On Tuesday, news broke that #Kent State University was ranked in the top tier of the US News & World Report 2017 list of Best Colleges. Kent State is the only public university in northeast Ohio to achieve this distinction. That’s certainly impressive, but how does Kent State compare to other colleges on #LGBTQ issues?
Kent State LGBTQ-Friendly Ranking
Campus Pride is a nonprofit group which ranks colleges by measures of LGBTQ safety and inclusiveness. Their Campus Pride Index gives Kent State 3.5 out of five stars. Youngstown State, the only other northeastern Ohio university listed, is rated three out of five.
Statewide, Kent State is right in the middle. It ranks above Heidelberg University, University of Cincinnati, Baldwin Wallace University and Ohio Wesleyan University. Kent State ranks below Case Western Reserve University, Ohio University, The Ohio State University and Wright State University. The College of Wooster and Kent State have the same ranking.
However, Campus Pride Index doesn’t reflect a recent success for Kent’s LGBTQ students: The new LGBTQ Living Learning Community in Korb Hall. As Cleveland’s local Fox 8 News reported, one floor of Korb Hall is now specifically designated for the LGBTQ community and allies.
Students Decide: Is Kent LGBTQ-Friendly?
To learn more, Fusion spoke with students at the LGBTQ Student Center about how LGBTQ-friendly they believe Kent State to be.
“While Kent is comparatively LGBTQ-friendly when it comes to other colleges and universities across the country, overall it’s somewhere more in the middle,” says Brien Thompson, a psychology and sociology student.
Fusion: What could improve it?
Thompson: “Probably better policies. More work on [existing] policies, such as the Living Learning Community. The expansion of that into a bigger field than just a single floor.”
English student Sylvia Clark also shared her thoughts.
“Kent State’s pretty accepting, just based on my own experiences. I haven’t been here very long. But it seems like if you know the right people, then you’re good. I don’t get harassed or anything. Institutionally, we have all the ‘amenities,’ I want to say, the things that we need to thrive and flourish. At the last Trans*fusion meeting, we tried to think of things for advocacy and it amounted to, ‘well, we live in a trans utopia bubble.’ So, as far as what the college provides us, we’re in good standing. But that’s not going to change the way people think. It’s not going to change the way people interact with us. As far as the school goes, on the books it’s pretty friendly. Otherwise, it depends.”