UW-Madison: Makes List Of LGBT-Friendly Campuses

CONTACT: Eric Trekell, (608) 265-2480, ewtrekell@wisc.edu

MADISON – The University of Wisconsin-Madison 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.

The book profiles 100 colleges and universities nationwide that offer resources and create a positive living and learning environment for LGBT students.

A number of UW-Madison’s programs and services and LGBT Campus Center were listed among its attributes.

“Campuses were rated on a 20-point checklist,” says Eric Trekell, director of UW-Madison’s LGBT Campus Center. “We hit 17 of 20 on the checklist, which put us very close to the top 20 schools on the list.”

Among other positives, the UW-Madison was noted for having both an Ally student organization and a Safe Zone program in the residence halls. Other key points included a high level of LGBT social and educational events, visible Coming Out Week (October) and LGBT Pride Month (April) activities and LGBT-supportive health and counseling services.

“I’m excited to see the UW-Madison recognized for its efforts to make our campus inclusive and supportive of LGBT students, faculty and staff,” says Max Camp, a 2006 graduate and long-time LGBT student activist. “There’s always room for improvement on LGBT issues, such as our lack of domestic partnership benefits, but during my time at the UW, I’ve seen students, faculty and staff working together to increase resources and services for LGBT students, and to make the campus culture very welcoming to all.”

Trekell adds, “The lack of domestic partnership benefits was a major drawback to our performance in the ratings. The authors noted specifically that we are the only Big Ten institution without them.”

Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus PrideNet, a national organization for LGBT and student leaders, is the author of the book, which was released Aug. 1 by Alyson Publications.

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.

An article Trekell submitted, titled “7 Ways For Campus Safety to Support LGBT Students” was also included in the book. The article appears in a section called “Advice for Campus Officials to Improve LGBT Efforts.” The section is designed to help campus administrators review and improve campus policies and procedures that impact LGBT students.

For more information on the LGBT Campus Center, visit http://lgbtcc.studentorg.wisc.edu/.