AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst is among the top 25 colleges and universities in the country for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ) students ranked by Campus Pride, a national support and advocacy organization.
The listing, released today, highlights the “most LGBTQ-inclusive colleges and universities when it comes to policy, program and practice in higher education,” according to Campus Pride, which based its top 25 list on institutional responses to the Campus Pride Index, a national benchmarking tool.
UMass Amherst is one of eight schools that earned the highest rating of five stars.
“This is the fifth consecutive year that UMass Amherst has had the highest rating in the Index. I am proud of all of the work done on campus this past year to make sure that we remain one of the best colleges in the country for LGBTQ students,” said Genny Beemyn, director of the Stonewall Center at the Amherst campus.
The Campus Pride Index is based in research on policy, program and practice and is conducted for and by LGBTQ experts in the field of higher education. Each campus updates its index annually and uses the benchmarking tool to make improvements for LGBTQ life on campus.
“As time goes on, the needs of LGBTQ college and university students change,” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride and creator of the Campus Pride Index. “Therefore, we have updated our Campus Pride Index assessment to reflect that, with higher standards for campuses and a higher focus on trans and gender nonconforming students.”
UMass Amherst established one of the nation’s first professionally staffed LGBT campus centers when it opened the Stonewall Center in 1985, and the school created the first residence hall program for LGBT and allied students in 1992. UMass Amherst is also part of the Five College consortium, which offers a certificate in queer and sexuality studies.