UMass ranked in top 25 for LGBTQ students

By Anthony Rentsch

(Collegian File Photo)
(Collegian File Photo)

The University of Massachusetts is again near the top of list for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning students.

In a listing compiled by Campus Pride, a national nonprofit that focuses on making college campuses safer for LGBTQ students, UMass ranked among the top 25 for LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities.

UMass received a five-star rating – the highest it could receive – on the Campus Pride Index, which is “an overall indicator of institutional commitment to LGBTQ-inclusive policy, program and practice,” according to its website. Only seven other schools in the country were given five stars, according to a news release.

“This is the fifth consecutive year that UMass Amherst has had the highest rating in the Index,” Director of the Stonewall Center Genny Beemyn said in a statement. “I am proud of all of the work done on campus this past year to make sure that we remain one of the best colleges in the country for LGBTQ students.”

Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride and creator of the Campus Pride Index, said the Index has been updated recently to reflect the growing needs of transgender and non-gender conforming students.

Within the last year, UMass has taken steps to be more inclusive of the different gender identities of its students.

At the beginning of the spring semester, UMass implemented a new policy that encouraged “students, staff, faculty, and campus guests (to) use the bathroom facilities that correspond to their sex or gender identity, or utilize bathrooms that are designated gender-neutral or gender-inclusive.”

Tufts University and Williams College were other Massachusetts schools named in the top 25.

Anthony Rentsch can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Anthony_Rentsch.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Tufts was the only other Massachusetts school named in the top 25. It has since been corrected.