The University of Maryland has been ranked the fifth best college in the nation for LGBTQ+ students, rising two spots from a previous listing. In a collaborative ranking with Campus Pride and Best Colleges, UMD continues to demonstrate its strong commitment to the LGBTQ+ community.
The joint ranking combines Best Colleges’ academic and affordability metrics and the Campus Pride Index Score, which measures LGBTQ-friendly campus life in a national rating system. Only universities with an above average rating, indicating excellent performance in all eight of the LGBTQ-inclusive factors on the Campus Pride Index, were considered.
“This recognition acknowledges our institutional commitment to become a fully equitable community that supports our LGBTQ+ populations,” said Luke Jensen, Ph.D., director, LGBT Equity Center. “It also indicates academic and affordable qualities that make our campus a great option for LGBTQ+ students. ” Jensen continued, “Our commitment to becoming a fully equitable campus is strong. We will persist in seeking new and innovative strategies to address issues that may diminish our most vulnerable populations, especially transgender people and LGBTQ+ people of color.”
UMD’s LGBT Equity Center was featured prominently in the university’s evaluation, which cited access to support groups, peer counseling services, resources for trangender students and information about health care. Other Center-led programs also contributed to the ranking:
The Rainbow Terrapin Network focused recently on a TransTerps Campaign. This effort offers tools for offices and student groups to assess and continuously improve their good practices for trans inclusion on campus. Dozens of departments and groups on campus have accessed their resources and are working to improve the climate for trans and nonbinary people.
The Lavender Leadership Honor Society, a first-of-its-kind collegiate leadership honor society, focuses on LGBTQ+ social justice. The society has inducted over 100 UMD students, staff, faculty, and alumni. Honorary inductions have included notable figures such as Eboné Bell, founder of the lesbian and queer focused Tagg Magazine, and Urooj Arshad, LGBTQ+ Muslim advocate.
Since 2015, UMD's LGBT Equity Center in collaboration with Education Abroad has hosted the Somewhere Over the Rainbow conference biennially. This symposium is a professional development on sexual orientation and gender identity in international education. Participants have come from throughout the U.S. and from Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
For more information on UMD’s LGBT Equity Center, visit: https://lgbt.umd.edu/