Campus Pride, a national nonprofit promoting a safe environment for LGBTQ college students, recently released the most expansive update to its worst and most unsafe universities for those in the community.
Based out of Charlotte, North Carolina, the organization added 50 universities to the list since 2016 and includes “shameful mentions” to campuses such as Baylor University (Waco, Texas), Brigham Young University (Brovo, Utah), Malone University (Canton, Ohio), College of the Ozarks (Point Lookout, Miss.) and Lee University (Cleveland, Tenn.).
The list began in 2015 “to bring attention to the colleges and universities that requested Title IX exemptions against LGBTQ students.
“Campus Pride titled it the ‘Shame List’ for the purpose of calling out the harmful and shameful acts of religion-based prejudice and bigotry. The list named each institution that had requested or received a Title IX exemption to openly discriminate against LGBTQ youth.”
According to the release, universities added to the list have “either received or applied for a Title IX religious exemption to openly discriminate against LGBTQ youth, or have a demonstrated history of anti-LGBTQ policies, programs and practices.”
Though not uncommon to see (read: this racist and homophobic sign seen at a house party a few years ago and a ton of others, of course), addressing homophobia and active bias against LGBTQ+ folks has seemingly been put on the backburner. With LGBTQ resource centers spotting the country, anecdotal evidence from myself and a few others show they seem cliquey and don’t do much outside of small get-togethers not well advertised to outsiders.
It also isn’t easy to create systemic change at a private institution. Despite a previous article about getting involved in local government, the processes to advocate for LGBTQ+ folks at a university can be quite different and greuling to get through, especially in Title IX cases.
In the few universities listed in the release as shameful mentions, it seems to be a common theme among the 180 worst campuses to trend toward southern and/or heavily religious states and communities. Although not surprising to most, it’s quite clear work needs to be done to release them of their filter bubbles.
Start calling out campus leaders and hold them accountable for blatant (or otherwise) cases of LGBTQ discrimination. With the collective action of LGBTQ+ college students, we can foster a welcoming environment for higher education.
If you or someone you know is experiencing/has experienced discrimination, bias or was involved in a hate crime, report it on this Campus Pride form.