Emerson Ranked Most LGBT-Friendly School in the Country

It's the second time in as many years that the school achieved the status from the Princeton Review.

The annual and prestigious Princeton Review came out this week and nearly every college in the nation was clambering—so much so that the Review’s website crashed— to find out where their educational institution may have landed in the various categories compiled by the votes that make up the list.

Of course, Massachusetts racked up a few accolades in various categories, such as “Best Dorms” at Smith College, but one area where the state’s educational efforts stood out was for its acceptance of gay, lesbian, and transgender students on certain campuses.

For the second year in a row, Emerson College was picked as the country’s most LGBT-friendly community for undergraduate and graduate students, a hat-tip that advocacy groups lauded this week. “We are fortunate that Boston is such an LGBT-friendly city and it is no surprise that the most LGBT- friendly school in the United States is located here,” said Boston Pride President Linda DeMarco, who congratulated Emerson and other Boston-area schools that are also “so welcoming.”

The yearly rankings are based on survey results and information obtained by more than 120,000 students at 378 schools across the country. Two other schools in Massachusetts also landed on the list of LGBT-friendly institutions, too. Smith College came in at number eight, and Wellesley College took the 11th spot on that particular list.

The question asked of students, in regards to LGBT-friendliness, on the survey to create the rankings, was:

Do students, faculty, and administrators at your college treat all persons equally regardless of their sexual orientations and gender identity/expression

A good example of why Emerson may have deserved to steal the spotlight over surrounding schools in the Bay State is the camaraderie some of its students showed when a transgender member of a fraternity received the support of pledges and brothers to get “top surgery.” The fraternity raised money for the surgery, and brought national attention to the issues that the member was facing with his insurance company.

Officials from the school said Wednesday that they were “pleased” that Emerson again took top honors in terms of being a safe and open place for those who are within the LGBT community. “We are committed to working toward an increasingly diverse and inclusive campus community. It’s vital that Emerson be a reflection of the national and global community as our students pursue careers in communication and the arts‹‹fields where collaboration, intercultural competence, and freedom of expression are essential for success,” according to a statement from the school.