For the fourth year in a row, UW-Milwaukee has been named one of America’s most welcoming universities for LGBTQ+ students. The annual Campus Pride Index places UWM among the country’s top 30 LGBT-friendly colleges or universities.
“LGBTQ youth and families want to know what campuses are doing when it comes to inclusive policies, programs and practices – not only for four year colleges but also two year colleges,” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride and creator of the Campus Pride Index. “The ‘Best of the Best’ highlights the Top 30 this year for four year colleges and the Top 5 for two year and community colleges. Campus Pride is proud at the growing number of campuses that are improving their LGBTQ campus climate and wanting to be the ‘Best of the Best’ each year.”
Campus Pride chose 30 colleges and universities based on their overall ratings on the Campus Pride Index and specific LGBTQ-inclusive benchmark measures. For example, does a university have policies in place protecting students from bias or segregation based on gender or sexual orientation? Is there a dedicated LGBT Resource Center?
In UWM’s case, the answers are “yes.”
Included in that answer is the first inclusive housing policy in the UW System, enacted by University Housing at UWM in 2013. The university’s top 30 finish can also be attributed to its freestanding LGBT Studies program, an active LGBT Alumni Chapter and gender-neutral bathroom facilities guaranteed in all new campus construction.
The annual Campus Pride Index comes out the same week that UWM welcomes students back to campus for the 2018-19 academic year. Jen Murray, director of the UWM LGBT Resource Center, said the Campus Pride Index is an important tool for prospective students to ensure their future home will be a welcoming one.
“This designation is an honor that validates all the hard work put in by LGBTQ+ and ally students and staff over the years to create the best UWM campus climate possible,” said Murray. “With this ranking, our incoming students can rest assured that they are attending an institution ready to meet their needs through both policy and practice.”