Campus Pride Blog

Release: First-Ever National Report Chronicles the LGBT Experience at U.S. Colleges & Universities

The 2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People reveals “chilly” campus climate toward LGBT people, high rates of harassment and lack of safety, inclusiveness in policies, programs and practices across the country

CPreport.jpg_0.pngCHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today, Campus Pride, a national non-profit working to create safer, more LGBT-inclusive colleges, announced the release of a landmark research study. The most comprehensive national research of its kind to date, The 2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People documents the experiences of nearly 6,000 students, faculty, staff and administrators who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) at colleges and universities across the United States. The results point to significant harassment of LGBT students and a lack of safety and inclusiveness that exists on campuses across the country.

“National research has consistently shown that LGBT youth in kindergarten through high school encounter alarming rates of harassment, discrimination and bullying. There has never been a comprehensive national study to document what happens when these youth go to college – until now, “ said Shane Windmeyer, Campus Pride’s executive director.

Written by Campus Pride’s Q Research Institute for Higher Education (Sue Rankin, Ph.D., Dr. Warren J. Blumenfeld, Ed.D., Genevieve N. Weber, Ph.D., LMHC and Somjen Frazer, MS, Ed.), and with a foreword by George Kuh, Ph.D., The 2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People is a clarion call to action for college and university administrators, educators, student leaders and elected officials.

Some key findings:
• Lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer (LGBQ) respondents experienced significantly greater harassment and discrimination than their heterosexual allies, and those who identified as transmasculine, transfeminine, and gender non-conforming (GNC) experienced significantly higher rates of harassment than men and women

• LGBQ students were more likely than heterosexual students to have seriously considered leaving their institution as a result of harassment and discrimination.

• LGBQ Respondents of Color were more likely than their LGBQ White counterparts to indicate race as the basis for harassment, and were significantly less likely than LGBQ White respondents to feel very comfortable or comfortable in their classes (60%, 65%, respectively).

• Respondents who identified as transmasculine, transfeminine, and gender non-conforming have more negative perceptions of campus climate when compared with those who identify within the gender binary.

Dr. Susan Rankin, an Associate Professor of Education at Pennsylvania State University and lead author of the report said: “Unequivocally, The 2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People demonstrates that LGBTQQ students, faculty and staff experience a ‘chilly’ campus climate of harassment and far less than welcoming campus communities. This comprehensive report provides substantive research and the necessary recommendations to assist administrators, educators, advocates, activists, student leaders and elected officials in making university and college campuses safer and more accepting for all of its community members.”

Windmeyer added, “Now is the time to act. It is shocking that it is 2010 and less than eight percent of accredited colleges and universities in the country have LGBT inclusive policies. Colleges and universities have the responsibility to create safe learning environments for everyone, regardless of sexual identity or gender identity.”

Report findings and recommendations will be presented in a National Webinar Release on Sept. 21, and a National Congressional Policy Briefing, hosted by Campus Pride, Campus Progress and the Congressional LGBT Caucus, on Sept. 23 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. More details will be announced in the coming days.

For more information about the webinar or the policy briefing, please contact Campus Pride at (704) 277-6710 or info@campuspride.org, or visit www.campuspride.org/research.

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Campus Pride is the leading national nonprofit organization 501(c)(3) for student leaders and campus organizations working to create safer, more LGBT-friendly colleges and universities. It exists to give “voice and action” in building future LGBT and ally leaders. DONATE TODAY online at www.campuspride.org.

Campus Pride coalition partners include: ACPA-College Student Educators International, Campuspeak, Campus Progress, Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals, Gamma Mu Foundation, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Human Rights Campaign, Matthew Shepard Foundation, NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, National Youth Advocacy Coalition and Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold, LLP.