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UW-Eau Claire named among nation’s most LGBTQ-friendly

| Gary Johnson

Photo caption: UW-Eau Claire is one of only 30 four-year campuses to achieve the top score on the Campus Pride Index.

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has been named one of the top institutions in the country for creating a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ students, according to the 2023 Campus Pride “Best of the Best” ranking of colleges and universities.

UW-Eau Claire is on the list for the sixth consecutive year, and achieved five out of five stars in the ranking, one of only 30 four-year campuses to achieve the top score on the Campus Pride Index. UW-Eau Claire is among four universities in Wisconsin and Minnesota to receive the rating.

“Queer students across the country are seeking out universities where they feel supported, seen and celebrated for who they are as LGBTQIA+ people, and I’m immensely proud that they are able to find that here,” says Kallie Friede, director of UW-Eau Claire’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center.

“The GSRC has woven itself into the fabric of the institution in integral ways. I work alongside so many excellent colleagues across campus who are also invested in the success of our queer students, which becomes even more evident when we’re recognized amongst the best institutions in the country.”

Friede says UW-Eau Claire will continue to “advocate for our students, adapt our policies and programs to meet the needs of our campus, and celebrate queerness in all its forms.” 

The Campus Pride webpage about UW-Eau Claire quotes an LGBTQIAP+ person who says, “UW-Eau Claire has truly allowed me to thrive.”

“I’ve had so many opportunities to evolve as an individual and a member of the queer community at UWEC that I feel I would have missed out on at any other university,” the senior student says. “There’s truly a community of people at UW-Eau Claire to support and lift LGBTQIAP+ students. It’s remarkable.”

The Campus Pride Index rates colleges and universities based on self-reporting of LGBTQ-friendly policies, programs and practices, such as nondiscrimination statements inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression; gender-affirming health care; LGBTQ+ peer mentorship programs; campus safety training on sexual orientation and gender identity; LGBTQ-specific major and course offerings; and the presence of LGBTQ and ally student and faculty organizations.