5 Out of 5 Stars for PSU as an LGBT Friendly Climate
The Campus Climate Index has award Penn State the maximum 5 star award for their LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgendered)-friendly policies, programs, and practices. Penn State was cited for its numerous LGBT student organizations, programs, and academic and personal development opportunities as well as the respect and benefits given to LGBT students and faculty alike.
The university provides funding for the Commission on LGBT Equity, the LGBTA Student Resource Center, the LGBT Support Network (Safe Zone Program), and the LGBT Mentorship Program. Penn State has close to ten LGBT student groups, including Axis, Undertones, SpeakOUT, The Coalition of LGBT Graduate Students, oSTEM, Delta Lambda Phi, Rainbow Roundtable, Outlaw, and Out in Business. The university also offers over thirty LGBT-related courses. PSU doesn’t shy on events either; Penn State campuses host educational programs for LGBTIAQ communities featuring nationally and internationally renowned speakers and performers, in addition to Lavender Graduation and National Coming Out & Pride Week activities.
But Penn State goes beyond extracurriculars. Undergraduate and graduate transgendered students who are enrolled in the university’s student health insurance plan will be eligible for hormone therapy as part of regular coverage. The university provides staff and faculty and community LGBTIAQ social groups as well as a host of student groups who are supported by the university through listservs and meeting space allocation. This fall, Penn State is even offering a Sexuality and Gender Minor.
Honestly, I think that this recognized acceptance is the combination of two things: our generation’s acceptance towards most things, like sexual orientation, but more importantly, the fact that being a Nittany Lion and a member of the Penn State community means more than any minority status. Maybe Campus Climate was a little too generous, maybe not. I’m not a member of the demographic so it’s impossible for me to accurately judge how well LGBT students are treated. Do y’all think we deserve such a nice ranking?