The LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index (www.campusclimateindex.org) is the most comprehensive national benchmarking tool for colleges and universities to measure campus climate and to create safer, more welcoming environments for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. The American College Personnel Association (ACPA), the leading international association for college administrators, educators and senior officers, recently honored the LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index with the “Innovative Response to Social Justice” award through the Commission for Social Justice Educators.

Described as “trailblazing, and a trusted, insightful measure for colleges and universities across the country,” the index was recognized at the annual conference of ACPA this past April. The national award showcases an exemplary educational initiative which furthers the progress of social justice and inclusion of all people. Any college or university may participate by taking the online assessment and then receive a free private confidential report for improving the quality of LGBT life on campus.

In less than ten months since its launch in September of 2007, the LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index has grown to include over 150 college campuses and is the only online national tool of its kind. The index was developed by Campus Pride (www.campuspride.org) with a team of national researchers in the field of higher education and LGBT issues including Susan R. Rankin, Brett Genny-Beemyn and Shane L. Windmeyer. The index is in response to the increasing demand for tools and resources to support campuses in assessing LGBT-Friendly policies, programs and practices. The Index not only provides a mechanism for colleges to measure their LGBT-friendly policies, programs and practices but also a way for the public to learn more about campuses interested in supporting LGBT and ally students.

Free of charge, the LGBT Friendly-Campus Climate Index allows college campuses to showcase positive efforts and to continue improving their LGBT campus climate. Participation by a campus also sends a powerful message that LGBT students are welcome and their needs are important to college administrators, staff and faculty. The index tool includes 50+ self-assessment questions, which correspond to eight different LGBT-Friendly factors. Public users may search colleges and universities based on their LGBT-Friendly campus life (academics, policies, student organizations & activities, campus safety, health services, housing & residence life, recruitment & retention efforts, etc). Individuals may “Bookbag” campuses to compare and request referral information about LGBT campus life.

More information about the LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index is available online at www.campusclimateindex.org. If you or your college or university is interested in participating in the LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index, please inquire about how to get started by email at info@campuspride.org or go online to www.campusclimateindex.org/getstarted.

Believe In — Campus Pride. 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. More info online at www.campuspride.org.