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7-Step Guide for LGBTQ+ students to pick a college

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It is your right as a prospective student to pick an institution where you will succeed, and this is especially true for people who identify as LGBTQ+. Furthermore, not all colleges provide a welcoming environment for students who identify as LGBTQ+ or have a non-conforming sexual identity. It is essential to determine where you’ll prosper. Therefore, to make it simple for you, here are seven ways to pick a college as an LGBTQ+ student.

Look for Political Activism and Awareness on the college website

Look for any student-based LGBTQ+ organizations on campus on the university’s website. Learn more about these organizations and check out their social media pages. Investigate the system(s) of support that these student organizations provide their members and the usual issues they address. Many LGBTQ student organizations actively work to improve LGBTQ campus life; therefore, researching their current campaigns might clearly highlight their area of expertise.

Campus and Academic Environment

Look for LGBTQ academic staff, and while you’re at it, check if the college offers courses that deal with LGBTQ issues. Relevant courses and activities may cover necessary but sensitive topics such as diversity, sexuality, and gender studies. Departments of sociology, gender/diversity studies, psychology, history, and philosophy are some of the places to discover. Even if you don’t want to take these subjects, their presence or absence can reflect the university’s cultural awareness.

Go through the LGBTQ campus policies

LGBTQ+ policies on campus indicate a commitment and a norm for inclusivity. Each of these LGBTQ policies shows the campus’s level of openness and dedication to LGBTQ matters. You can find out how the college ranks on LGBTQ policy inclusion standards on the Campus Pride website, Campus Pride Index.

Look for colors or signs of Pride

Pink triangles and rainbow flags are two good examples of Pride influence on campus. Visible pride emblems throughout the student union, campus offices, and social venues foster an atmosphere of openness, safety, and inclusion in the school community. Their visible presence also conveys a strong message that it is entirely okay to belong to the LGBTQ+ community.

See if the campus has an LGBTQ+ center

Most LGBTQ+ students usually look for dedicated college resources and support services. An established LGBTQ+ center on campus is one of the most recognizable and visible support systems. Paid LGBTQ+ staffing within the Women’s Center or Multicultural Office is another method to demonstrate a commitment to LGBTQ+ support services and resources. Both show an institutional commitment to LGBTQ+ students comparable to that of other diverse communities.

Look for programs dedicated to LGBTQ+ awareness

Explore campus events, special weeks, or social gatherings that concern the LGBTQ+ community. Speaker series, public debates, concerts, art exhibitions, involvement in national LGBTQ events (such as Pride), and other activities can be included. A busy social calendar and a thriving social scene can reflect a welcoming and inclusive society.

Sense the Campus Vibe

Visiting a particular place is often the greatest way to acquire a sense of it. Take note of the feeling you experience as you go around campus. Take note of how secure you feel. Attend a class to see if you can see yourself doing it every day. Above all, whether you visit or not, talk to current students about LGBTQ life on campus and their perspectives.

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