In partnership with Campus Pride Index, Roosevelt University hosted the Campus Pride College Fair for LGBT and Ally Students and Family last week.
The event featured colleges and universities within the Midwest and from as far south as North Carolina in order to introduce LGBT and ally students to LGBT-friendly colleges and universities.
As stated on campuspride.org, “The Campus Pride National College Fair Program is the only one of its kind, specifically designed for addressing the concerns of LGBT and ally students when it comes to academics, student life and campus safety.”
Campuspride.org is a website that represents the leading national nonprofit organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create safer college environments for LGBT students.
In many ways, the college fair was similar to a traditional college fair. Admissions officers set up tables and showcased pamphlets, photos and souvenirs for their respective universities.
This college fair was different because it featured colleges and universities that specifically support LGBT and ally students.
Among the many universities at the fair was Roosevelt University.
Roosevelt’s transfer coordinator, Jennifer Jones, said that Roosevelt has always been LGBT friendly since its inception in 1945.
“Because of our social justice mission, we welcome students regardless of their sexual orientation, ethnic and religious backgrounds,” Jones said.
Some believe that Roosevelt also stands out as an LGBT welcoming institution because Roosevelt’s president Charles Middleton is openly gay.
“With our president being one of the few openly gay college presidents, I believe the university became an even more LGBT-friendly institution,” Jones said.
Jones wasn’t the only one representing Roosevelt at the college fair.
Junior biology major, Aslynn Cummings, was also in attendance. Cummings wasn’t always open about her sexuality, but when she came to Roosevelt, she felt more comfortable coming out.
“There was just something about the environment … I felt like here, I had the support and acceptance needed to finally truly be able to accept myself,” Cummings said.
Another Roosevelt student, Tybee McLaughlin, pointed out Roosevelt’s strength in welcoming all students no matter their sexual preference.
“It’s a smaller college here, and that’s what I honestly loved about it … I’m weird as it is, and people accepted me for just who I am and kind of pulled me in,” McLaughlin said.
Elmhurst College representatives were also at the college fair. In addition to the college’s LGBT compassion, it’s also known for being the first institution to include a question about prospective students’ gender identity and sexual orientation in its admission application.
Since the fair started in 2007, it has been hosted in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, New York City, Boston and Los Angeles.
The fair’s coordinator, Jake Christensen, said the organization hopes to expand its host cities to some northwestern cities, including D.C. and Baltimore.