Diversity and inclusion hasn’t just become a ‘nice to have’ at universities, it’s become a necessity. Regardless of background, sexual orientation, or race, college campuses are becoming more diverse and inclusive in the student body. This year, Emerson College ranked the highest in “LGBTQ-Friendly” for the Princeton Review’s Best Colleges ranking.
Students were surveyed and asked how strongly they agree that their fellow students treated all persons equally, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. As a college devoted to communication and the arts, Emerson has grown to become a diverse and forward-thinking institution that draws people of all backgrounds.
The college has also dedicated staff under the Division of Student Affairs to enhancing the quality of life for members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual+ (LGBTQIA+) community.
“The staff is committed to maintaining a safe and inclusive atmosphere in which all community members are valued and respected,” Emerson’s website says.
The Intercultural Student Affairs Team provides consultation to students in queer issues and offers educational, informational, and advocacy services. Additionally, students can join a number of student organizations that support LGBTQ rights including EAGLE (Emerson’s Advancement Group for Love and Expression) and SheCult (Art Collective for Queer Women and Femmes).
LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGES MOST SUPPORTIVE
Among the top 10, the majority of schools are liberal arts colleges, with schools such as Bryn Mawr College, Agnes Scott College, Mount Holyoke College, Warren Wilson College, and Vassar College all scoring highly for their LGBTQ support.
At Bryn Mawr College, the school “really prides itself on its diversity and commitment to respecting the gender expressions of all its students (names, pronouns, life experiences).”
Students at Bryn Mawr College say that “while straight, cis women can certainly thrive at Bryn Mawr, you should come here prepared for an active and thriving LGBTQIA+ culture. It’s a very special part of Bryn Mawr that I wouldn’t trade for anything.”
At Vassar College, the LGBTQ Center has a mission of enhancing “the campus life experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students and their allies by providing social, cultural and academic programming; fostering strong leaders; highlighting Vassar’s unique history; and engaging the entire campus in discussions of social justice and inclusion.”
Students’ needs, interests, and passions are central to the center’s values and the center envisions a campus that is “fully inclusive of all identities, where students value and seek out cultural pluralism and positive intergroup experiences.”
Check out the full list of the most “LGBTQ-Friendly” schools below.