Tag Archive for: LGBTQ

SOPride parade this weekend

March with SOU at SOPride

The annual SOPride celebration and parade returns to Ashland this weekend, Oct. 7 to 9, following a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. Southern Oregon University and the Social Justice and Equity Center invite all SOU students, staff, faculty and their families to march together in the SOU parade entry.

Showing up for queer and trans students, employees, and community members is a longstanding campus tradition, and SOU typically has one of the largest entries in the parade. The SOPride parade starts at noon on Saturday, and will proceed from Union Street, across from Safeway, through downtown Ashland and the Plaza, culminating at the Lithia Park bandshell for the SOPride Festival.

Those who wish to march with SOU can meet at the Stevenson Union courtyard at 9:30 a.m., leaving SOU by 10 a.m. to walk to the parade start – or meet up at the parade start on Union Street at 11 a.m.

SOU’s Social Justice and Equity Center is hosting a sign-making and decorating event from 12:30 to 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7, in Room 308 of the Stevenson Union. Drop by during that time and make a sign or two for yourself or others to show your pride! Pizza, snacks and sign-making supplies will be provided.

For more information or to request mobility support to participate in SOU’s parade entry, please visit tinyurl.com/sousopride.

SOPride 2022 kicks off with a SOPride Crawl beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday and running all weekend. Participating queer-friendly businesses will host Pride-themed events including music, karaoke, drag shows and cabaret.

SOPride was founded in 2009 by Ashland City Councilor Gina DuQuenne. SOPride hosts the southern Oregon celebration in October, in recognition of National Coming Out Day – an annual celebration on Oct. 11. The first annual Ashland SOPride was held on Oct. 10, 2010, with over 500 participants in the march and hundreds more enjoying from the sidewalks. SOPride continues to celebrate the magnificent diversity of the southern Oregon community and has an outstanding leadership team that is composed of many SOU student leaders.

For more information about SOPride and all of the events during SOPride weekend, visit sopride.org.

SOU gets perfect score from Campus Pride

SOU scores a perfect 5 with Campus Pride

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University has been recognized for the ninth year in a row as one of the nation’s top 30, “Best of the Best” LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities by Campus Pride, a nonprofit that supports and improves campus life for LGBTQ people on campuses nationwide.

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.

The Campus Pride recognition is meaningful for prospective and current LGBTQ students, particularly during a period of political polarization and pandemic-related isolation.

“In order to be in the ‘Best of the Best’ listing, an institution had to score the highest percentages in the LGBTQ-friendly benchmarks for policies, programs and practices,” Campus Pride said on the list’s website.

SOU was also ranked 21st among the 50 best colleges for LGBTQ students for the second year in a row by the online publication College Choice, which released its 2021 rankings in July.

The Campus Pride “Best of the Best” list of the top 30 LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities in the U.S. included six in the West region and just two in Oregon – SOU and the University of Oregon.

SOU addresses sexual orientation and gender identity in the university’s non-discrimination policy and offers LGBTQ-themed housing. Advocacy for gender and sexuality justice is available via the Social Justice and Equity Center, and the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Program provides LGBTQ-related academic offerings. SOU also participates in LGBTQ-specific college fairs and its counseling and health staff provide queer- and trans-oriented 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.