Last modified: Wednesday, August 31, 2011
IU Bloomington gets top rating for climate for LGBT students
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 31, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington has received the top rating -- five stars -- from the national organization that assesses colleges and universities based on their climate, resources and support for students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Only 33 out of 291 institutions achieved a five-star rating in the new results released this month.
The LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index, developed by the organization Campus Pride, is based on a detailed assessment of policies and resources in eight areas: academic, student and residence life; student recruitment and retention; safety; counseling and health; policy inclusion; and overall institutional support and commitment to LGBT equality. The index was developed by a team of academic researchers, including Shane Windmeyer, who received his master's degree in education from IU.
"We are very proud to receive Campus Pride's highest rating," said IU Executive Vice President and Bloomington Provost Karen Hanson. "The rating affirms what we have long believed: that the Bloomington campus is a supportive and inclusive place. Our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community allies are deeply committed to ensuring that the campus is a place where everyone is welcome, represented and respected."
"One of the things that makes me most proud of this five-star designation is that it represents long-standing collaboration on the IU Bloomington campus among students, staff, faculty, administrators and alumni," said Doug Bauder, coordinator of IU's Office of GLBT Student Support Services. "That has been the case since our office opened in 1994. It is what has always made IU the unique institution that it is."
"I am very pleased that IU has become one of just 33 colleges and universities to receive a five-star rating," said Mike Shumate, president of IU's GLBT Alumni Association. "This is yet another confirmation that our LGBT students can learn on a level playing field; that they have a support system; that they can be proud to be exactly who they are; and that IU is committed to assuring equality for all. Additionally, parents can be assured that their sons and daughters will be safe at IU; have other LGBT friends and allies; and will have a 'home away from home' while at IU."
IU maintains policies against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Since 2001 it has offered equal health insurance and other benefits for its employees' same-sex domestic partners.
Its academic resources include faculty in many disciplines with teaching and research interests related to sexuality and gender, as well as the Department of Gender Studies, the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, and an Individualized Major Program, through which it is possible for undergraduates to design a major related to topics in LGBT studies.
The campus and its academic schools also have a variety of LGBT-related student organizations, and the city of Bloomington is renowned for the vibrancy of its LGBT community and activities.