University of Michigan named a national ‘Best of the Best’ LGBTQ-friendly campus

Pride Month

ANN ARBOR – The University of Michigan has been named one of the country’s “Best of the Best” schools by Campus Pride for establishing a safe and welcoming campus for its LGBTQ community members.

Campus Pride is a nonprofit that leads development and support programs on college campuses with LGBTQ students, allies and organizations to create more inclusive and LGBTQ-friendly environments.

Overall, 40 campuses were highlighted on this year’s list and U-M in Ann Arbor and Oakland University were the only two universities in the state of Michigan to be featured.

They received five out of five stars on the nonprofit’s Campus Pride Index -- a benchmarking tool for assessing LGBTQ-friendly programs, policies and practices.

Schools that made this year’s “Best of the Best” list achieved a score of 93 percent or higher on the index.

“LGBTQ youth and families want to know what campuses are doing when it comes to inclusive policies, programs and practices,” executive director of Campus Pride and creator of the Campus Pride Index Shane Windmeyer said in a statement. “The ‘Best of the Best’ highlights the Top 40 this year across various regions throughout the country. Campus Pride applauds the growing number of campuses that are ‘coming out’ and wanting to be the ‘Best of the Best’ each year.”

U-M’s Spectrum Center, which originally opened as the Human Sexuality Office in 1971, was the country’s first-ever office on a college campus dedicated to supporting members of the LGBTQ community.

“The University of Michigan has made a real commitment to supporting inclusiveness and creating an environment where LGBTQ+ students, faculty and staff can feel like they belong,” said interim director of the Spectrum Center Jesse Beal. “It’s a continuous journey to build and maintain an inclusive campus community free of discrimination in all forms.”

Among inclusive policies at U-M include individuals’ ability to modify, add or delete their designated pronouns on the university record. University Health Service has a gender-affirming care team which offers services to non-binary and transgender patients. The school’s health care plans also cover several gender-affirming services that are medically necessary for transgender community members.

To see the complete list of Campus Pride’s 2022 “Best of the Best” colleges and universities, click here.

To see the Campus Pride Index, click here.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.