The University of California San Diego has been named the 9th best public university in the nation for LGBTQ students, according to a new 2017 report by College Choice. The independent online publication that helps students select a school recently released their list of the “50 Best Colleges for LGBTQ Students.” In addition to being in the top 10 among public schools, UC San Diego was ranked 19th overall, public and private, in the U.S.
UC San Diego was selected for the breadth of programming organized by the campus’s LGBT Resource Center, including Out and Proud Week and a one-day orientation for LGBTQ students called Q Camp. Also praised was the campus’s demonstrated commitment to LGBTQ inclusion, intersectional learning opportunities and critical gender studies major.
“We are proud to be named among the top LGBTQ-friendly universities in the nation,” said Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Becky Petitt. “At UC San Diego, we are dedicated to building community and offering meaningful opportunities for students of all backgrounds to connect, learn and grow.”
In their rankings, College Choice sought out schools that boast strong diversity and inclusion efforts, offer numerous resources and services for LGBTQ students and incorporate LGBTQ perspectives into their curriculum. Other considerations included academic reputation, student retention rates, affordability and average annual salary of graduates.
LGBTQ community life thrives at UC San Diego, from student organizations like the Black Queer Collective and Aces Group to university-wide academic organizations like oSTEM, which serves the out LGBTQ student population in science, technology, engineering and math. In addition, numerous spaces exist on campus to cultivate community and explore issues surrounding diversity—including six dedicated Campus Community Centers, under the leadership of the campus’s Office of the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
“Students, faculty and staff can find a multitude of ways to explore identity, critically engage in scholarship surrounding gender and sexuality and become part of an active LGBTQIA+ community,” said Shaun Travers, a Campus Diversity Officer and director of the UC San Diego LGBT Resource Center.
Before college, Kayla Ortiz had a difficult time expressing who she truly was. Although she has been out for several years, it wasn’t until she started her freshman year of college that she felt part of a safe, welcoming community of LGBT peers.
“For people who identify with the LGBT community, even those who consider themselves allies, the LGBT Resource Center and other related student organizations on campus are so incredibly impactful,” said Ortiz, a sophomore at UC San Diego. “They create more visibility, promote acceptance and can literally change people’s lives.”
For more information about UC San Diego, visit the Campus Profile.