San Diego State University is crowing about being chosen again among the best universities in the nation for supporting LGBT students.
UC San Diego was given 4 1/2 stars.
“We are proud and excited about Campus Pride’s ranking of SDSU as one of our nation’s most LGBTQ-friendly universities,” said SDSU President Elliot Hirshman. “This recognition is a tribute to the efforts of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community supporters who ensure that our campus is a community where all are valued and respected.”
SDSU has been included in this ranking for the past seven years in the company of institutions like Princeton University and Cornell University.
The Campus Pride Index is a tool that compares LGBT-friendly policies, programs and practices on college campuses. Each campus updates its index annually and uses the Campus Pride benchmarking tool to make improvements for LGBTQ life on campus.
SDSU has been expanding its resources for LGBT students, the school said Thursday.
Since 2009, students have been able to minor in LGBT studies. In 2012, the university began offering a major in LGBT studies. The program is the second of its kind in North America. It recently received a $100,000 endowed gift from San Diego donor David Gubser.
Gubser committed an additional $100,000 to the university’s Pride Center. The center was opened in 2014 and provides resources and support services to assist students in their process of sexual and gender self-identity development. The goal of the center is to foster campus-wide dialogue about education, awareness, intellectual exploration, understanding and research on issues related to sexuality and gender.
Students, faculty and staff also celebrate San Diego Pride Week. Each year, SDSU hosts a Rainbow Flag Raising Ceremony at the beginning of San Diego Pride Week to ring in a week of LGBT-friendly festivities.
Another related program is SafeZones@SDSU. It works to ensure a campus atmosphere that is welcoming, informative, educational, and safe for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and ally students, faculty, staff, administrators and members of the campus community.
Established in 2007, SafeZones@SDSU offers an Ally Training Program, which teaches participants to become effective listeners, capable of offering referrals, support, and foster a proactive campus climate. The program also stages numerous events including National Coming Out Day and the Lavender Graduation ceremony for students who openly identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or intersexed.
SDSU students can also join a number of LGBT-friendly student groups including the LGBT Student Union, the queer based social sorority Gamma Rho Lambda, and Delta Lambda Phi, a national social fraternity for gay, bisexual and progressive men.
“When students feel accepted and welcomed, they have the capacity to grow academically and personally,” said Eric Rivera, vice president of Student Affairs. “Combined, SDSU’s curriculum, policies, programs and practices establish the foundation for all students to make connections and build community, which creates an affinity to the university long after graduation.”
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