SMU gets 4 stars for gay-friendliness

Posted on 22 Aug 2011 at 3:48pm

The group Campus Pride has given Southern Methodist University 4 out of 5 stars in its LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index. This stands in stark contrast to the Princeton Review’s ratings, which ranked SMU among the 20 most gay-unfriendly campuses in the country.

Karen Click, director of the SMU Women’s Center for Gender and Pride Initiatives, said of the Campus Pride rating, “What we’re doing, we get graded very high on.”

Click said Campus Pride is helpful with suggestions, and a faculty and staff LGBT group began as a result of a comment from last year’s survey.

She said that with housing, for example, other campuses offer to match a gay person with an LGBT-accepting person. SMU doesn’t offer that service yet.

Princeton Review bases its score entirely on student surveys. Campus Pride looks at school policies and activities. But in student life, the group gave SMU 5 stars. Below is the breakdown of SMU’s rating from Campus Pride:

3.5 Stars 3.5 of 5 LGBT Policy Inclusion
4.5 Stars 4.5 of 5 LGBT Support & Institutional Commitment
4.5 Stars 4.5 of 5 LGBT Academic Life
5 Stars 5 of 5 LGBT Student Life
3 Stars 3 of 5 LGBT Housing & Residence Life
3.5 Stars 3.5 of 5 LGBT Campus Safety
4.5 Stars 4.5 of 5 LGBT Counseling & Health
3.5 Stars 3.5 of 5 LGBT Recruitment and Retention Efforts

Baylor, which fell off of the Princeton Review’s bottom 20 this year, is not rated by Campus Pride. A school official must answer a questionnaire about policies and probably no one from the school responded. University of Dallas, also a regular on the Princeton Review’s list, does not appear on the Campus Pride list.

The University of Texas at Austin also received 4 stars.

Navarro College in Corsicana, with a new and very active Gay Straight Alliance, received a 1-star rating.

Rice University in Houston received 4.5 stars.

Texas A&M, which also ranked in the bottom 20 in the Princeton Review, was given 3 stars by Campus Pride.

Texas State University-San Marcos also got 3 stars. So did the University of North Texas.

The University of Houston’s main campus received 2.5 stars.

Nationally, 33 schools received a 5-star rating from Campus Pride. None are in Texas.

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