Elon named a top LGBTQ-friendly campus

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

For a seventh 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 30 “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 30 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 applauds 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.”

“This year I am looking forward to the continued work of the GLC and ensuring LGBTQIA students feel a sense of belonging at Elon,” Garay said. “We are continuing the work of some initiatives like Spirit and Pride and the Lavender Circle but also broadening our work to support the campus and local community through the work of the SHIFT NC Grant.”

Garay notes that students mention the Campus Pride list as a key indicator for applying and enrolling at Elon. Among the initiatives Garay points to at Elon that help promote a Supportive community are continuing Lavender Circle, a LGBTQIA support group with Counseling Services; further developing Spirit and Pride with the Truitt Center, making space for LGBTQIA students with a spiritual/faith backgrounds; and, currently hiring for two student coordinators for a QTPOC initiative.

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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
  • Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Ithaca College
  • Kansas State University
  • Kent State University
  • Kenyon College
  • Lehigh University
  • Montclair State University
  • Northern Kentucky University
  • The Pennsylvania State University
  • 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 Maryland, College Park
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Texas at Dallas
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
  • University of Wisconsin – Green Bay
  • University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
  • Washington State University