Penn State earned a top ranking from the nation’s premier LGBTQ benchmarking tool this week.
The university was one of 40 to receive a “five out of five stars” rating from the Campus Pride Index, which has analyzed the most LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities annually since 2007.
Penn State received the ranking thanks to its high percentages in LGBTQ-friendly benchmarks for policies, programs, and practices.
“Today college campuses must ‘come out’ and be visible as LGBTQ-friendly. Students expect inclusive, equitable learning environments at colleges in all regions of the country. And as a basic standard, they demand campuses have LGBTQ-inclusive policies, programs and services,” Shane Windmeyer, Campus Pride executive director, said in a statement. “These forty campuses, across six diverse regions, are leading the charge.”
Penn State joined fellow Big Ten schools Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio State, Purdue and Rutgers in the rankings. In Pennsylvania, Lehigh, Penn and Pitt also earned five stars. The list is made to commemorate LGBTQ History Month and National Coming Out Day, which was on Sunday, October 11.
Penn State's Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, which opened its new home in the HUB-Robeson Center earlier this year, provides services and programming to students, faculty, staff and alumni.
“This recognition showcases the hard work of students, faculty and staff working together in support of and dedication toward our sexual and gender diverse communities,” center director Brian Patchcoski said. “Through the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, along with our colleague advocacy units, Penn State continues to provide the support to further our innovation and intention to infuse diversity, equity, and inclusion across the student experience. This recognition helps us, and the University find ways to think about what it means to support the ‘whole’ student with varied identities — not just sexual and gender diversity.”
Penn State is celebrating LGTBQ History Month throughout October with events and celebrations across its campuses. Students can also take advantage of specific housing options, student organizations, and academic tracks that support gender inclusivity and LGBTQ causes.