For a third consecutive year, Kent State University has been selected as one the nation’s top universities for LGBTQ+ students for creating a safe, welcoming environment for students, faculty and staff, according to Campus Pride, a leading resource for LGBTQ+ leadership development, diversity inclusion and advocacy within higher education.
Kent State joins only one other Ohio university on the 2022 list of 40 four-year institutions named to Campus Pride’s annual Best of the Best Colleges and Universities for LGBTQ+ students in the United States. Kent State is the only institution in northern Ohio to receive the honor.
“Being named to this list indicates a continued commitment to serving the needs of our LGBTQ+ community here at Kent State,” said Lamar R. Hylton, Ph.D., senior vice president for student affairs at Kent State. “I am incredibly proud of the work emanating from the LGBTQ+ Center along with the work of our campus and community partners.”
Kent State’s LGBTQ+ Center connects students to valuable university and community resources and provides students with meaningful involvement and leadership opportunities. Some of those resources include the QUEST Mentorship Program, the LGBTQ Library, the LGBTQ+ Emergency Fund, the LGBTQ Studies minor, university counseling services, university legal services, the universal restroom map, the chosen name change process and gender-inclusive housing.
Campuses selected as Best of the Best have achieved 5 out of 5 stars on the Campus Pride Index, the definitive national benchmarking tool measuring LGBTQ-friendly policies, programs and practices. To earn a ranking of 5 out of 5 stars, campuses receive a percentage score from 90 to 100 based on their LGBTQ-inclusive policies, programs and practices. The methodology to determine this year’s Best of the Best list was based on an overall score of 93% or higher.
This is the third year in a row that Kent State has earned a perfect 5 out of 5 stars on the Campus Pride Index.
“Our commitment and advocacy for all LGBTQ+ students and allies creates a welcoming space and aligns with the university’s mission of an inclusive environment,” said Yvonna Washington-Greer, Kent State’s assistant vice president for equity, identity and success. “It will also provide motivation for us to maintain this standard for future Flashes.”
Kent State has a long history of LGBTQ support and action. PRIDE! Kent (formerly the Kent Gay Liberation Front) was founded in 1971 and is one of the oldest continually operating LGBTQ+ organizations in the nation. In 1972, Dolores Noll, Ph.D., became the first professor to teach a gay and lesbian course at Kent State. In 2001, Kent State became the first university in Ohio and one of a dozen LGBT Studies programs in the country. Kent State celebrated the grand opening of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Student Center, now called the LGBTQ+ Center, in 2010.
For more information about Kent State’s LGBTQ+ Center, visit www.kent.edu/lgbtq.