UCF was listed recently as the top college for LGBTQ+ students in Florida on the Campus Pride Index created by BestColleges.com.
The list ranked higher-education institutions on their academics, affordability and LGBTQ+ services.
Edwanna Andrews, director of the university’s Social Justice and Advocacy, says the recognition was for “the great work and efforts we have made to ensure our LGBTQ+ students are valued at UCF.”
Among the reasons UCF was chosen, Campus Pride said the university’s LGBTQ+ Services, which is part of Student Development and Enrollment Services, connects students with community members and resources, developed a map of 20 gender-neutral restrooms, and has the Lavender Council, a student advisory committee that promotes services for the community.
UCF also offers a mentoring program that matches LGBTQ+ faculty and staff mentors with students to provide professional-development support and encourage students throughout their academic careers.
Campus Pride credited the university for offering a gender and orientation-language diversity workshop and a coming out workshop, which provide forums for students and allies to learn and discuss challenges.
UCF instituted a “Preferred Name” policy last year, listing the preferred name of trans students—as opposed to their birth name—on class rosters, student IDs, and university records. Campus housing also instructs residence staff about LGBTQ+ issues and helps students find LGBTQ+-friendly roommates through a roommate-matching system.
Colin Weickmann, spokesman for BestColleges.com, said UCF, like the other universities on the list, provides both a quality academic experience and a safe and inclusive space for LGBTQ+ students.
“Nationwide, many LGBTQ students attend colleges near their homes, for reasons ranging from family support to financial aid, and your school provides an inclusive and educational environment where they can get their degree without compromising on their location,” Weickmann says. “We are excited to celebrate the work you’ve done and the welcoming and safe campus you’ve created in your state.”
The university’s LGBTQ+ resources can be found in The LGBTQ+ Guide to Campus.