I wanted to share with you an absolutely awesome resource for LGBTQ+ students and allies alike. The Campus Pride Index is a website loaded with plenty of helpful resources for LGBTQ+ students such as information on queer friendly workplaces, statistics and information on colleges, and most specially, a search engine for colleges in each state with rankings of LGBTQ+ inclusiveness of each college.
Going to college should be a wonderful time for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities, and going to a campus that is mindful of LGBTQ+ student needs and issues is important. The website ranks colleges on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being unfriendly and 5 being very friendly and inclusive to LGBTQ+ students. It further breaks down areas of strength and growth at each school.
For example, I went to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and absolutely loved my experience there, but it does have a ranking of 2 out of 5 stars on the CPI. While UTK does have a very active Pride Center, a pretty active LGBTQ+ population on campus, and many fun social events for LGBTQ+ students and allies, there are certainly areas for growth. The index is not designed to steer students away from schools they have their hearts set on, but rather to help you make an informed decision about a school that will really feel like home for you as well as what you might expect to encounter when attending the school.
And who knows, maybe your involvement on campus will be the reason a school goes up a star on the CPI and becomes a more welcoming place for LGBTQ+ students for years to come!
Life on campus can mean more than just attending classes and studying in your dorm room. Studies show that the more involved you are in your campus, the more likely your success in graduation will be.
“The National Survey of Student Engagement—a survey measuring student
involvement in academic and cocurricular activities—shows that student success is
directly linked to student involvement in the institution. In fact, survey results show that the higher the level of student involvement is, the higher student grades are and the more likely students are to reenroll the next semester.” - Lumen College Success
What are the possibilities?
There are several types of Student Life on campuses across the country, which include:
You are heartily encouraged to pursue any interests that enhance your education and
enrich your student experience. Your participation can expand your horizons, deepen
your interests, and connect you with new people.
How do I find out about specific organizations?
● Your institution’s website: Try a keywords search at your college’s Web site,
using any of the following: student life, college life, student organizations, clubs,
student activities office, student services, special events, events calendar,
performing arts calendar, athletics calendar, etc.
● Your school email: Your school should send out various emails per week
updating you on what is going on in your campus community
● Social Media: Almost anyone and everything has a hashtag!
● Bulletin boards: Events will be posted on papers, flyers, stickers, etc
● Friends: Ask new (and old) friends what they do in their spare time. You may be
encouraged to join.
● Student Affairs Offices: They are your go-to office for local events happening on
● Your Campus Recreation Center (the gym): The gym offers more than just
weights and actually acts as a hub for student life (similarly to the library)!
Benefits from Engaging in Student Life
● Personal interests are tapped: Programs and activities encourage students to explore personal interests and passions. As students pursue these interests, they learn more about their strengths and possible career paths.
● A portfolio of experience develops: Add any and all experiences in your college years to your resume!
● Fun leads to good feelings: Having fun is a good way to balance the stress of meeting academic deadlines and studying intensely.
● Social connections grow: You can make friends with people who share
your same interests! It’s always good to have friends who share your
interests and to develop these relationships over time.
● Self-esteem grows: Pursuing your interest in other activities (other than
academically), you can fuel your self-esteem!
YOUR college experience is what you make of it. Have fun, meet new people and enjoy
NiswongerCARE Staff sharing the best resources we can find! Click on the post(s) to see them in their full format!