Princeton in top 20 for LGBT support

Aug. 1, 2006, 4:02 p.m.

Advocate Magazine, the national newsmagazine for LGBT issues, has named Princeton University one of the top 20 campuses supportive of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students in the country.

The classification appears in the list "100 Best LGBT Campuses" featured in the new book The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students released Aug. 1. The book profiles 100 colleges in alphabetical order and includes a separate "Best of the Best Top 20 Campuses" list on which Princeton is featured. The 20 are not numerically ranked.

"We are pleased to be recognized for our efforts to create an environment that is inclusive, and for the opportunity it brings to highlight our commitment to diversity," said Terri Harris Reed, the University's vice provost for institutional equity and diversity. "Princeton wants every member of our community to have the opportunity to thrive and to excel in the roles they play in helping us achieve our core teaching and research mission."

Leaders of efforts on behalf of Princeton's LGBT students said the recognition by Advocate Magazine speaks to the progress the University has made to foster a safe and welcoming environment for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students.

"Princeton has a vibrant and quickly expanding LGBT community, and the University's staff and administration are incredibly proactive in serving it," said Debbie Bazarsky, director of Princeton's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Center. "While we always encourage students to rely on a variety of measures, rather than rankings, to find the best educational fit for them, it is exceedingly gratifying to be recognized for our dedicated efforts to support LGBT students, including the opening of our newly constructed LGBT Center."

Princeton was one of 680 colleges and universities to respond to a survey of initiatives supporting LGBT students developed by the national volunteer organization PrideNet with the support of the National Consortium of Directors of LGBT Resources in Higher Education. According to Bazarsky, the University's placement in the top 20 owes to Princeton's availability of resources for both students and employees.

Among the many initiatives and services for students, the University has numerous ally and student organizations; health and counseling services; LGBT course offerings; and social and educational activities, including an LGBT graduation ceremony.

Princeton also ranked highly for having some of the largest LGBT administrative support nationwide; a nondiscrimination statement that became the second at a higher education institution in the country to include sexual orientation in 1985; domestic partner benefits; and the integration of sexual orientation concerns into University documents. In spring of this year, the University amended its nondiscrimination statement and the "Respect for Others" section of its policy document Rights, Rules, Responsibilities to include gender identity.