Date of Press Release: 2-16-17
The University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) has been named one of the Top LGBTQ-Friendly Online Schools for 2017 by SR Education Group. UAS is one of 58 schools that made the list. Each of these schools is accredited and has policies and practices that show a commitment to inclusivity. Each school has scored three stars or higher on the Campus Pride Index, a non-profit that works with researchers to create tools for assessment and national standards for LGBTQ-friendly institutions of higher education.
Students at UAS find a community of supportive peers, staff, and faculty through programs like Safe Zone, which aims to reduce homophobia and heterosexism on campus, to provide a safer and freer environment for all members of the UAS community regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Staff and faculty are trained to serve as a resource for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning issues. Margie Thomson, who coordinates the program, along with disability and counseling services, notes, “Safe Zone Training, offered each semester, has trained over 175 staff, faculty and student employees in the past three years. This has helped to create a visible component of allies for the LGBTQ student and staff on our UAS campus.” Complete information about Safe Zone and other community resources for LGBTQ students can be found at our Safe Zone website.
Along with Safe Zone, resources available to students include the Green Dot Initiative, the Campus Inclusivity Alliance, and its Care Team. The Care Team includes representation from residence life, student conduct, and counseling services. The team supports student success and campus safety by assessing, evaluating and responding to reports of student behavior that causes concern for their personal well-being or the well-being of others. Counseling services are available to all UAS students taking one or more credits. This includes Sitka and Ketchikan campuses, as well as distance counseling if needed through video or telephone.
Chancellor Rick Caulfield notes, “This is terrific news, and a nice recognition of the work our staff and many others do to show support for all students, and especially those of the LGBTQ community.”
More information about services available to students at UAS can be found at the Activities and Involvement website.