Measuring Inclusivity: SHU Receives Annual Campus Pride Index Score

“Receiving a four out of five on the Campus Pride Index has shown that the work done by myself, my fellow e-board members and the Office for Inclusive Excellence is making tremendous strides toward inclusivity for queer people on campus,” said senior Nicole Sperling, President of the Gender Sexuality Alliance.

As Sperling noted, Sacred Heart University received a four out of five rating on the Campus Pride Index.

According to the Campus Pride Index website, the rating “is an overall indicator of institutional commitment to LGBTQ-inclusive policy, program, and practice,” and it acts as a “vital tool for assisting campuses in learning ways to improve their LGBTQ campus life and ultimately shape the educational experience to be more inclusive, welcoming, and respectful of LGBTQ and ally people.”

The Campus Pride Index offers campuses the chance to express themselves as LGBTQ+ friendly, holds college campuses accountable for creating an LGBTQ+ friendly climate, highlights the positive strides taken towards LGBTQ+ inclusivity within higher education spaces, and serves as a tool for parents and students to compare LGBTQ+ policies and programs during their college search.

“The Campus Pride Index questions are a series of self-reports based on policies and procedures at the university, and it is broken up into different segments. It’s purely from a policy and administrative support standpoint,” said Kyle Humphreys, manager of LGBTQ+ affairs at SHU.

The index is updated annually, it measures current campus practices and raises awareness of how college campuses perform in their LGBTQ+ policies and programs.

“In recent years, SHU has hired openly LGBTQ+ faculty and staff members to diversify the campus community, developed policies that have clear gender and sexual orientation protections, and established a Women & Gender Studies minor,” according to the Campus Pride Index report.

Sacred Heart has also established and supported a multitude of programs along with student-led organizations in accordance with its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the SHU community.

“I think that SHU does a great job of emphasizing to students that everyone is welcome and that we accept diversity,” said Dr. Kelly Marino, Coordinator of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality studies on campus.

For example, the Mentors Advocating for Cultural Connection program connects first-year students with upper-level students who have similar backgrounds and cultural identities. Queer Talks is a several-week program of personal development and identity development to help students who seek a sense of community.

“The Sexuality and Gender Equity (SAGE) Center also serves as a physical resource space and a safe space for students where they can come eat, study and socialize. There is also a small library in there with resource guides on coming out and being transgender,” said Humphreys.

Lambda Delta Xi is a gender-inclusive Greek life organization dedicated to the advocacy and inclusion of LGBTQ students on campus. The Gender Sexuality Alliance creates a community on campus where LGBTQ+ students can embrace their identity while also working with other groups on campus to further foster a spirit of inclusivity.

“I think it is a good thing to have all these programs and initiatives on campus because it promotes diversity and inclusion on campus,” said sophomore Kevin Rosas.

Founded on the principles of the Catholic Intellectual Traditions, Sacred Heart continues to strive for inclusive excellence and diversity at the university and for a larger community.

“Nobody gets left behind in conversations about inclusion and belonging because that is what inclusion and belonging are about. The only people who are threatened by inclusion and belonging are people who have benefited from the suppression of minority groups,” said Humphreys.

About the author

Staff Writer

Leave a Reply