Stevens Earns 4-Star Rating from Campus Pride Index
Stevens has been rated 4 out of 5 stars by the Campus Pride Index, a national LGBTQ benchmarking tool for colleges and universities to create safer, more inclusive communities.
The Campus Pride Index scores schools based on their answers to a thorough, 50-question self-evaluation survey. For each response, the school must provide proof that reflects each answer.
“Participating in the Campus Pride Index gives Stevens an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate what we have been able to do, particularly in the last decade, as we have improved LGBTQ+ resources and services,” says Liliana Delman, Stevens’ director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “It also helps us understand where we can focus our developmental and policy efforts to continue improving our services and sense of belonging for all members of our Stevens community.”
To create a supportive and inclusive environment for all students, faculty and staff members, Stevens offers the Safe Zone Ally Program, a campus-wide initiative designed to educate the Stevens community on LGBTQ+ identity, current (in)justices impacting the LGBTQ+ community and to visibly identify Stevens staff, students and faculty who seek to support the campus LGBTQ+ population; name, pronoun and gender changes; gender inclusive housing; and gender inclusive restrooms.
For Hailey Veres ’24, one of the most helpful resources has been how easy the preferred name change process was. “For trans students, the distinction between preferred and legal name can be embarrassing and frustrating at times, which is why it means so much that Stevens has been very good with using the preferred name everywhere except when necessary,” she says. “I filled out a form via Workday over the summer and Stevens handled the rest. When I came back the next semester, I didn't have a problem.”
Much of Stevens’ progress can be credited to its students, who Delman says have led the charge to advocate for many new inclusive practices and policies within the last decade, including participation in the Campus Pride Index. They’ve also created and run two important organizations on campus: the Torch Alliance, where people who identify as LGBTQ+, people who may be questioning their sexuality or people who simply want to support the LGBTQ+ community can come together and socialize; and oSTEM (Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), which empowers LGBTQ+ people in STEM to succeed personally, academically and professionally by cultivating environments and communities that nurture innovation, leadership and advocacy.
“Student run organizations on campus are a place for me to find chosen family at Stevens,” says Madison McIntosh ’25, co-president of oSTEM. “It's about finding the people in the community that matter and who will support you.”
While the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion provides the most direct resources to LGBTQ+ students, other offices around campus support inclusion in a variety of ways. New academic classes cover gender, sexuality, feminism and queer studies; Student Health Services offers PReP prescriptions and HIV testing; and Athletics hosts Pride Games, just to name a few.
Even with all the significant changes over the years to improve the quality of life for all LGBTQ+ members on campus, there is still work to be done, much of which will originate with students.
“The changes with the most positive impact on the student experience at Stevens were forged through the efforts of generations of students and alumni,” McIntosh says. “Student leaders and advocates carry the responsibility of identifying necessary changes on campus, continuing ongoing efforts in meetings with administration and explaining the necessity of these progressive changes to make them a reality.”
The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will host two Safe Zone Ally Workshops for faculty and staff in June. To register for the June 9 session, from 2 to 4 p.m., click here. To register for the June 20, 3 to 5 p.m. session, click here.