Campus Pride has ranked Portland State University among the “Top 25 LGBT-Friendly Colleges and Universities” for leading the way in making campuses safer and more inclusive for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
The annual listing, announced Aug. 20 in "The Huffington Post," is created using data from the Campus Pride Index, an assessment of campus climate based on policies, support, academics, student life, housing, campus safety, counseling and health, and recruitment and retention efforts.
"Campus Pride's Index is the only one of its kind," Campus Pride Executive Director Shane Windmeyer tells "The Huffington Post." "Unlike other commercially-driven rankings, our ratings are done for and by LGBT people and set in a foundation of solid research practice."
Campus Pride is a national non-profit organization for student leaders and campus groups working to make campuses safer for LGBT students.
Go here for a slideshow of the 25 colleges and universities on this year’s list.
"The Huffington Post" writes:
As part of the branding process of "LGBT-friendly" undergone by the universities taking part in Campus Pride's Index, universities have the opportunity to "come out" and claim that label within the index itself. "By doing so [coming 'out'] these campuses are taking active responsibility for their LGBT campus community," said Windmeyer. “The Campus Pride Index grew for the seventh consecutive year, but there are still many, many other colleges and universities who have yet to ‘come out’ for their LGBT students and then take adequate steps to protect and ensure a safe, welcoming learning environment.” Windmeyer also noted that in 2011, only 290 colleges were listed as "out" on the index, while as of Aug. 14, 2013, the group now includes almost 400.
The efforts of Campus Pride over the past several years have, in turn, encouraged and aided colleges and universities to make policy changes and take steps toward ensuring that their campuses cater to LGBT individuals and a diverse range of experiences. In a statement to The Huffington Post, Windmeyer stated that in the five years since Campus Pride began implementing their index as an assessment tool, the organization has learned and translated an immense amount of information to university officials in regards to LGBT campus life, specifically transgender issues, health and well-being, and recruitment/retention efforts. Campus Pride intends for the index questionnaire to be more than just a ranking system, but also a guide for universities and colleges that want to make institutional changes in order to make their campuses safer spaces for LGBT students.