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Rider receives 4 out of 5 stars for LGBTQ+ inclusion on campus

University's rating increases on Campus Pride Index
By
Rachel Stengel '14, '20
07/22/2020

Rider University received four out of five stars on the Campus Pride Index, a national listing of LGBTQ+ friendly colleges and universities. This score is an increase from a previous 3.5 out of five stars.

"We are very proud to see that Rider continues to be recognized for its dedication to diversity and inclusion," says Cindy Threatt, associate vice president of student affairs and dean of students who also serves as a co-chair of Rider’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee. "This score is a testament to the direct actions Rider has taken and continues to take to ensure we are supportive of our LGBTQ+ students."

Rider is one of only 381 campuses in the U.S. rated by the Campus Pride Index. The Index is organized by Campus Pride, the leading national nonprofit for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for LGBTQ+ students. The Index is a tool to support campuses in assessing LGBTQ+ friendly policies, programs and practices. Schools must complete a more than 200 response questionnaire to be assessed by Campus Pride.

Rider is committed to being an LGBTQ+ friendly campus. The goal is outlined in both the University Strategic Plan and the Inclusive Excellence Plan; it is also one of the primary goals of the LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee. The committee promotes Rider as a safe, inclusive and transformative space for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions.

Rider promotes a positive environment for those who identify as LGBTQ+ in a number of recent and on-going ways. Rider has expanded gender-inclusive restrooms and identified them on the campus map, established gender-inclusive housing and implemented the option to indicate one's preferred name in campus systems.

The University has begun recruiting students at LGBTQ+ college fairs and facilitating professional development opportunities about students with trans identities. Rider hosts an annual LGBTQ+ welcome dessert reception during welcome week and a Lavender Graduation Ceremony. An LGBTQ+ student mentoring program, SPECTRUMentoring, and expanded SafeZone training are also offered.

"We are very proud to see that our Campus Pride Index score has increased as a result of additional efforts on campus and are thankful to those who have contributed to these efforts," says Dr. Leanna Fenneberg, vice president of student affairs. "We are continuously working toward many initiatives that seek to accomplish the goals outlined in the Strategic Plan and the Inclusive Excellence Plan, as well as exploring additional areas where Rider can improve its LGBTQ+ friendliness."