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NYU ranks second in LGBTQ-friendliness among college campuses

Posted on September 12, 2012 | by Gentry Brown

NYU is ranked as the number two Best College Campus for the LGBTQ Life, according to a college resource website called Unigo.

More than 30,000 Unigo-involved students voted on measurements for LGBTQ friendliness for their schools. The website ranked 10 different universities, and Bennington College in Vermont came in at the number one spot.

Unigo founder and CEO Jordan Goldman said the LGBTQ ranking criteria included
general campus atmosphere for students and professors, the number of LGBT student groups and organizations, LGBT friendly policies throughout the university and the environment of the surrounding area.

Gallatin junior Joe Ehrman-Dupre said he agreed with the ranking and added that NYU’s location can be credited for its relationship with the LGBTQ community.

“There is a sort of mythical pull that New York has on bodies that feel outcast or downtrodden. An ‘If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere’ sort of appeal, and I think that in our time, the LGBTQ community constitutes a lot of that ‘other’ population that is ridiculed,” Ehrman-Dupre said.

Goldman also said passion for LGBTQ issues is what each top 10 school has in common.

“[The schools] go out of their way to ensure equality in all aspects of university life and governance,” Goldman said. “There are typically various outlets where students who have come out can find support and friendship, from both university sponsored programs and student developed groups.”

Rachel Kunstadt, a Gallatin alumna and Tisch Master’s Program student, was involved with Outspoken when she was an undergraduate student. Outspoken is a peer education group that conducts programs like safe zone training for faculty and students to promote LGBTQ inclusion on campus.

“NYU is definitely a very LGBTQ-friendly school and not a heteronormative school,” Kunstadt said. “Everyone is included in classes, and many professors are open to their LGBTQ identities if they have one.”

Though Lisa Duggan, professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, only knows her LGBTQ students in a classroom setting, she said she was not surprised to hear where NYU ranks.

“I can say that NYU has an exceptional group of intellectually ambitious, creative and politically engaged LGBTQ students,” Duggan said. “I have been enormously impressed over the years.”

Ehrman-Dupre said rankings serve as inspiration to strengthen and reinvigorate the LGBTQ community at NYU.

“Young LGBTQ students come to NYU with these rankings in mind,” she said. “They see NYU as their dream school, just like so many others do, and what they arrive and the environment is just as open-minded and accessible as they had heard. They are encouraged to open up and be who they are.”

A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Sept. 12 print edition. Gentry Brown is university editor. Email her at gbrown@nyunews.com. 

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