UIC ranks among ‘Best of the Best’ for LGBTQ students

Students and employees attend the UIC Pride Picnic June 15. (Joshua Clark/University of Illinois Chicago)

The University of Illinois Chicago is named among the nation’s top 40 Best of the Best LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges and Universities by Campus Pride, the preeminent resource for LGBTQ+ leadership development, diversity, inclusion and advocacy in higher education.

UIC is among just three universities in Illinois to receive the honor. Universities included in the ranking have received an overall score of 93% or higher on the Campus Pride Index, a tool that measures LGBTQ-friendly policies, programs and practices.

“We are truly honored to be recognized by Campus Pride for our support of LGBTQIA+ students, faculty and staff at UIC as they explore and affirm their intersectional identities,” said Amalia Pallares, vice chancellor for diversity, equity and engagement.

“Social justice is at the heart of our existence, and we will continue to build and promote a welcoming and positive climate for all of our students.”

In the Campus Pride Index, UIC earned five out of five stars overall and received top scores for LGBTQ academic and student life, housing, campus safety, and recruitment and retention efforts. The university also was recognized for its campus resources and support services for students.

UIC reinforces its commitment to inclusion with resources such as the UIC Gender and Sexuality Center, which promotes engaged thinking, learning and action with students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members.

“Being part of Campus Pride’s 2022 Best of the Best Top 40 List for LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges and Universities is an honor because the recognition validates the work of the UIC Gender and Sexuality Center and the staff’s commitment in providing programs and services for the LGBTQIA+ communities on campus,” said Mark Martell, interim director of the Gender and Sexuality Center. “This is possible due to the partnership with faculty, staff, students and community organizations who engage with the GSC and make the GSC a valuable resource on campus.”

Other campus resources include the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People; the UIC Bias Reporting Tool; all-gender restrooms; LGBTQ+ inclusive care at UI Health; ally resources and more.

“Campus Pride created the Best of the Best List to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of these colleges and universities, creating safer, more welcoming campuses for LGBTQ+ people,” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride. “Students, prospective students, and their families, along with faculty and staff members, deserve to know whether they will be safe on campus, so they can make the best choices for their own academic success — and by creating inclusive, safe environments these colleges are taking responsibility for all students.”

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