The University of California, San Diego has been named the 9th most LGBTQ-friendly university in the nation, according to a new 2015-2016 report.
Affordable Colleges Online—a website that helps students and their families identify affordable, higher educational opportunities—recently released a list of the top 23 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Questioning (LGBTQ) friendly universities.
According to the report, UC San Diego has made exceptional strides towards creating an LGBTQ-friendly environment, in which students can feel safe learning, growing and participating within their community.
“We are honored to be ranked as one of the most LGBTQ-friendly universities in the nation,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “UC San Diego is committed to diversity, and our LGBTQ-identified students play an essential part in contributing to our vibrant campus community.”
Among the criteria for LGBTQ-friendly on the Affordable Colleges list was a requirement that the university have a LGBTQ student organization, gender inclusive residence halls and an affirmative declaration of LGBTQ inclusion policies. It also considered factors including LGBTQ health and counseling services, as well as available LGBTQ/Gender studies programs. The schools were then scored according to retention and graduation rates.
In the report, UC San Diego was praised for having a Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center and a Critical Gender Studies undergraduate degree program. Both initiatives provide students with a safe space to engage in dialogue regarding gender and sexuality identities, practices and politics.
“The LGBT Resource Center on campus fulfills UC San Diego’s promise of working toward greater diversity and inclusion,” said UC San Diego’s Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Becky Petitt. “Each of the campus centers at UC San Diego builds community among our diverse population of students, faculty and staff members.”
Despite the ranking, UC San Diego has the potential to foster an even more inclusive campus climate and community, noted Shaun Travers, campus diversity officer and director of the UC San Diego LGBT Resource Center. “Considering intersecting identities such as race, ethnicity, class and more helps to understand that other groups have different lived experiences,” he explained. “We are on the right path, but we have a lot more work to do.”
Along with the LGBT Resource Center, UC San Diego’s Raza Resource Centro, Black Resource Center, Women’s Center and Cross-Cultural Center all focus on an inclusive approach to serving UC San Diego’s diverse communities.
For the full list of the most LGBTQ-friendly colleges ranked by Affordable College Online, click here.