CHARLOTTE, September 27, 2007 - Now is the time for colleges and universities to reach out to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students. This week, Campus Pride launched the LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index ( www.campusclimateindex.org ), the only online resource of its kind that assists colleges and universities in learning ways to make the educational experience more inclusive, welcoming and respectful of LGBT and Ally people.
"Many campuses want to be more LGBT-friendly and welcoming to all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, and the index is an essential tool for those efforts," stated Shane Windmeyer, Executive Director of Campus Pride and author of The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students . "By highlighting positive LGBT efforts, we can advocate more effectively for LGBT and Ally progress across campuses nationwide."
To date, nearly one hundred public and private four- year campuses are listed online, and nearly twice that have committed to an assessment in the near future. In development since 2001, the LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index was created in response to the increasing demand for tools and resources to support campuses in assessing LGBT-Friendly programs, policies and practices. The index was developed by Campus Pride with a team of national LGBT researchers, including: Brett Genny Beemyn, Ph.D.; Susan R. Rankin, Ph.D.; and Shane L. Windmeyer, M.S, Ed.
Every campus listed online has participated in a comprehensive self-assessment process based on more than 50 questions under eight different LGBT-friendly categories. Each institution participating in the voluntary program receives a confidential report with results and recommendations to improve the quality of campus life for LGBT & Ally people.
"Not only do campuses now have a way to measure their LGBT-Friendly progress, but prospective LGBT & Ally students and their families have a reliable and free public resource to help find the schools that are the most committed to providing a respectful learning environment," said Windmeyer.
Campus Pride encourages all colleges and universities nationwide to be listed online. The index boasts a Premier Campus Spotlight as well as an Honor Roll that highlights campuses scoring a three-star rating or above. Each participating campus has a public profile available for viewing, and the My Bookbag feature allows visitors to choose an unlimited number of campus favorites to compare and request additional information.
In coordination with the LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index, Campus Pride will host LGBT- Friendly college admission fairs this Fall 2007 and Spring 2008 on the east and west coasts. For more information, please visit Campus Pride ( www.campuspride.org ) or contact the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-277-6710.
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