UNIVERSITY VILLAGE — The University of Illinois at Chicago is one of the most welcoming colleges in the nation for LGBTQ students, according to a new study.
Last month, the public university was named one of Campus Pride's "Top 30" LGBTQ-friendly colleges in the nation. For the past eight years, the non-profit has ranked 235 colleges and universities across the nation to highlight LGBTQ-inclusive policies, programs and practices in higher education.
UIC scored 4.5 out of 5 stars on Campus Pride's Pride Index, a national listing of LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities. Indiana University at Bloomington, University of Minnesota at Minneapolis and University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee also topped the list.
Among other accomplishments, Campus Pride officials noted that the UIC Gender and Sexuality Center creates a more inclusive campus and catalyzes positive social change by challenging heteronormativity.
UIC was the only Illinois university or college to make Campus Pride's "Top 30" list, but Northwestern University and Columbia College both also ranked high with 4 out 5 stars.
While the Campus Pride index is free, the non-profit relies on universities and college officials to opt-in before the school is scored and listed on the Pride Index.
In Illinois, 11 colleges or universities are listed on the index: UIC; Northwestern; Columbia College; Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville; Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington; Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago; Adler School of Professional Psychology; Knox College in Galesburg; Illinois State University in Normal; Kankakee Community College; and Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.
With the index, Campus Pride aims to create safer, more LGBTQ-friendly learning environments at colleges and universities. The "Top 30" list showcases campuses leading the way, said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride.
“Now more than ever, there are colleges that are recruiting LGBTQ youth — and they are investing in a campus that is fully supportive of LGBTQ students," Windmeyer said.
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