CampusClimateIndex.org assesses schools on how LGBT-friendly they are, based on eight factors: LGBT policy inclusion, LGBT support and institutional commitment, LGBT academic life, LGBT student life, LGBT housing, LGBT campus safety, LGBT counseling & health, and LGBT recruitment and retention efforts. Schools are then assigned a rating between one and five stars.
According to the website, the index is designed to assist campuses in becoming more LGBT-friendly, and to improve the quality of life for LGBT students and their allies. Schools that achieve a five-star rating set the national standard, or have the highest quality of life.
And with that being said…. Go Gators! Of the Florida schools ranked, University of Florida had the highest ranking with a 4.5 on the 5 point scale. For more details on that score you can find it here.
I must say that being securely placed in the South (trust me, Gainesville is no Miami) I was afraid we would have ranked lower.
Please don’t think my pessimism was the result of personal experience because it wasn’t AT ALL. As many of you know I was still trying very hard to be a STRAIGHT-laced, southern belle in college, with wedding plans on the horizon. I think I knew all of two lesbians (though I did have the pleasure of knowing my share of drunkbesians) and a few bois.
It wasn’t even until I was writing this post that I learned UF had joined the ranks of schools having lavender graduations. For those who don’t know, lavender graduations are ceremonies specifically for LGBTQ and Ally undergraduate and graduate students to acknowledge their achievements, contributions, and unique experiences. Hmm..