UIC among top LGBTQ-friendly campuses

Lavendar Graduation participants

Students celebrate at the UIC Gender and Sexuality Center’s annual Lavender Graduation.

For the third year in a row, UIC is among the nation’s top 50 campuses for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students, according to the Campus Pride Index.

UIC received a five-star rating by the group — the highest ranking possible — for its LGBTQ policy inclusion, support and institutional commitment, student life, campus safety and more.

“UIC has a strong commitment to diversity, and that diversity includes LGBTQ people,” said Megan Carney, director of the Gender and Sexuality Center. “We have leadership at the university that can stand up as an ally.”

The Campus Pride Index, which includes 425 colleges and universities, is based on questionnaire responses provided by participating institutions. This year’s list recognizes the top 50 universities; previous rankings included the top 25 campuses in the nation.

UIC’s LGBTQ community had much to celebrate during the past academic year, including the historic signing of Illinois’ same-sex marriage law, Carney said. Gov. Pat Quinn selected UIC to host the signing ceremony
on Nov. 20, 2013.

“We were proud to have that happen on our campus,” Carney said.

Another highlight was the Board of Trustees’ approval of a request from students in May 2013 to cover gender reassignment procedures under the CampusCare student health insurance plan, Carney said.

“That was the result of student effort and advocacy over the course of three years,” she said.

The Gender and Sexuality Center will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year with special events and programming.

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