The University of Nebraska at Omaha has been named the "Best College for LGBTQ+ Students in Nebraska," according to newly released rankings from BestColleges.
The 2020 Best Colleges for LGBTQ+ rankings list the top colleges across the nation and in each state. The rankings were compiled through a combination of BestColleges’ traditional methodology, which examines academic support and affordability data for each institutions, and the Campus Pride Index score, which is a comprehensive rating system that considers eight LGBTQ+ inclusive factors. The rankings offer a guide for prospective LGBTQ+ students to identify schools that are culturally inclusive, affordable, and closer in proximity to their geographic location.
UNO’s ranking as the Best College for LGBTQ+ Students in Nebraska reflects a commitment to the Maverick values of access, inclusion and diversity that make UNO a welcoming campus community, evidenced by the numerous resources and support services offered by the university.
“We mean it when we say, ‘You are welcome here,’ and we are honored that UNO would be recognized as an inclusive, welcoming, and supportive educational environment,” said Jessi Hitchins, Ph.D., director of UNO’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center. “While there is certainly more work to be done, this ranking demonstrates that these critical efforts to support LGBTQ2IAS+ students at UNO are not going unnoticed.”
Among those efforts to support the LGBTQIAS2+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning, intersex, asexual, two-spirit, and beyond) community are the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, which provides programs and services for women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer spectrum, trans spectrum, intersex, asexual, non-straight, and gender non-conforming (LGBTQIA2S+) peoples, and survivors of interpersonal violence in the UNO community.
The center also houses Queer and Trans Services, or QTS, a student organization that offers community, sexual health resources, and inclusive programming and resources to support students who identify as LGBTQ2IAS+, though any student is welcome regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Additional efforts include OUT @ UNO, an online depiction of LGBTQIA2S+ faculty, staff, and graduate students on campus; annual Lavender Graduation and LGBTQIA2S+ Honors that recognize the achievements of LGBTQIA2S+ and ally students; and the Queer Omaha Archives which have preserved the history of the LGBTQIA2S+ community in Omaha since 2016.
UNO is also home to a Gender and Sexuality Studies minor and provides campus Safe Space workshops for any student, faculty, or staff member who would like to be trained and publicly identified as an ally to LGBTQIA2S+ students, faculty, and staff.
Additional information about these resources and services can be found on the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center website. The full 2020 Best Colleges for LGBTQ+ Students rankings list can be found at https://www.bestcolleges.com/features/best-colleges-for-lgbt-students/ or listed by state at https://www.bestcolleges.com/features/top-lgbtq-friendly-colleges-by-state/.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.