UNM in the Top 30 Best Colleges for LGBTQ

Press Release

Efforts of the LGBTQ Resource Center lead to the University of New Mexico being named
One of Top 30 Best Colleges in the Nation for LGBTQ Students

Albuquerque, NM – October 17, 2014— The efforts of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Resource Center have led to the University of New Mexico’s national recognition by BestColleges.com as one of the Top 30 Best Colleges in the nation for LGBTQ Students for providing inclusivity and resources to LGBTQ and non-conforming students.

“The LGBTQ Resource Center has always had the intersection of identity as a core organizing value,” explains Alma Rosa Silva-Bañuelos, Director, UNM LGBTQ Resource Center. “We honor all our community identities and work to provide services and resources to support ones whole self.”

The Best Colleges.com list examines colleges that provide an exceptional level of support for students of various gender and sexual identities. They have referred to the Campus Pride index, which is a comprehensive national rating system that measures LGBT-friendly campus life. Campus Pride takes an exhaustive and multifaceted measurement approach, considering eight LGBT-inclusive factors to reach a measurement. The listing also includes descriptions of unique campus resources that provide support to students of various gender and sexual identities.

“Given that the Center is less than four years old, it is a major accomplishment that we have emerged as one of the top universities responding to the needs of the LGBTQ student population,” said Dr. Jozi De Leon, VP for Equity and Inclusion. “It couldn’t be done without the leadership of Director Alma Rosa Silva- Bañuelos and her staff, who demonstrate their dedication through program development, activities that engage students, and services specific to the needs of the LGBTQ Community.”

According to BestColleges.com, the LGBTQ Resource Center at UNM was selected due to the significant array of services provided, such as hosting awareness events, conducting Safe Zone training, providing safe sex resources, and hosting educational lectures at cafes. Students can consult the Queer Course List to find curricula with an LGBTQ focus. Faculty and staff members who are dedicated to creating LGBTQ-friendly spaces have added their contact information to the Out & Ally List to serve as campus resources.

“We are grateful to all our partners across UNM’s campus for supporting the LGBTQ community,” added Silva- Bañuelos. “It takes a village to bring about safety, education, advocacy and visibility for a community that has been discriminated against over time.”

The 30 colleges on the list are not ranked in any particular order and all meet the methodology requirements described earlier. For a complete list, visit: http://www.bestcolleges.com/features/best-colleges-for-lgbt-students/

If you are interested in more information about the LGBTQ Resource Center, please contact Alma Rosa Silva- Bañuelos, Director, LGBTQ Resource Center at (505) 277-1947 or almarosa@unm.edu.

About BestColleges.com

BestColleges.com is a resource for any prospective college student, to help students make an educated choice about their future. Through the use of student surveys, faculty surveys, independent research, ranking systems, and the input of highly credible and authoritative sources, BestColleges.com has created a database of schools to help students and their families learn more about their best options for higher education. The school data presented on their site, which includes graduation rate, tuition, and retention rate — was compiled using the most recent information from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), a resource maintained by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The most recent information available is for the 2011-2012 school year, with some individual data points from the 2012-2013 school year. All IPEDS data is reported by individual institutions to the NCES during survey years.

About the LGBTQ Resource Center:

Established in 2010 as part of a student initiative through the UNM Division for Equity and Inclusion, the LGBTQ Resource Center strives to provide a safe environment for people of all gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientations, sexualities, and other identities. The LGBTQ Resource Center strives to create a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for all members of the University of New Mexico and surrounding community. As a safe zone environment, we stand up against homophobia and value the worth and dignity of all people. Through education, we aim to bring a heightened visibility of the LGBTQ* community on campus and to issues that affect LGBTQ* individuals. Through leadership development, we promote a more civically engaged campus community committed to equality and equal opportunity for all people.



About the Division for Equity and Inclusion:
The University of New Mexico established the Division for Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in 2007 to strengthen the organizational capacity in order to serve UNM’s diverse student body. DEI provides leadership for addressing institution-wide equity and inclusion and lends its support to student, staff and faculty efforts that build on the university’s diversity initiatives. DEI supports system-wide diversity initiatives to enhance student recruitment and retention, academic excellence, employee diversity and a campus climate that embraces its diversity as an asset. In addition, the Office for Equity and Inclusion is the only university entity of its kind in a very diverse state, serving a diverse student population. 

For additional information, please contact: 
Alma Rosa Silva- Bañuelos, Director
LGBTQ Resource Center
University of New Mexico
Phone: (505) 277-1947 – Office

                (505) 933-6600 - Cell

E-mail: almarosa@unm.edu