Western Illinois University recognized for LGBT-friendly climate - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Western Illinois University recognized for LGBT-friendly climate

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University has received a 4.5 out of five stars ranking for an overall campus climate score from the LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index.

Western is ranked in the top 30 percent of 343 campuses across the United States registered with the LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index (campusclimate.org). WIU received five out of five stars in multiple categories, including LGBT Student Life, LGBT Campus Safety and LGBT Counseling and Health.

The Campus Climate Index is owned and operated by Campus Pride, a national nonprofit organization that works towards creating safer, more LGBT-friendly learning environments at colleges and universities. This index was designed as a tool to assist campuses in assessing LGBT-Friendly policies, programs and practices.

"I think this rating from Campus Climate Index is a great way to put Western's name out there as an LGBTQA school," said WIU Unity President Kelsey Jones, a junior broadcasting major at WIU. "Hopefully, people can see what a great score Western received and feel comfort in knowing about the friendly and inclusive community that has developed here."

Unity, the student organization for the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer/questioning and ally (LGBTQA) community on the Macomb campus, hosts several events each year to raise awareness.

Western's University Committee on Sexual Orientation (UCOSO) has been raising awareness on campus and providing support for 25 years, with a mission to provide support, advocacy and education to the WIU community regarding issues impacting the lives of the LGBT population.

"Due to UCOSO's efforts and the support of University administration, changes have taken place over the years at Western, which have created a more inclusive, accepting campus," said Andrea Henderson, director of Equal Opportunity and Access at WIU and UCOSO member.

During the 2012-13 academic year, numerous programs and events will be sponsored by UCOSO, the LGBTQA Resource Center and Unity, including the Big Picture event Sept. 27, National Coming Out Day, the annual drag show, the equality ball and LGBTQA Awareness Week.


from WIU University Relations