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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU ranked as LGBT friendly school

New Mexico State University has been awarded 4 out of 5 stars in its latest ranking for being a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender friendly school by campuspride.org. Previously, the university was listed with 3 stars.

The Campus Pride Index is a tool for assisting campuses in learning ways to improve their GLBTQ campus life and shape the educational experience to be more inclusive, welcoming and respectful of GLBTQ students and their allies. NMSU is the only university in the state and the region to be listed on the index.

"I am really excited," said Jessica Spohn, coordinator for the Sexual and Gender Diversity Resource Center at NMSU. "I wish other universities would jump on it and do what we did so we can have more in our region. It makes us stand out for students who are interested in coming."

In 2009 NMSU started out with a ranking of 2 1/2 stars and is now listed as a premier school, which allows the university to been seen at the top of the list in the southwest. This past semester Spohn worked with NMSU police and campus housing to improve the ranking. She hopes to continue her work with both departments and the university to increase the ranking.

"We still have some more work to do," Spohn said. "A lot of what needs to be changed comes from the university. Having things like gender-neutral bathrooms or housing on campus would help raise our score. It is going to be a process, but it can happen."

Spohn added that NMSU's employee benefits help the university stand out in the index from other universities.

Universities on the Campus Pride Index are evaluated once a year and include the University of Arizona, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Indiana University and Kansas State University.

Throughout the fall and spring semesters the NMSU Sexual and Gender Diversity Resource Center is open to assist students, faculty and staff. The center also hosts an event each semester, National Coming Out Day in October and GLBTQ Week in the spring.

For more information on the SGDRC call 575-646-7031 or email sgdrc@nmsu.edu.