|The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students features Cal Poly Pomona,|
Cal Poly Pomona has been recognized as one of the nation's best campuses for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students. The university will be featured in The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students, the first comprehensive campus guide to highlight the 100 most LGBT-friendly campuses in the United States.
“I am extremely proud to have Cal Poly Pomona's commitment to the LGBT community recognized through this publication,” said Doug Freer, vice president for Student Affairs. “We pride ourselves as being one of the most diverse campuses in the nation. Our faculty, staff and students work tirelessly to create a positive environment for everyone.”
Cal Poly Pomona was recognized for its positive environment, programs and services and LGBT student coalitions. The university was the first in the California State University system to establish a center with a full-time staff coordinator for LGBT students to provide support among the students and the greater campus community. Named the Pride Center, it provides education and resources to the campus at large on issues of sexual and gender diversity and cultural pride.
“It's wonderful to be recognized, especially since this means that more people will learn about Cal Poly Pomona and about the opportunities of feeling safe and being proud of who they are,” said Fernando Estrada, coordinator of the campus Pride Center. “This distinction emphasizes the importance of providing the necessary support to meet all students' needs – including LGBT students.”
In addition to the Pride Center, other LGBT organizations on campus include the Pride Alliance Faculty/Staff Association, Queer Students & Allies for Equality (QSAFE) student club and the Lambda Alumni Chapter.
“When I first came to Cal Poly Pomona, I was afraid to talk to anyone about myself and my sexual orientation,” said Valerie Poon, a business administration major who is active with the Pride Center. “When I found out about the Pride Alliance and Pride Center, I knew it was the perfect time for me to finally be myself without any fear. Cal Poly Pomona has supported the LGBT community in so many positive ways.”
Due for release Aug. 1, The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students profiles 100 colleges and universities from across the country that offer resources and create a positive living and learning environment for LGBT students.
“I absolutely do think a guide like this is helpful to future students because this guide may easily increase the students' knowledge and experience on how the LGBT students can safely feel supported and encouraged for being who they are on campus,” Poon added.
Campus PrideNet, the leading national organization for LGBT and ally student leaders, with support from a team of expert LGBT professionals from the National Consortium of Directors of LGBT Resources in Higher Education, developed the criteria and a questionnaire for nominations to gather feedback from current LGBT students, faculty and staff regarding personal experiences and opinions about their campus.
After receiving nominations from 680 campuses and conducting more than 5,500 online interviews, 100 campuses were selected for the book based on institutional policies, commitment and support, academic life, housing, student life, counseling and health services, campus safety, and recruitment and retention efforts. The list of 100 is broken down in multiple indexes such as region, state, type of institution and size. Individual campus profiles include information on size, tuition, admission application deadlines, gay-affirmative policies, events, LGBT student groups and resources, housing for LGBT students and more.
“The top 100 colleges and universities profiled in The Advocate College Guide lead the way for the rest of higher education to be LGBT-friendly. These campuses take to heart the value of supporting all students. … What better way for a campus to come out as LGBT-friendly?” said Shane L.Windmeyer, executive director of Campus PrideNet and author of The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students.
For more information about Campus PrideNet or to order The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students, visit www.campuspride.net.