Northern Kentucky University is one of the nation’s best campuses for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students, according to Campus Pride, a national benchmarking tool for colleges and universities.
Campus Pride creates an annual Best of the Best LGBT-friendly schools featuring the top forty that rate the highest for creating safe LGBT-inclusive policies, programs and practices. This is the first time NKU has received the honor of making the Best of the Best list, and it’s the region’s only university to do so.
“What makes NKU unique is that we only have an office, whereas many other institutions have dedicated centers and numerous staff members,” said Dr. Bonnie Meyer, director of NKU’s LGBTQ Program and Services. “However, inclusivity doesn’t just happen solely in an office. This is an effort made by our entire campus community. It’s the partners across campus shifting the culture and integrating LGBTQA support into their work.”
In the LGBTQ acronym, Q often stands for queer and/or questioning, while the additional A references asexual or aromantic.
Early this year, NKU received its first 5-star ranking from the Campus Pride Index, the resource’s highest designation. The Campus Pride Index assesses nearly 400 institutions’ LGBTQ-inclusion efforts from academics, student life, housing and recruitment and retention activities. NKU ranked as one of the nation’s best 30 campus, receiving high remarks for its advocacy and resources like the Name Change Form and a new P.R.I.D.E. Mentor Program that connects students with alumni.
“At NKU, we strive to have an inclusive campus community that welcomes students of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions,” said NKU’s Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Darryl Peal. “Moreover, we invite students to self-disclose a gender identity or sexual orientation on our Admissions application and in University Housing, so they are able to be their authentic selves and live in a community that celebrates their orientation, protects their inherent dignity and guards their equal and inalienable rights.”
NKU continues to celebrate LGBTQ History Month with events throughout October. Community members are invited to play “Drag Bingo” with Roxxxy Andrews, from RuPaul’s Drag Race, on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
To learn more about NKU’s Office of LGBTQ Programs and Services, visit its website.