When the college football final four playoff field was announced, I wrote an article that said Oregon and Ohio State were the two most welcoming for LGBT students, based on the Campus Pride Index. Alabama was subpar but at least participated in the index, while Florida State was nowhere to be found.
I got some pushback from gay Florida State alums who loved their time on campus and also reached out to the university. I finally got an answer and it shows that Florida State takes LGBT inclusion seriously. Here is the email from the school:
Florida State has myriad resources for LGBTQ+ students. These can be found on the Seminole Allies & Safe Zones website http://sga.fsu.edu/
safe_zone/ (look at the educational handouts, for example) and the Pride Student Union website http://sga.fsu.edu/ pride/index.shtml, and for a history of our campus initiatives I refer you to the excellent booklet that I'm about to send you in a separate message.
I'm told by Student Affairs officials that when you contacted FSU they were in the process of finishing the Campus Pride index material so that will be complete shortly.
In addition, here is a separate list of initiatives provided by Athletics showing actions they have taken to support our LGBTQ+ students.
- Several staff have undergone the Seminole Allies/ Safe Zone training and have Safe Zone information posted in their office
- We offer counseling & support services for student athletes who are dealing with a myriad of issues including sexual orientation
- We include LGBTQ+ content in our SA training & educational programs (sexual responsibility/conduct)
- Respect for diversity/FSU nondiscrimination info is included in our SA Handbook and Athletics Dept policies and procedures
- We have several athletics staff (including our Athletic Director) serving on the FSU Diversity and Inclusion Council
- We direct students to campus groups for LGBTQ+ support & resources
- Some coaches have reached out to Pride Student Union to promote attendance at athletics events
- We have planned to conduct Safe Zones training for SAAC, coaches and staff in the 2015 spring
I was most impressed by the 28-page booklet put out by the Pride Student Union. It gives a great overview of LGBT history and provides a ton of local and national resources. I did not know, for example, that a new Chick-fil-A opened on campus in 2013 despite protests from the Pride Student Union. In addition, I thought the glossary of terms and what pronouns to use was excellent. The booklet will be available on campus for the spring semester.
Ohio State, Oregon and Florida State take this issue seriously, Alabama is trying and Coach Nick Saban said he would treat an openly gay player with dignity and respect. Feel free to root for any of the four on New Year's Day. I want Oregon, simply because I live in L.A. and am a Pac-12 guy.
Here is the cover of the booklet: