Drew University Earns Praise for LGBTQ+ Inclusion

Campus Pride Index gave Drew 4.5 stars as the LGBTQ+ campus experience evolves

June 2023 – Drew University has been recognized for its continued, ever-improving LGBTQ+ inclusion.

Campus Pride Index, a national listing and ranking of LGBTQ+ friendly campuses, gave Drew a 4.5-out-of-5-stars rating. Drew is one of only four New Jersey schools to earn 4.5 or more stars, and one of only 22 schools in the entire Mid-Atlantic region to earn such high marks.

The outlet requires schools to submit rigorous, example-heavy self-assessments of their policy inclusion, support and institutional commitment, academic life, student life, housing and residence life, campus safety, counseling and health, and recruitment/retention efforts.

“The self-assessment allowed us to really take a look at the resources and services available for our LGBTQ+ students, staff, and faculty,” said Steph Mazzarella C’02, associate dean of student services.

“We put together our own wish list of things we wanted to address, like implementing gender inclusive housing. Working with the Campus Pride Index gave us the opportunity to look at what some other schools have in place and craft our own version.”

Already, more than 20 students have taken part in gender inclusive housing in its inaugural year, allowing them to live without restrictions of traditional limitations of the gender binary, allowing same-gender, opposite-gender, or other-gender identities to live together regardless of biological sex.

Drew has also looked to create an LGBTQ+ Alumni Affinity group, formed in tandem with the school’s Advancement office and College Alumni Association. A kickoff event occurred in spring 2023 and allowed alums and allies to learn about the work being done to continue to improve the LGBTQ+ experience on campus, in hopes of gathering support to officially start the group.

Additional groups and programs are on the horizon, including an LGBTQ+ advisory board, organized in conjunction with the Dean’s office, which will consist of faculty, staff, students and other Drew community members and serve to make recommendations to administration based on input from the Drew campus community.

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