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SOU LGBTQ Pride

SOU earns top Campus Pride ranking for LGBTQ-friendliness

NEWS RELEASE
(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University has been recognized by Campus Pride for the sixth year in a row as one of the nation’s Top 30 LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges and Universities.

Campus Pride is a nonprofit that supports and improves campus life for LGBTQ people on more than 1,400 U.S. campuses. The Campus Pride list is considered the most reliable list of LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities.

SOU earned five out of five stars on the Campus Pride Index, which ranks universities in each of eight categories: policy inclusion, support and institutional commitment, academic life, student life, housing and residence life, campus safety, counseling and health, and recruitment and retention efforts. SOU drew five-star rankings in six of the categories and four-and-a-half stars in the other two.

Thomas Arce, coordinator of SOU’s Queer Resource Center, said the recognition from Campus Pride is a testament to equity and inclusion efforts throughout the university.

“Southern Oregon University’s commitment to LGBTQ+ student success is unparalleled,” Arce said. “That includes living in the residence halls, accessing health and wellness resources, finding a community to befriend, studying queer and feminist scholars, and simply thriving in an inclusive and affirming campus environment, where it’s OK to be one’s authentic self.

“I’m grateful to be part of the many collaborative ventures with students, faculty and staff to make the LGBTQ+ experience at SOU prideful.”

SOU was also named as one the of the nation’s top LGBTQ-friendly universities by Affordable Colleges Online in 2018, with special recognition given to the Queer Resource Center and the university’s gender-inclusive housing.

The Campus Pride list of the top 30 LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities included three Oregon institutions: SOU, the University of Oregon and Portland State University. Only three other states – New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – had three colleges or universities on this year’s list.

Arce said that some of the activities and services that make SOU stand out as welcoming to LGBTQ students are the presence of sexual orientation and gender identity in the university’s non-discrimination policy; gender-inclusive housing options; the stand-alone Queer Resource Center; and LGBTQ-related academic offerings through the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Program. SOU also participates in LGBTQ-specific college fairs and its counseling and health staff provide queer- and trans-friendly services.

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SOU LGBTQ Friendly

SOU earns high LGBTQ-friendly ranking in online guide

NEWS RELEASE

(Ashland, Oregon) — Southern Oregon University has been recognized by a third publication in the past year as one of the nation’s most LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities.

Affordable Colleges Online, a popular website that offers various rankings and advice for prospective students, placed SOU seventh on its list of the 69 most LGBTQ-friendly universities in the country. SOU is the highest-ranked Oregon university on the list, which also includes University of Oregon, Portland State University and Oregon State University.

“This recognition is important during these times, since our SOU students are navigating their sense of belonging on a campus that appreciates and celebrates their diverse gender, affectionate and sexual identities,” said Thomas Arce, coordinator of the SOU Queer Resource Center, “From their peers, to faculty and staff, we have created a welcoming environment for SOU students and understand there’s still growth to be made.”

SOU was recognized last fall, for the fifth year in a row, as one of the nation’s Top 25 LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges and Universities by Campus Pride, a nonprofit that supports and improves campus life for LGBTQ people on more than 1,400 U.S. campuses. The university also ranked 21st among the 50 best colleges for LGBTQ students by the online publication College Choice.

Criteria for the most recent list from Affordable Colleges Online included having an LGBTQ support center, inclusive housing, LGBTQ scholarships and college affordability. The ranking mentions SOU’s Queer Resource Center, gender-inclusive housing, Lavender Graduation celebrations for LGBTQ graduates and availability of a gender-inclusive Greek life option for students seeking to improve their professionalism.

SOU includes sexual orientation and gender identity in its non-discrimination policy and offers LGBTQ-related academic offerings through its Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Program. SOU also participates in LGBTQ-specific college fairs, and its counseling and health staff provide queer- and trans-friendly services.

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SOU earns top LGBTQ-friendly ranking for fifth year in a row


NEWS RELEASE (available online at https://goo.gl/NnggdH)
(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University has been recognized for the fifth year in a row as one of the nation’s Top 25 LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges and Universities by Campus Pride, a nonprofit that supports and improves campus life for LGBTQ people on more than 1,400 U.S. campuses.
SOU earned five out of five stars overall on the Campus Pride Index, which ranks universities in each of eight categories: policy inclusion, support and institutional commitment, academic life, student life, housing and residence life, campus safety, counseling and health, and recruitment and retention efforts. SOU drew five-star rankings in six of the categories and four-and-a-half stars in the other two.
Thomas Arce, coordinator of SOU’s Queer Resource Center, said this week’s Campus Pride recognition is meaningful for prospective and current LGBTQ students, particularly during a period of political polarization on the national level.
“Knowing that the campus they attend or plan to attend pays close attention to these efforts of inclusion and identity are key for their academic and social success in college,” Arce said.
SOU was also ranked 21st among the 50 best colleges for LGBTQ students by the online publication College Choice, which released its 2017 rankings in July.
The Campus Pride list of the top 25 LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities included three Oregon institutions: SOU, the University of Oregon and Portland State University. It also included two universities in Washington and two in California; New Jersey is the only other state with three colleges or universities on the list.
Arce said that some of the activities and services that make SOU stand out as welcoming to LGBTQ students are the presence of sexual orientation and gender identity in the university’s non-discrimination policy; gender-inclusive housing options; the stand-alone Queer Resource Center; and LGBTQ-related academic offerings through the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Program. SOU also participates in LGBTQ-specific college fairs and its counseling and health staff provide queer- and trans-friendly services.
“These are just some of avenues that we’re evaluated on, and (that) provide a culture of care specifically for our LGBTQ students to thrive and persist at SOU,” Arce said.
The Campus Pride list is considered the most trusted and reliable list of LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities, said Shane Windmeyer, the organization’s executive director and creator of the Campus Pride Index. “These are the campuses leading the way for LGBTQ inclusion and who have come out to support LGBTQ students from the first day of classes through graduation day,” Windmeyer said.
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About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon – and one of the first in the nation – to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power. It is the first university in the nation to balance 100 percent of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.

SOU rated among nation’s 50 Best Colleges for LGBTQ Students


NEWS RELEASE (available online at https://goo.gl/7sZRsu)
(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University has been ranked 21st among the 50 Best Colleges for LGBTQ Students in 2017, according to the online publication College Choice. The new ranking is in line with that of Campus Pride, which has rated SOU as one of the nation’s 30 most LGBTQ-friendly campuses for the past four years.
In its ranking, College Choice cited the findings of Campus Pride – a leading educational organization for LGBTQ college students and campus groups – and also pointed to the university’s “impressive academics” and numerous resources for LGBTQ students.
“Recognitions similar to this one are important for our current and prospective students, especially as some juggle multiple factors in college choice, and in choosing to stay at SOU,” said Thomas Arce, coordinator of SOU’s Queer Resource Center.
“Our campus environment at SOU provides our students with a welcoming, inclusive and affirming learning and living space,” he said.
College Choice offers numerous rankings of colleges and universities, based on criteria ranging from “Happiest Freshmen” to “Most Affordable Online MBA.” The list of 50 Best Colleges for LGBTQ Students is topped by Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Tuition rates at SOU are lower than at any of the institutions that are ranked higher on the College Choice list.
The University of Oregon, which ranked 28th, was the only other institution from Oregon on this year’s list.
“Even in a state that has a liberal reputation like Oregon does, it’s still important for universities to pay close attention to the needs of their LGBTQ+ students,” said Christian Amondson, the managing editor of College Choice. “That’s what Southern Oregon does, and that’s why it appears on this ranking.”
In its online rankings, College Choice points out that SOU faculty and staff are trained on sexual orientation and gender identity issues, hate crime prevention, trans-specific concerns and LGBTQ-specific career services.
NOTE: Thomas Arce can be contacted directly by media at arcet@sou.edu or at (541) 552-6488.
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About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University provides outstanding student experiences, valued degrees, and successful graduates. SOU is known for excellence in faculty, intellectual creativity and rigor, quality and innovation in connected learning programs, and the educational benefits of its unique geographic location. SOU was the first university in Oregon—and one of the first in the nation—to offset 100 percent of its energy use with clean, renewable power. It is the first university in the nation to balance 100 percent of its water consumption. Visit sou.edu.