MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ? Middlebury College has been recognized as one of the 100 best campuses for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students in "The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students," the first comprehensive campus guide to offer such a list in the United States. Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus PrideNet, a national organization for LGBT and student leaders, is the author of the book, which will be released Aug. 1 by Alyson Publications. According to Windmeyer, Middlebury's positive environment, programs and services and LGBT student coalition were cause for the recognition.
"Middlebury College continually distinguishes itself by providing an atmosphere of respect and camaraderie among its students, including those in our LGBT family. Being selected and recognized nationally as a queer-friendly and supportive campus is a tremendous honor," said Shawn Rae Passalacqua, Middlebury College assistant director of admissions and staff advisor to Middlebury Open Queer Alliance (MOQA), a student organization. Passalacqua is also a 1993 Middlebury College graduate.
The book profiles 100 colleges and universities nationwide that offer resources and create a positive living and learning environment for LGBT students. Campus PrideNet, with support from a team of 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, Windmeyer and Campus PrideNet selected 100 campuses to be listed in 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 is sorted by indexes such as region, state, type of institution and size. Individual campus profiles include information on 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 Windmeyer.