Elon named a top LGBTQ-friendly campus

This marks the sixth consecutive year of recognition for the university by the Campus Pride organization.

For a sixth consecutive year, a national advocacy group has named Elon University among the “Best of the Best” American colleges and universities for policies, programs and practices friendly to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

Elon received five out of five stars and was named one of the 40 “Best of the Best” by Campus Pride, one of the nation’s largest educational organizations for LGBTQIA college students and campus groups, for setting high standards for LGBTQ inclusion. Campus Pride offered the recognition after examining the policies, programs and practices of nearly 400 schools. The complete list is available here.

“LGBTQ youth and families want to know what campuses are doing when it comes to inclusive policies, programs and practices. The ‘Best of the Best’ highlights the Top 40 this year across six regions throughout the country,” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride and creator of the Campus Pride Index. “Campus Pride is proud at the growing number of campuses that are ‘coming out’ and wanting to be the ‘Best of the Best’ each year.”

Luis Garay, director of the Gender & LGBTQIA Center at Elon, said the accomplishment is the result of a community effort by students, faculty and alumni, along with the support of the Alamance County community, particularly Alamance Pride and the PFLAG Chapter of Alamance County. “We have much work to do. Our work is as important today as it has ever been,” Garay said. “With the realities faced by queer and trans people and in particular the violence experienced by trans women of color our work is critical.”

Matthew Antonio Bosch, dean of student inclusive excellence, notes that students mention the Campus Pride list as a key indicator for applying and enrolling at Elon. Among the initiatives Bosch and Garay point to at Elon that help promote a supportive community are Lavender Circle, a support group with Counseling Services; Spirit and Pride with the Truitt Center; student-created LGBTQIA podcasts (SexualiTEA and Queer and Divine); and community-led QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color) initiatives.

“It’s amazing to be included on their ‘Best of the Best’ list for six years, but certainly no college is a utopia,” Bosch said. “There’s always room for us to keep advancing and uplifting the lived experiences of our students.”

Campus Pride is a trusted, reliable educational resource for students and families to find the best campuses for LGBTQ inclusion and safety. The organization works alongside students, faculty, staff and administrators at more than 1,400 campuses annually to help support and improve the quality of campus life for LGBTQ people.

The Campus Pride Index is based in research on policy, program and practice and is conducted for and by LGBTQ experts in the field of higher education. Each campus updates its index annually and uses the Campus Pride benchmarking tool to make improvements for LGBTQ life on campus. To be in the “Best of the Best” listing, an institution had to score the highest percentages in the LGBTQ-friendly benchmarks.

The schools listed on the Campus Pride “Best of the Best” include the following, in alphabetical order:

  • Augsburg College
  • Elon University
  • Guilford College
  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Ithaca College
  • Kansas State University
  • Kent State University
  • Kenyon College
  • Lehigh University
  • Macalester College
  • MIT
  • Montclair State University
  • Northern Kentucky University
  • The Ohio State University
  • The Pennsylvania State University
  • Portland State University
  • Princeton University
  • Purdue University
  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick
  • San Diego State University
  • Southern Illinois University Carbondale
  • Southern Oregon University
  • Texas Tech University
  • Tufts University
  • University of Colorado at Boulder
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Louisville
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Texas at Dallas
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
  • University of Wisconsin – Green Bay
  • University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
  • Washington State University