Kent State Again Named One of the Nation’s Most LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges and Universities by Campus Pride

Campus Pride has released its 2021 Best of the Best LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges and Universities list, and for the second time in two years, Kent State University has landed on it. Kent State is the only Ohio public university to make the 2021 list, and it again is the only school in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) to receive this recognition.

Celebrating its 20th year, Campus Pride has continued to support college and university campuses to help improve campus life for LGBTQ students. The 2021 Best of the Best Colleges and Universities list is based on several factors, including information provided on an annual basis through the Campus Pride Index concerning policies, programs and practices.

Kent State also earned a perfect 5 out of 5 stars on the Campus Pride Index for the second straight year, accounting for one of only 30 schools to achieve that rating.

Ken Ditlevson, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Plus (LGBTQ+) Center at Kent State, was not one to rest on his laurels after cracking the list for the first time in 2020. Instead, he said the LGBTQ+ Center has continued to grow over the past year and implement new initiatives to help make it even better than ever.

“We are working on getting pronouns added into our academic rosters and in student-facing places, like our residence halls,” he said. “We are also working with our DeWeese Health Center in offering more trans healthcare supports and options.”

The LGBTQ+ Center connects students to valuable university and community resources and provides students with meaningful involvement and leadership opportunities. Some of those resources include the QUEST Mentorship Program, the LGBTQ Library, the LGBTQ Emergency Fund, the LGBTQ Studies minor, university counseling services, university legal services, the universal restroom map, the preferred name change process and gender-inclusive housing.

Student involvement and leadership opportunities provided through Kent State’s LGBTQ+ Center include PRIDE! Kent, Threads (LGBTQ students of color), QGrad and Trans*Fusion, to name a few.

Ditlevson credits the team at the LGBTQ+ Center, who despite having only two staff members, a graduate student and eight student interns, continues to push ahead each day in making the LGBTQ+ experience on campus even more inclusive.

“Our team intentionally collaborates across the university and in the community to make our impact as broad as possible,” he said. “I am thankful for our team’s contributions as well as all of those from across the university that made this all possible.”

As Kent State continues to enhance the student experience within the LGBTQ+ Center, Ditlevson continues to be impressed with the growth taking place each day.

“I am super proud that Kent State is part of this list,” he said. “We are proud of the progress we are making, but it is awesome to see it publicly recognized!”

To view Campus Pride’s 2021 Best of the Best LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges and Universities list, visit www.campuspride.org/2021BestoftheBest.

Campus Pride is the leading national educational organization for LGBTQ and ally college students and campus groups, building future leaders and safer, more LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities. The organization provides resources and services to thousands of college students and more than 1,400 campuses annually.

For more information about Campus Pride, visit www.campuspride.org.

For more information about the Campus Pride Index, visit www.campusprideindex.org.

For more information about Kent State’s LGBTQ+ Center, visit www.kent.edu/lgbtq.

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Media Contacts:
Ken Ditlevson, kditlevs@kent.edu, 330-672-8693
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595

POSTED: Tuesday, September 21, 2021 - 8:47am
UPDATED: Tuesday, September 21, 2021 - 9:43am
WRITTEN BY:
Matt Lupica