What’s it like for LGBT and allied students at Ithaca College?
While there’s no easy way to adequately describe the campus climate at any college or university, we have addressed some questions you may have about what goes on at Ithaca College.
Are sexual orientation and gender identity included in the non-discrimination policy?
Sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression are included in the college’s non discrimination policy. The City of Ithaca also prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and includes both in its hate crimes law too. Surrounding Tompkins County also includes sexual orientation and gender identity in its nondiscrimination law. The State of New York prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, public accommodation, education, housing, and credit.
Is there an active LGBT student organization?
There are FOUR! Created Equal is the activist student organization that “implements projects which will address issues and provide solutions to problems facing LGBTQA people on the Ithaca College campus, the larger community, and the United States as a whole.” PRISM is Ithaca College's social and educational “queer-straight alliance dealing with sexuality, gender identity and gender expression.” Spectrum is a group “for anyone who is looking for a community of people who have feelings and are attracted to the person and not the gender—bisexual, pansexual, sexually fluid, etc.” Athlete Ally is “dedicated to ending homophobia and tran-sphobia in the sports teams at Ithaca College.” The groups welcome all who are interested, and are very active on campus. Students may also choose to be a part of House of Roy, our LGBTQA-themed residential living/learning community.
Is there a campus office for LGBTQ student services?
The Center for LGBT Education, Outreach, and Services actively fosters the academic success and personal growth of LGBTQ stu-dents and offers college wide services to enhance the campus community’s awareness, understanding and appreciation of LGBTQ students, staff and faculty. The Center strives to create a campus that is the best learning,
working and living environment for LGBTQ people.
Are other campus offices supportive and inclusive of LGBTQ students and issues?
Other campus offices strive to be inclusive of the needs of LGBTQ students. For example, the Career Services office has developed resources addressing career search issues for LGBTQ
students, and the Chapel hosts an annual open house for LGBTQ and allied students. Several student groups have also gone above and beyond to reach out a hand to LGBTQ students not just on campus, but throughout the nation. Ithaca College’s a cappella groups Ithacappella, Premium Blend, and Voicestream recorded covers of Katy Perry’s Firework, and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way and decided to donate all proceeds to the Trevor Project, the national 24-hour, toll free confidential suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth. They’re both available on iTunes - great songs for a great cause! And in 2010, the student station managers of Ithaca College's television and radio stations organized a video shoot to publicize the Trevor Project and the "It Gets Better"
project. The response to their call for participants was so overwhelming that they created four different It Gets Better videos – find them on YouTube or itgetsbetter.org, or on the LGBT Center website.
What activities are sponsored on campus for LGBTQ students?
Learning, leadership, and social opportunities on LGBTQ themes take place throughout the year. The Center for LGBT Education, Outreach & Services coordinates speakers, films, and other events, and
provides a multipurpose LGBTQ Resource Room. The Center also recognizes LGBTQ and allied graduates each year at a unique Rainbow Reception ceremony. There’s always Pride Prom, too!
Is there a procedure for reporting LGBTQ-related bias incidents and hate crimes? How does the school respond to such incidents?
The campus takes incidents of LGBTQ bias or harassment seriously. Concerns or complaints may be brought to the Office of Public Safety.
Are LGBTQ sensitive counseling services available?
The staff in the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services are very supportive. They also periodically provide specific programs and services for LGBTQ and questioning students, such as coming out groups and stress-management workshops for LGBTQ and allied students.
Are supportive faculty and staff easily identifiable?
There is an active Safe Place project on campus that involves the public display of signs along with resources available to support LGBTQ students. A directory of some of the out and proud LGBTQ and allied faculty and staff is also available on the LGBTQ Center website.
What about transgender students?
Designate your chosen (preferred) name on college records, request housing that meets your specific needs, find a map of gender friendly restrooms, learn how to legally change your name or gender marker on identity documents, get prescription coverage for hormone therapy — we even have a specialized Voice and Communication Modification Program offered by our campus Speech Pathology program. All this and more are in place to serve transgender students. Find out more on the Transgender Resources section of the LGBT Center website.
How can I find an LGBTQ or LGBTQ-friendly roommate?
There are lots of places and ways you can meet a roommate. If you are looking to find someone you can check out HomerConnect by using your housing profile, IC peers, orientation, your class Facebook account, and more.
Does the school offer domestic partner benefits?
Domestic partner benefits, such as health insurance, are available for partners of faculty and staff.
Does the campus and surrounding community feel safe and welcoming?
In 2014, Ithaca College was named one of the “Top 50 LGBT-Friendly Colleges and Universities” in the country whose policies, programs and practices are most friendly to LGBT students, by Campus Pride and The Huffington Post. We also made their “Top” lists in 2012 and 2013. NerdScholar designated our LGBTQ initiatives “Most Innovative” in 2014, the same year BuzzFeed featured us in a story about the best schools for LGBTQ students. In 2012 we were named one of the Top 10 Most LGBT-Friendly college sports programs in the nation and one of the Top 10 Trans Friendly Colleges and Universities in the nation. Since 2010, Ithaca College has achieved the highest ranking – 5 stars—on the Campus Pride Index LGBT Friendly Campus Climate National Assessment Tool, and we’ve repeated that accomplishment each year since. In 2006 Ithaca College was named one of the Best 100 Campuses in the nation for LGBT Students by book The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students. The City of Ithaca was also included on the top 10 list of places to live in the US for gay and lesbian people by The Advocate magazine, and in 2010 the Daily Beast named Ithaca # 14 of “America’s Top 20 Gayest Cities” using data derived from the US Census. According to 2010 US Census data, Tompkins County ranks among the top 20 counties in the nation with the highest percentage of gay and lesbian people reporting they lived in a same-sex partnership household.
As always, the best way to find out about the campus and community is to visit for yourself. Contact the Admission office to arrange a visit.
Looking for a ZAP Panel?
Although the LGBT Center does not coordinate ZAPs, we can connect you with the people who do!
Our LGBT and Allied student group prism is the place turn to for all your ZAP needs!
So, what is a ZAP Panel anyway?
A ZAP panel is a specific type of educational program aimed at learning about the diversity of experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and allied people. That learning takes place as panelists share their short personal stories about being an LGBT or allied person and provide an opportunity for the audience to ask questions.
How do I host a Zap!?
Please contact prism or the ZAP co-coordinators for more information:
John Jacobson and Matt Dankanich
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