Elon recognized as a top LGBTQIA-friendly campus for 8th year

Campus Pride, a national resource for LGBTQ+ leadership development, diversity inclusion and advocacy within higher education, recently announced Elon as one of the "Best of the Best" in supporting LGBTQIA students.

Elon University has been included in the 2022 “Best of the Best” list from Campus Pride for an eighth consecutive year. Campus Pride, a national nonprofit resource for LGBTQ+ leadership development, selected 40 institutions nationwide that best support LGBTIA communities through their policies, programs and practices.

“For me, this is recognition of the work of many on campus who have contributed at the present or in the past to LGBTQIA+ inclusion work at Elon University,” said Luis Garay, director of the Gender and LGBTQIA Center (GLC). “Often when I talk to incoming LGBTQIA students, they cite our high ranking on the Campus Pride Index as a reason for choosing Elon. The Campus Pride Index is a great tool for a snapshot of where we are at the moment and we must balance this with meeting the shifting needs of LGBTQIA students needs.”

Committed to advancing LGBTQIA inclusion for the nearly 200 incoming students who identify as members of the LGBTQIA community, the GLC has created and improved several on-campus initiatives.

Over the last year, the center has formalized a queer and trans student of color initiative called RISE, expanded the Gender and Sexuality Living Learning Community to 40 rooms, and created an LGBTQIA-inclusive sexual health education initiative called SexEU. Educational resources for faculty, staff and students on LGBTQIA topics have also been bolstered.

Campus Pride, a valuable resource for LGBTQ+ leadership development, diversity inclusion and advocacy within higher education, gave Elon a five-star ranking on its Campus Pride Index benchmarking tool. To earn a five-star ranking, campuses receive a score from 90 to 100 percent based on their LGBTQ-inclusive policies, programs and practices.

Students and staff attend Elon’s Pride Celebration, sponsored by the Gender & LGBTQIA Center.

More institutions are receiving five stars ratings because campuses are doing more to support their LGBTQIA students, according to Genny Beemyn, the coordinator of Campus Pride’s Trans Policy Clearinghouse. “While all colleges can and should do more to be trans-inclusive, many institutions are taking important steps forward.”

Campus Pride began the Best of the Best List to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of colleges and universities dedicated to creating safer, more welcoming campuses for LGBTQ+ people.

“Students, prospective students and their families, along with faculty and staff members, deserve to know whether they will be safe on campus, so they can make the best choices for their own academic success – and by creating inclusive, safe environments these colleges are taking responsibility for all students,” said Shane Mendez Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride.

The full methodology and list of honorees can be found here.