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UMD Ranks Among Top Colleges for LGBTQ+ Students

By Maryland Today Staff

The University of Maryland ranks No. 5 among best colleges in the nation for LGBTQ+ students, according to a new ranking from Best Colleges and Campus Pride.

The joint ranking combines Best College’s academic and affordability metrics with Campus Pride’s Index Score, a rating system that measures LGBTQ-friendly campus life. Only universities with excellent performance on all eight factors in the index—from LGBTQ policy inclusion to recruitment and retention—were considered. UMD moved up two spots from its previous performance in 2017.

“This recognition acknowledges our institutional commitment to become a fully equitable community that supports our LGBTQ+ populations,” said Luke Jensen, director of the LGBT Equity Center. “It also indicates academic and affordable qualities that make our campus a great option for LGBTQ+ students. … We will persist in seeking new and innovative strategies to address issues that may diminish our most vulnerable populations, especially transgender people and LGBTQ+ people of color.”

The LGBT Equity Center featured prominently in an evaluation for the ranking, which cited access to support groups, peer counseling services, resources for transgender students and information about health care.

Other center-led programs also contributed to the ranking:

  • The Rainbow Terrapin Network focused recently on a TransTerps Campaign. This effort offers tools for offices and student groups to assess and continuously improve their practices for trans inclusion on campus.
  • The Lavender Leadership Honor Society, a first-of-its-kind collegiate leadership honor society, has inducted over 100 UMD students, staff, faculty and alumni. Honorary inductions have included Eboné Bell, founder of the lesbian- and queer-focused Tagg Magazine, and Urooj Arshad, LGBTQ+ Muslim advocate.
  • Since 2015, the University of Maryland has hosted the Somewhere Over the Rainbow conference. Participants come from around the world for this biennial professional development symposium on sexual orientation and gender identity in international education.

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