For the fifth year in a row, Campus Pride selected San Diego State University as a top LGBT-friendly university.
"We are deeply honored to have been selected as one of our nation's most LGBT-friendly campuses," said SDSU President Elliot Hirshman. "This honor reflects the important steps our faculty, staff, students and alumni have taken in opening our Pride Center, advancing our LGBT studies programs and pursuing initiatives such as the Trans week of empowerment. These collective efforts move us forward as an inclusive, welcoming campus."
SDSU’s high-ranking achievement stems from the multitude of resources and support for LGBT students on campus.
"While it is thrilling to see the resources, organizations and initiatives on this campus being recognized nationwide, I also see this recognition as a renewed call to action," said Anthony Keen, coordinator of The Pride Center at SDSU.
"The action and initiative of students, alumni, staff, and faculty have driven our success with regards to LGBTQ inclusion. I see this as a reminder to not only live up to this recognition, but continue our campus' work in support of visibility, resources, and community building."
The annual rating takes LGBT policy inclusion, support and institutional commitment, academic life, student life, housing, campus safety, counseling and health and recruitment and retention efforts into account when compiling the top-50 list. The listing is based on responses to the Campus Pride Index, a national benchmarking tool which self-assesses LGBT-friendly policies, programs and practices.
According to Campus Pride, a college had to achieve 5 stars overall in order to be in the top 50 as well as have the highest percentages across the eight LGBT-friendly benchmarks for policy, program and practice.
“The overwhelming majority of the student body tries to be very inclusive,” said English major Lou Tabalon.
The 20-year-old said fellow students have encouraged challenging conventional thinking about gender and inspired Lou to fight for equality for all people, regardless of what gender a person might choose to identify with
“At SDSU, I’m not afraid to walk down the street in high heels,” Tabalon added. “When I wear a dress to class, I’m not judged. Professors have been really supportive and have asked me what pronouns I prefer to be referred to with and other ways they can support me as an individual.”
Each year SDSU hosts a Rainbow Flag Raising Ceremony at the beginning of San Diego Pride Week to jumpstart the week of LGBT-friendly festivities. Past ceremonies have included Boy Scouts of America members and uniformed members of the United States military.
SDSU opened The Pride Center, which creates, sustains, and strengthens an open, inclusive, safe and affirming gathering space and campus environment for persons of all sexual and gender identities and their allies. The goal of the center is to foster campus-wide dialogue about education, awareness, intellectual exploration, understanding and research on issues related to sexuality and gender.
The Pride Center provides resources and support services to assist students in their process of sexual and gender self-identity development and to address the unique needs and challenges of students who may experience discrimination, alienation, disenfranchisement, harassment, intimidation or other barriers to student success as a result of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.
SafeZones@SDSU works to ensure a campus atmosphere that is welcoming, informative, educational, and safe for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and ally students, faculty, staff, administrators and members of the campus community.
SDSU was the second university in the nation and the first in California to offer an undergraduate degree in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender studies. The university has offered a minor in LGBT studies since 2009 and the major began in 2012.