LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index ranks more than 230 public colleges and universities based on policies, programs and practices related to inclusion and friendliness. Colleges are ranked on a scale of one to five stars (five being the best), based on answers the schools provide on a voluntary survey submitted to Campus Pride.
Campus Pride, headquartered in North Carolina, is a national non-profit organization working to create safer, more LGBT-inclusive colleges and build future LGBT and ally leaders.
"The rising number of campuses across the nation willing to stand up and speak out for their LGBT students is a testament to the growing recognition that educational environments should be safe and inclusive of all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity," said Shane Windmeyer, Campus Pride executive director.