Diversity and inclusion are cornerstones of the University of Illinois at Chicago's mission and its latest recognition gives the campus community more to be proud about during Pride Month.
UIC has been named Illinois' best college and university for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, according to the 2020 edition of rankings from BestColleges, in partnership with Campus Pride.
"The Best Colleges for LGBTQ+ Students" ranking recognizes U.S. schools that have "established the highest standards for inclusive environments while maintaining strong academic programs for students."
The state-focused ranking, where UIC landed the top spot for Illinois, serves as a guide for prospective LGBTQ students to identify schools that are culturally inclusive, affordable and closer in proximity to their geographic location.
UIC rates highly for its institutional commitment to LGBTQ-inclusive policy, program and practice according to the Campus Pride Index, where it earned 4.5 out of five stars. The university received full marks in LGBTQ recruitment and retention efforts, housing and residence life, and student life.
One example of UIC's commitment is the Gender and Sexuality Center, which offers LGBTQ students and allies a space to be in community, learn more about themselves and others, and participate in leadership and other experiential opportunities.
"The center has a long history of advocating for queer and trans students, staff, and faculty on issues related to equity and inclusion. The work is on-going but because of the efforts of so many UIC community members over the years, the university continues to be a place that attracts LGBTQ+ students from all over Illinois and the country," said Jordan "JT" Turner, director of the center. "We are proud to hold this distinction and will continue to support university efforts to make the campus an inclusive learning environment for all students."
The rankings are based on BestColleges' methodology of academic support and affordability data, along with the Campus Pride Index score, which is a comprehensive national rating system that measures LGBTQ-friendly campus life across eight benchmarks. The rankings also include descriptions of unique campus resources that provide support to students of various gender and sexual identities.
"Every student deserves to go to a college that is inclusive and a safe space to learn, live and grow," said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride. "This June for Pride Month, we want to show our 'campus pride' for all the campuses working hard to create safer, more LGBTQ-friendly learning environments."
—From a press release