Campus Pride

LGBTQ Friendly College List 2018

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Chronicle of Higher Education: What LGBTQ Students Want Their Professors to Know

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The Atlantic: Is College More Dangerous for LGBTQ Students?

College Guide: Resources for LGBTQ Students

Students Succeed When Diversity is Valued


Campus Issues for LGBTQ Students


Is Your College LGBTQ Friendly?  Do LGBTQ students feel safe and accepted on their college campus? Choosing the right college may be critical in determining whether or not you feel respected and accepted. Does your campus have an inclusive environment? Or does it isolate and marginalize its LGBTQ population? LGBTQ college students are encouraged to consider their college's policies, faculty and staff, commitment to LGBTQ support, student life, academic life, campus housing, campus safety, counseling and health services, and recruitment efforts.

--Does your campus include sexual orientation and gender identity/expression in the written non-discrimination policy statement and in written statements about diversity and multiculturalism?
--Does your campus provide domestic partner benefits for LGBTQ employees with same-sex partners?
--Does your campus have a Safe Zone program or Safe Space program (an ongoing network of visible people on campus who identify openly as allies for LGBTQ people and concerns)?
--Does your campus have a professional staff person who is employed to increase campus awareness of LGBTQ concerns/issues as part of his/her job description?


--Does your campus have an LGBTQ concerns office or an LGBTQ student resource center (an institutionally funded space specifically for LGBTQ education and support services)? If not, does your campus have another office or resource center that deals actively with LGBTQ issues and concerns (Women’s Center, Multicultural Center)?
--Does your senior administration actively demonstrate inclusive use of the words “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer” when discussing community, multicultural and, or diversity issues on campus?
--Does your campus sponsor regular, on-going campus-wide activities and events to increase awareness of LGBTQ issues/concerns on campus?
--Does your campus have regular, on-going social events specifically for LGBTQ students?
--Does your campus have a college/university-recognized LGBTQ campus student organization for all LGBTQ students and allies?
--Does your campus have any student organizations that primarily serve the social or recreational needs of LGBTQ students (Gay social fraternity, Lesbian Volleyball Recreational Club, Gay Coed Lacrosse Club)?

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--Does your campus have any student organizations that primarily serve the needs of under-represented or multicultural LGBTQ populations (LGBTQ Latinos/Latinas, International LGBTQ students, LGBTQ Students with Disabilities)?
--Does your campus have any student organizations that primarily serve the religious/spiritual needs of LGBTQ students (Unity Fellowship for Students, Gays for Christ, LGBTQ Muslims)?
--Does your campus have out LGBTQ faculty members?
--Does your campus have an LGBTQ studies major? If No, does your campus have LGBTQ-specific courses offered through various academic programs?
--Does your campus integrate LGBTQ issues into existing courses when appropriate?
--Does your campus include LGBTQ issues in new faculty/staff orientation programs and on-going training opportunities?


--Does your campus have an extensive collection of LGBTQ-related holdings in the campus library?
--Does your campus provide LGBTQ-themed housing options or LGBTQ specific living-learning communities in campus housing?
--Does your campus allow for students with same-sex spouses/partners to reside together in campus housing?
--Does your campus provide housing options that are sensitive to the needs of transgender students?
--Does your campus provide training sessions for housing employees on LGBTQ issues and concerns?
--Does your campus provide training sessions for public safety officers on LGBTQ issues and concerns and anti-LGBTQ violence?
--Do your campus public safety officers carry out LGBTQ outreach efforts and meet with LGBT student leaders/organization?
--Does your campus have a clear procedure for reporting LGBTQ-related bias incidents and hate crimes?
--Does your campus have a bias-incident and hate-crime reporting system for LGBTQ concerns?
--Does your campus have support groups for LGBTQ individuals in the process of coming out and for other LGBTQ issues/concerns?
--Does your campus have individual student counseling that is sensitive to LGBTQ issues/concerns?


--Does your campus provide training for campus health care professionals to increase their sensitivity to the special health needs of LGBTQ individuals?
--Does your campus participate in an LGBTQ admission fair designed for outreach to incoming LGBTQ high school students?

--Does your campus have an LGBTQ graduation ceremony (Lavender Graduation) for LGBTQ graduating seniors?
--Does your campus have any scholarships specifically targeting LGBTQ students and heterosexual students who are supportive of LGBTQ equality?
--Does your campus include LGBTQ issues in new student orientation programs?
--Does your campus have an LGBTQ mentoring program to welcome and assist LGBTQ students in transitioning to academic life and other involvement on campus?


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Standards for LGBTQ Programs and Services

The Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) has established guidelines for the directors of various campus programs, including residence life, Greek organizations, counseling services, recruiting and admissions, diversity programs, health services, and more. Their collection of guidelines also addresses the professional standards for LGBTQ programs and services on college campuses.

According to CAS, it is no longer a matter of whether to provide services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) college students, but rather, it is a matter of when. The talent, energy, and hope with which LGBTQ students are entering college must be acknowledged and encouraged. Some students are declaring their bisexual or homosexual orientations in high school, then knocking on institutional doors with expectations of being fully appreciated for who they are in their entirety, including their sexual orientations. Many more students enter college questioning their sexual identities, not yet ready to make pronouncements nor embrace labels, but they deserve the institution’s demonstrated acceptance and attention.


Nearly 100 higher education institutions currently have full-time professionally staffed offices or centers that provide services for and about LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff. Some such services include information and referral, advocacy, support groups, discussion groups, LGBTQ student organization advising, safe zones, ally projects, leadership programs, peer counseling, and Lavender Graduation celebrations. Some campuses have LGBTQ offices staffed by part-time graduate students, and some campuses with no actual LGBTQ office or center employ a person who is responsible for providing services to LGBTQ students.

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The National Consortium of Directors of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Resources in Higher Education was officially founded in San Diego in 1997 to provide support for the professionals in this growing new arena in student affairs. Beyond membership support, the Consortium seeks to assist colleges and universities in developing equity in every respect for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni. The Consortium also focuses on developing curricula to enhance its professional goals, to promote improved campus climates, and to advocate for policy change, program development, and the establishment of campus LGBTQ offices and centers.

Minimal data are currently available as to the number of LGBTQ students on college campuses. Several reasons exist to explain this fact. First, some surveys regarding sexual behavior rely on people to self-disclose same-sex interactions, thoughts, or feelings. It is unlikely that people will answer such questions honestly or at all if they do not explicitly trust the anonymity of the process. Second, some surveys rely on people to identity themselves through labels such as homosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or queer. While some LGBTQ people may use these labels, many others, especially LGBTQ people of color, may not. Either they have decided to not attach a label to their non-heterosexual identity.  Or they have not journeyed through the coming-out process sufficiently to yet identify with a label. Or they use different terminology, all of which are the experiences of LGBTQ college students. Finally, while some people may have strong feelings of same-sex attraction, it is likely that they remain in heterosexual relationships or become non-sexual and never act on their feelings of such same-sex attraction. Consequently, limited empirical data exist to identify numbers of LGBTQ students.


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No college or university has sexual orientation or gender identity boxes on admission forms, and retention studies related to LGBTQ students have not yet been conducted. Therefore, when administrators wish to ascertain the number of LGBTQ students on campuses, there are few, if any, databases available to provide such information. Consequently, they find themselves resorting to asking an openly gay student or staff member or simply projecting numbers from LGBTQ college chat rooms.

Like racism, sexism, and other ideologies of oppression, heterosexism (that only heterosexuality is normal) is manifested in social customs, institutions, and in attitudes and behaviors of individuals. Preserved through the routine operation of institutions, the maintenance of heterosexism is possible because it is in keeping with prevalent social norms. Higher education contributes to the maintenance of institutionalized heterosexism as evidenced by hate crimes directed toward LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff members. Given that heterosexism’s values underlie higher education, the work involved in proactively addressing violence against LGBTQ individuals and building communities that are inclusive and welcoming of LGBTQ persons is both controversial and demanding.

Researchers note that campuses are no longer safe havens for students, faculty, or staff. Violence is a community and societal problem that has found its way into institutions of higher education. Institutions must make concerted efforts to create campus climates where every student is safe and every faculty and staff member is secure in knowing that there will never be another incident such as the one involving Matthew Shepard at the University of Wyoming.


CAS provides a framework for building and maintaining an effective LGBTQ campus program. It offers resources and assessment tools to help higher education administrators and directors of LGBTQ programs consider all the factors relevant to ensuring their LGBTQ program is successful. By using CAS's published guidelines, directors of LGBTQ programs can consider such aspects as the mission, purpose, program elements, learning outcomes, developmental goals, leadership, organization, training, financial issues, legal responsibilities, external relations, ethics, and assessment.

Among the important standards outlined by CAS regarding effective LGBTQ campus programs are the following statements:

The formal education of students consists of the curriculum and the co-curriculum, and must promote student learning and development that is purposeful and holistic. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Programs and Services must identify relevant and desirable student learning and development outcomes and provide programs and services that encourage the achievement of those outcomes.

Relevant and desirable outcomes include: intellectual growth, effective communication, realistic self-appraisal, enhanced self-esteem, clarified values, career choices, leadership development, healthy behaviors, meaningful interpersonal relationships, independence, collaboration, social responsibility, satisfying and productive lifestyles, appreciation of diversity, spiritual awareness, and achievement of personal and educational goals.

LGBTQ programs and services must: Advocate for the creation of a campus climate that is free from harassment and violence. Identify environmental conditions that negatively influence student welfare. Advocate for solutions to be enacted that neutralize such condition. Work to create policies and procedures within the institution that promote and maintain a hospitable climate.

LGBTQ programs and services must promote institutional understanding for the concerns of LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff. Educate other campus programs and services to be responsive to the unique concerns of LGBTQ students.

These programs and services must include:

Individual and group psychological counseling such as: coming out support, services for victims and perpetrators of homophobia, services to address family issues, services to address same sex dating issues, services to address same sex domestic violence, and support for victims and perpetrators of hate crimes.

Health services such as: health forms with inclusive language, LGBTQ health issues brochures, safer sex information for same sex couples.

Career services such as: resume development, information on LGBTQ friendly employers, employer mentoring programs for LGBTQ students, information on LGBTQ issues in the workplace, and academic advising such as the support of students’ educational choices

LGBTQ programs and services must provide educational opportunities that include: Examination of the intersection of sexual orientation with race, class, gender, disability, and age. Promotion of self awareness, self-esteem, and self-confidence. Promotion of leadership experiences. Identification of and networking with role models and mentors. Support of students and their families in achieving academic success.


LGBTQ Scholarships

Point Foundation
Pride Foundation
Human Rights Campaign LGBTQ Scholarship Database
Lend Edu LGBTQ Scholarships
Fin Aid Guide to LGBTQ Scholarships
Fast Web List of LGBTQ Scholarships
Campus Pride LGBTQ Scholarship Database
College Scholarships for LGBTQ Students
Student Debt Relief

LGBTQ Fraternities and Sororities

Delta Lambda Phi Fraternity

Alpha Pi Delta Sorority

Sigma Phi Beta Fraternity

Kappa Alpha Lambda Sorority

Alpha Lambda Zeta Fraternity

Gamma Rho Lambda Sorority

Zeta Delta Xi Co-Educational Fraternity

List of LGBTQ and LGBTQ Friendly Fraternities and Sororities




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