Study Reveals High Level of Hardships for LGBT Students, Faculty & Staff at U.S. Colleges & Universities

In The 2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People, a landmark research study being released today, it is revealed that one-third of LGBT students, faculty, and staff seriously consider leaving institutions of higher learning due to a climate that interferes with their ability to successfully work, live, and learn on campus. The first national and most comprehensive report of its kind, researchers at Campus Pride's Q Research Institute for Higher Education surveyed nearly 6,000 students, faculty, and staff who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) at colleges and universities across the United States.  Despite progress in recent years, the survey results reveal that harassment remains a significant issue for LGBT students, and that a general lack of safety and inclusiveness exists at institutions of higher learning throughout the country. "It is shocking that it is 2010 and less than eight percent of accredited colleges and universities in the country have LGBT-inclusive policies," said Shane Windmeyer, Campus Pride's executive director.  "Colleges and universities have the responsibility to create safe learning environments for everyone, regardless of sexual identity or gender identity." Dr. Susan Rankin, an associate professor of education at Penn State University and lead author of the report, says that while The 2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People should sound alarms, it also contains much hope. "This comprehensive report provides substantive research and the necessary recommendations to assist administrators, educators, advocates, activists, student leaders, and elected officials in making university and college campuses safer and more accepting for all of its community members," said Dr. Rankin. "Now is the time to act," added Windmeyer. The report findings and recommendations will be presented in national webinars on Tuesday, September 21st at noon and 3:00 EST.  On Thursday, September 23rd researchers and students will present the report's findings and recommendations in a national congressional briefing at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.  The congressional briefing will be hosted by Campus Pride, Campus Progress, and the LGBT Equality Caucus of Congress. For more information on these events, please click here. Please note that the congressional briefing is open to the public. If you're able to make it, please RSVP directly to Campus Progress to let them know they can expect you. Campus Pride is the leading national nonprofit organization 501(c)(3) for student leaders and campus organizations working to create safer, more LGBT-friendly colleges and universities. It exists to give "voice and action" in building future LGBT and ally leaders. GLAAD is proud to be a coalition partner of Campus Pride.  In preparation for the release of The 2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People, GLAAD supported Campus Pride by providing media training to the researchers and students who will serve as spokespeople for media inquiries about the report.