WKU’s rating for inclusivity of LGBTQ+ students increased

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A pride sign hangs at the Pride Festival on Oct. 2, 2020. 

Debra Murray, Digital News Editor

WKU’s rating on the Campus Pride Index recently increased from a 3.0 to a 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

According to the Campus Pride Index website, it is “an overall indicator of institutional commitment to LGBTQ-inclusive policy, program and practice” organized by a non-profit organization called Campus Pride. The university’s scores in Sexual Orientation is 5 stars and Gender Expression and Identity is 4.5 out of five stars.

In 2016-17, WKU was originally rated two stars. In 2017, the rating increased to 2.5 and finally to three stars in 2018. 

Currently, University of Louisville, University of Kentucky and Northern Kentucky University are the only universities in Kentucky with a five star rating.

It’s little things that make a huge difference about welcoming people on our campus.”

— Molly Kerby

Molly Kerby, assistant provost for institutional effectiveness and sociology professor, said the Campus Pride Index serves as a “watchdog” for LGBTQ+ issues at universities including gender neutral bathrooms, housing and insurance policies for faculty and staff. 

“It’s just out there for everybody to see how people write in terms of LGBTQ population and how accepting we are of the things that we’ve done, initiatives we started [and] things we put in place,” Kerby said. 

WKU recently added pronouns and gender identity to the admissions application and a new policy stating the university does not work with businesses that discriminate, Kerby said. 

The university’s goal is to increase to 5 stars within the next few years, and Kerby believes that is attainable. 

“It’s little things that make a huge difference about welcoming people on our campus,” Kerby said. 

 Digital News Editor Debra Murray can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @debramurrayy