University garners praise from LGBT group

Campus Pride – a non-profit organization dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues – gave GW an overall rating of 4.5 out of five stars for the intuitions positive approach to the LGBT community.

In five of the eight categories that Campus Pride used to rate GW – support and institutional commitment, student life, housing, campus safety, counseling and heath – the University achieved perfect scores.

Campus Pride gave GW four and half stars for policy inclusion, three and half stars for academics and four and a half stars for recruitment and retention.

Out of 295 colleges that submitted self-assessments to Campus Pride for evaluation, GW was one of several high-rankings schools in the District. American University earned five stars, while University of Maryland, College Park earned four and a half stars. Georgetown and George Mason received four stars.

Timothy Kane, director of the University’s LGBT resource center, declined to comment on the University’s future goals to improve in the three lower-scoring categories.

The University has made steps in further supporting the LGBT community in the last three years, including the University’s historic decision to approve gender-neutral housing last December.

The University launched the LGBT resource center to meet students’ demand for additional services and support on campus in 2008, and adopted a fully inclusive LGBT nondiscrimination policy the next year.

“We have made a lot of progress in a short period of time,” Michael Komo, president of Allied in Pride Graduate Students, said. “There are a lot of different polls and surveys that rank LGBT inclusion. We have been moving up slowly but surely in them.”

Twice in four years, the University has been without a director for the LGBT resource center – an often-criticized point by members of the LGBT community. Kane was hired in March to lead the center.

Shane Windmeyer, a member of the Campus Pride outreach team, said that colleges commonly score low on two inclusion factors – housing and recruitment and retention.

This article was updated on August 30, 2011 to reflect the following:
Based on misinformation from Campus Pride, The Hatchet reported that GW received four stars. In fact, the University received 4.5 stars.

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