"A butterfly fluttering fresh out of its cocoon" is the analogy used to describe Case Western Reserve University and its inclusion in this year's "The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students."
The guide profiles the 100 best colleges and universities for LGBT students and includes students' perspectives on the climate at their respective campuses.
"Case has changed a lot in the past three years with respect to LGBT students. As a freshman I felt isolated and ignored by the powers that be. Since then, I have seen an outpouring of support for LGBT issues," a 21-year-old gay male responded about the environment at the university.
The student mentioned the creation of the Committee on LGBT Concerns, which launched a Web site featuring resources and information in 2005. He also highlighted the 'Safe Zone Ally' program, as well as an on-campus Human Rights Campaign group. Another student mentioned Spectrum, Case's student LGBT social group, and events such as "Coming Out" week, "Break the Silence" week and the annual Lavender Ball.
"As co-chair of the faculty and staff GLBT group, I am thrilled that Case has been recognized by a national gay publication," said Martha Gibbons, who also serves as executive director of foundation relations. "It's taken awhile, but Case is truly becoming a welcoming place for gays and lesbians. We owe a lot to the Office of the President and Provost for leadership at the top, and to all of our GLBT students who are so inspiringly out and free."
"The Advocate College Guide" mentioned that the university does have room for improvement, but that "nevertheless, this tight-knit campus population, including LGBT and ally students, faculty and staff, has accomplished enough to be a campus of . . . choice."
"Students consider many factors when choosing a school. Having a campus that is LGBT affirming may be the one final factor that sways a student to come to Case instead of attending another Ivy League school," said Victor Groza, a professor of social work with the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and a faculty and staff co-chair of the LGBT advisory group. "In addition, we may attract students to apply who would not have considered Case because they had no knowledge of LGBT issues on campus and assume we reflect conservative mid-western values."
Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.