Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
We are incredibly pleased to learn about the increasingly LGBT-friendly campuses at Michigan schools. With the recent release of the 2011 Campus Pride Index, we can see that some schools are excelling at creating LGBT-inclusive environments, and that many more schools are on their way.
While the ratings of the 14 Michigan schools that participated in the survey are all over the map, we’re more concerned about the schools that chose not to take part in the index. The schools that aren’t on the list did not take the time to assess their campus environments, and were not interested in getting specific feedback from Campus Pride. It is possible that some Michigan schools did participate and chose not to make their results public. Still, we would prefer to see all Michigan schools participate on the index and make transparent their efforts to be inclusive.
The index has grown in popularity: school participation has increased nearly tenfold over four years. That’s likely due to the change in our schools, which is coming from pressure from our active LGBT youth. These students are demanding inclusive campuses in high school, and they are taking that same spirit with them to college. This means that these students will also demand inclusive workplaces, policies and laws when they are full-grown adults.
Of course, these ambitious students need the help of the adults around them, and this is where we still have work to do. Not every campus participated in the index, and not every campus has an LGBT student office or offers LGBT programming. This may be because LGBT rights are still uncharted waters for many college administrators – the folks who make the financial and programming decisions.
Universities are especially important for students because they provide education and opportunity. All students should be able to access resources that will help them be successful. Universities need to take all students’ needs into account, especially the students who may be overlooked or disadvantaged.
Michigan universities need to keep this in mind perhaps most of all. Our state still doesn’t recognize LGBT citizens, still doesn’t offer them their rights to marriage and parenthood, and doesn’t guarantee protection from discrimination in employment and housing. A great place to start healing our state is in its schools.