Ithaca College rated five out of five on the Campus Pride Index, as one of the best in Campus Pride’s 2020 Best of the Best list, and one of the best in the region. Campus Pride commemorated LGBTQ History Month and National Coming Out Day by releasing its 2020 Best of the Best LGBTQ-Friendly listing of colleges and universities. The announcement features 40 campuses (from six regions of the country) that are deeply committed to LGBTQ students and that rate the highest for LGBTQ-inclusion in policy, program and practice.
"At Ithaca College, we not only accept LGBTQ students but expect LGBTQ students — in our classrooms, on our playing fields, in our student clubs, and in our labs, studios and performance spaces,” said Luca Maurer, director of the Center for LGBTQ Education, Outreach and Services. “This designation is even more meaningful this year, as our nation confronts racism while we face a global pandemic, too.”
For nearly two decades, Campus Pride has advocated and supported the efforts of colleges and universities to improve LGBTQ campus life and change institutional policies, programs and practices. The Campus Pride Index (CPI) provides an invaluable benchmarking tool to assess LGBTQ-inclusion efforts in academics, student life, housing, recruitment and retention activities.
“During a time of pandemic and protests, Campus Pride's recognition attests to the power of students to reshape the world into a place where all people can thrive,” said Hierald Osorto, IC’s executive director for Student Equity and Belonging and director for Religious and Spiritual Life. “Countless LGBTQ students and their allies envisioned the changes that we celebrate today. Through the tenacity and care of the LGBTQ Center's Director, Luca Maurer, those student forbearers translated their vision into action. We must learn from them as we look to the future, deepening our commitment to full inclusion and affirmation of LGBTQ people.”
“For too long, LGBTQ people have been grateful for small acts of inclusion when true equity requires far more. Higher ed can and must do better. We need to continue shining a bright light on oppression and actively dismantle injustice.”Luca Maurer, director of the Center for LGBTQ Education, Outreach and Services
This year Campus Pride chose to put a spotlight on the regional diversity of the list by highlighting colleges and universities by region. Campus Pride works with over 1,400 colleges and universities annually to improve the quality of campus life for LGBTQ people and to create safer, more inclusive campus communities.
Maurer reminds us that the impacts of oppression are already embedded throughout our society.
“BIPOC and LGBTQ communities and everyone at the intersections are particularly vulnerable,” said Maurer. “For too long, LGBTQ people have been grateful for small acts of inclusion when true equity requires far more. Higher ed can and must do better. We need to continue shining a bright light on oppression and actively dismantle injustice.”
Shane Windmeyer, executive Director of Campus Pride, said, “Today college campuses must ‘come out’ and be visible as LGBTQ-friendly. Students expect inclusive, equitable learning environments at colleges in all regions of the country. And as a basic standard, they demand campuses have LGBTQ-inclusive policies, programs and services.”
The 2020 Best of the Best College and University listing is based on the data provided annually through the CPI related to policies, programs and practice. The research is analyzed by the Campus Pride research team using the proven CPI LGBTQ-Friendly factors and knowledge of the LGBTQ higher education landscape.