More Colleges Are Becoming LGBTQ-friendly, Accepting the LGBTQ Community

Title IX, the most well-known law enacted by President Richard Nixon on June 23rd, 1972, for gender equity in athletics and preventing sexual harassment on campuses, is now celebrating its 50th anniversary – applying to athletics, employments, discrimination, admission, classroom, sexual assault, and violence on campuses.

According to the Trevor Project, 45 percent of LGBTQ youth have seriously considered suicide by 2021, with 14 percent having attempted suicide. Along with suicidal thoughts and attempts, 73% of LGBTQ youth reported anxiety, and 58% reported depression.

73 percent of LGBTQ youths have experienced discrimination at least once in their lives, and 82 percent have requested and desired mental health care, but only 40 percent have received it.

50 percent of students aged 13 to 17 have considered suicide, and 18 percent have attempted it, while 37 percent of students aged 18 to 24 have considered suicide, with 8 percent having attempted it. Photo: The Trevor Project

Now that Title IX is in effect for the 50th year, UCLA’s Williams Institute has made changes to provide strong protection for LGBTQ students. Elana Redfield, federal policy director at the Williams Institute, admitted that people’s humanity is being debated, and it is a difficult thing to do.

The Supreme Court has upheld the right for LGBTQ+ people to live and work without fear of harassment, exclusion, and discrimination – and our LGBTQ+ students have the same rights and deserve the same protections. I’m proud to have directed the Office for Civil Rights to enforce Title IX to protect all students from all forms of sex discrimination,” Miguel Cardona, the U.S Secretary of Education stated.

The actual goal for this was “to give full effect to the law’s reach and to deliver on its promise to protect all students from sex-based harassment and discrimination,” Cardona added, mentioning that this is the solution to “ensure all our students can learn and grow and thrive in school no matter where they live, who they are, whom they love or how they identify.”

As LGBTQ students become more visible than ever, they are looking for LGBTQ-friendly colleges, knowing that the community environment and their mental health are linked.  According to the OCR report, LGBTQ students are frequently bullied, either physically or mentally. This problem has gotten worse as the Covid-19 pandemic has prevented students from receiving direct school support, as well as preventing them from attending school.

The University of California, San Diego is another well-known college with a strong resource center for LGTBQ students, including a pride parade to support and build affinity among a diverse population of members. Genny Beemyn, the director of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst’s LGBTQ resource center, also strongly advocated for providing the need to feel safe for LGBTQ students and shared the research he discovered on how colleges serve LGBTQ students – having staff members on campuses advocating for LGBTQ was the solution.

Purdue University also supports LGBTQ students by committing to the community for LGBTQ students, ranking as the #1 most LGBTQ+ friendly college in Indiana according to BestColleges.com.

The purpose of having an LGBTQ community at Purdue is to uplift a community that allows them to be themselves -in a great place where students can feel safe, comfortable, and give out opportunities to help others gain new perspectives on LGBTQ.

“Not every person has met someone in the community before, and they might just have genuine questions that maybe they don’t know how to ask,” Doan, a junior studying aeronautical and astronautical engineering continued, “if we give them a space to ask those questions with the language that they have, we all benefit.

According to Campus Pride, which has been the leading LGBTQ national benchmarking tool for colleges and universities since 2007, it assists students in locating LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities that have resources such as inclusive policies, programs, and practices for LGBTQ students, as well as internship opportunities.

“LGBTQ and ally student leaders and campus organizations in the areas of leadership development, support programs, and services to create safer, more inclusive LGBTQ- friendly colleges and universities.” Shane Windmeyer, the founder, and executive director of Campus pride said to Best colleges.com.

However, it is critical not to rely solely on college resource centers or LGBTQ websites, but to be aware of issues and to try to support the community from within society. Today, Highered mentions that encouraging faculty, staff, and departments to become information clearinghouses for areas of interest to students and scholars is important, as is offering faculty development focused on improving classroom climate for LGBTQ and other minoritized students – keeping in mind that everyone living in this society has the right to be treated equally.

 

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