For the fourth year in a row, Southern Oregon University has been named one of the 30 most LGBTQ-friendly campuses in the nation according to Campus Pride, the leading national educational organization for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) and allied college students and campus groups.

SOU earned a "Campus Pride Index" ranking of five out of five stars. In its SOU report card (http://bit.ly/2bbQBzi), Campus Pride highlighted the University’s options for LGBTQ and ally students that include academic courses, residential living opportunities and co-curricular activities and groups. 

"SOU's recognition by Campus Pride demonstrates the concerted efforts our campus community takes in order to provide a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for LGBTQIA+ (LGBTQ, plus intersex and asexual) identities and intersections,” said Thomas Arce, coordinator of the SOU Queer Resource Center. “We are humbled to receive the distinction, and understand that it takes the full support of our fellow students, staff, faculty, and administrators to make positive sustainable change a reality on our campus.”

“Prospective students and their families today expect colleges to be LGBTQ-friendly. They want to know what LGBTQ programs, services and resources are available on the campus — and which are the ‘Best of the Best,’” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride and creator of the Campus Pride Index. “Now more than ever, there are colleges that are recruiting LGBTQ youth — and they are investing in a campus that is fully supportive of LGBTQ students. This top-30 list showcases those ‘Top’ campuses leading the way.”

Other West Coast campuses named to the top 30 LGBTQ-friendly list include Harvey Mudd College, Portland State University, San Diego State University, the University of California campuses at Los Angeles, Davis and Santa Barbara, the University of Washington and Washington State University.

More information on LGBTQ at SOU is available from the University’s Queer Resource Center online at sou.edu/qrc or by calling 541-552-8329.

SOU is co-sponsoring the Rogue Valley Pride Festival, which is taking place on Oct. 8 in Ashland. More info can be found: http://en.lotusrisingproject.org/pride-2016/.