Page 8

8

Philadelphia Gay News www.epgn.com August 16-22, 2019

LOCAL PGN

Bryn Mawr College named most LGBTQ-friendly in U.S. BY SUZANNAH CAVANAUGH PGN Contributor

“Regardless of how much validity you attribute to the Princeton Review’s methodology, this one-dimensional method of measuring inclusion is far from the complete picture,” said Fullerton. Fullerton, writing in 2017, disclosed that while Lehigh University has appeared on the LGBTQ-unfriendly list three years running, the ranking does not consider Lehigh’s institutional services, like gender-inclusive restrooms, and a “highly-trafficked” safe space for LGBTQ-plus students and allies, or the college’s efforts to improve. Krivitsky said Bryn Mawr’s ranking may not accurately represent trans students’ experiences.

When it comes to inclusivity on campus, Bryn Mawr College is the new number one. According to The Princeton Review’s annual ranking of college campuses, released this month, Bryn Mawr College, situated at the Western cap of Philadelphia’s Main Line, earned its spot at the top of LGBTQ-friendly schools in the United States. “I mean, I can’t say it’s surprising,” said Francesca Krivitsky, a recent graduate of the class of 2019. “People definitely have a view of Bryn Mawr as being very LGBTfrendly and that’s definitely something that I thought about when I was 18 and applying to schools.” The ranking, included in the Princeton Review’s “The Best 385 Colleges: 2020 Edition,” draws from the opinions of 140,000 students who attended the considered colleges during the 2018-19 school year. Krivitsky, who is gay, said she chose Bryn Mawr, in BRYN MAWR COLLEGE ENTRANCE “I don’t want to speak for others, but part, to find a like-minded community. “It was definitely the first time in my life I’ve seen other students, specifically trans I had so many gay friends, trans friends, students, because the article came out, which is unique. …It’s definitely a place saying this doesn’t super reflect me; I’ve where you feel somewhat safer to explore had negative experiences here. So, I think certain things and be more open just that’s definitely important to mention,” said because of how many students there are Krivitsky. “It’s not a gay paradise.” “I did hear people saying, ‘At the same around you who are also openly LGBT,” time, it is one of the places I did feel safe, said Krivitsky. The Princeton Review rates colleges by just because there were other students category, analyzing everything from “aca- around me that were going through the demics” to a school’s “social scene” through same things that I was,” added Krivitsky, voluntary student responses to 80 ques- referring to negative experiences. In an attempt to foster a more inclusive tions. Students formulate answers along scales — “strongly agree” to “strongly dis- campus, Bryn Mawr, a historic women’s college, expanded its admissions policy agree” or “excellent” to “poor.” Quality of life for LGBTQ students, a in 2015 to include all eligible applicants section that stamps outlying colleges as who identify as women, whether cis, trans, either LGBTQ-friendly or unfriendly, is intersex or those who do not identify determined by student answers to a sin- within the gender binary. gle statement: “Students treat all persons Bryn Mawr’s expensive LGBTQ proequally, regardless of their sexual orienta- gramming also includes Spectra Sexuality and Gender Education, a collaboration tion and gender identity/expression.” Essentially, the LGBTQ ranking is a between the student body and Pensby litmus test, a trait that’s been called into Center for Community Development and Inclusion focused on promoting a camquestion. In the article, “Deeply Flawed Ranking: pus-wide understanding of gender and sexThe Princeton Review ‘LGBTQ-Friendly uality as identities existing on a continuum. and Unfriendly List’ Does a Disservice to The university additionally offers a genProspective LGBTQ-plus Students,” writ- der and sexuality studies major, featuring ten for the website Campus Pride, Chelsea courses like “Gender and Science.” Fullerton, the Director of Pride Center for Bryn Mawr placed in two additional Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity categories of The Princeton Review’s at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, dis- 2020 Edition. The private liberal arts colputes the scope of the list’s ranking system, lege ranked number one for “Most Active especially considering the weight it’s given Student Government” and number two for by the media and prospective students. “Most Beautiful Campus.” n

Profile for The Philadelphia Gay News

PGN Aug. 16-25, 2019  

“The Philadelphia Gay News is the nation’s most award-winning LGBT publication, and the largest LGBT media outlet in the region.”

PGN Aug. 16-25, 2019  

“The Philadelphia Gay News is the nation’s most award-winning LGBT publication, and the largest LGBT media outlet in the region.”

Advertisement