This year, Campus Pride
awarded Kent State University and Case Western Reserve University with a ranking of 4.5 out of 5 on its Campus Pride Index. Baldwin Wallace University fell in the middle with 3 out of 5, while the Cuyahoga Community College campuses all fared terribly with 2.5 out of 5 scores, and their Westlake campus scoring even lower with a 2 out of 5. Information for Cleveland State University was not available.
On a larger scale, Ohio University also nabbed 4.5 out of 5 while The Ohio State University earned a perfect score and was listed as one of the top 25 most LGBTQ+ friendly universities in the country.
The Campus Pride Index examines eight LGBTQ+ friendly factors: policy inclusion, support and institutional commitment, academic life, student life, housing, campus safety, counseling and health, and recruitment and retention efforts.
was given high scores for their inclusivity as well as the available resources that the Kent State University LGBTQ Student Center connects students to include: the QUEST mentorship program, the LGBTQ Library, the LGBTQ Emergency Fund, the LGBT studies minor, University counseling services, University legal services, the universal restroom map, the preferred name change process and gender inclusive housing.
was given high scores across the board for non-discrimination statement inclusive of sexual orientation, non-discrimination statement inclusive of gender identity/expression, health insurance coverage to employees’ same sex partner, accessibility for students to change their name on university records and documents, accessibility for students to change their gender identity on university records and documents, the option to self-identify sexual orientation on admission application or post enrollment forms, LGBTQ+ resource centers, continued education for staff and faculty on proper treatment of LGBTQ+ students, as well as inclusive social activities and organizations on campus.
campuses scores were tanked by their lack of LGBTQ+ recruitment and retention efforts, lack of accessibility to proper health and counseling services for students, lack of inclusive social opportunities for LGBTQ+ students, lack of accessibility for students to change their name on university records and documents and the lack of option for students to self identify their gender identity on admission or enrollment forms.
Ohio schools scoring relatively well on LGBTQ+ friendliness is huge given the fact there are no statewide protections in Ohio for sexual orientation outside of state employment. Cities and jurisdictions can have their own protective legislation, but LGBTQ+ students are at risk of being unable to find employment once they graduate, simply for being who they are. Here's hoping our state government can take a page from our academic institutions and start treating LGBTQ+ individuals with the respect they deserve.