SIU again earns national recognition for diversity and inclusiveness from Campus Pride

Photo by Yenitza Melgoza

August 26, 2022

SIU again earns national recognition for diversity and inclusiveness from Campus Pride

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Illinois – Southern Illinois University Carbondale has again earned national recognition for its diversity and inclusiveness. Campus Pride, a leading LGBTQ+ campus rating and information index, honored the university among its 2022 “Best of the Best LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges and Universities.”

“We are very proud to once again be honored by Campus Pride as one of the 40 ‘Best of the Best LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges and Universities’ in the country,” said Paul Frazier, Vice Chancellor for Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “This is a well-deserved recognition of the continued campus-wide collaboration to establish an inclusive SIU where all students feel safe, welcome and at home. Although we have achieved this recognition on several occasions, we are not resting on our laurels; we continue to see new and different ways to foster a more inclusive environment for all students.

Achieved first rank

The SIU earned a five-star rating, the highest possible rating, in the Campus Pride benchmark assessment of the university’s policies, programs, and practices. The university has earned this recognition several times, dating back over a decade, and usually with a five-star designation.

The index includes a UIS Profile, including details of the wide variety of resources, support, events and activities available to students, as well as student quotes, a campus profile and detailed grading data.
Campus Pride cited numerous reasons for recognizing SIU as an inclusive and LGBTQ+-friendly university for students, one of only three in Illinois. The organization noted that the SIU Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer (LGBTQ) Resource Centerone of the university’s four centers Student Multicultural Resource Center. Located in the Student Services building, the center, which is a unit of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, is a safe and welcoming space that offers educational, advocacy, and referral information and support for LGBTQ+ students, faculty, staff, families, alumni, and friends. Angela Towne is the center coordinator.

SIU provides academic, social and physical support

Various other SIU initiatives, services and activities have also been recognized by Campus Pride. They understand:

  • The Campus Pride Living learning community within a residence hall.
  • Annual celebration of LGBTQ+ History Month every October.
  • LGBTQ+ academic studies, including coursework and a minor in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.
  • Various student organizations and activities, including the Saluki Rainbow Network and an LGBTQ+ social fraternity/sorority.
  • Regular security zone training sessions.
  • A Queer Mentors program with LGBTQ+ faculty and staff from across campus conducting mentor trainings. Juniors are now recruited as mentors for the coming year.
  • LGBTQ+ student scholarships and graduation ceremony.
  • Many policies and programs to promote non-discrimination and inclusion of all, regardless of gender identity/expression.
  • LGBTQ+-friendly health advice, recruitment and retention services programs, policies and activities, and safety and residence life policies and support on campus.
  • An active affinity group for LGBTQ+ staff and faculty and an LGBTQ+ needs and asset planning committee.
  • Various special activities including Queer Cinema, takes place on the first Thursday of each month throughout the academic year and weekly during LGBTQ+ History Month. Co-sponsors come from across campus, with LGBTQ+ faculty and staff hosting the films and discussions to follow.

Learn more about SIU’s LGBTQ+ Resource Center by visiting the website. Towne also noted that there will be a welcome from the LGBTQ+ community from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, August 30 in the old main hall of the student center, and everyone is welcome.

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