CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Bates College's athletics program was recognized today as one of the best in the country, in any division, when it comes to its qualities of inclusion and friendliness in relation to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students.
Campus Pride, "the nation's leading educational organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students," established its top 10 list for the first time. The announcement reads, in part:
"In partnership with Compete Magazine, Campus Pride’s 'Out to Play List' is a compilation of the 10 'Best of the Best' LGBT-friendly athletics programs at colleges and universities across the country. The list was compiled from nominations received nationwide, with each reviewed for its LGBT-inclusion efforts, practices and policy implementation. The list is published in the magazine’s May 1 print issue and online at www.campuspride.org/outtoplay.
"'For far too long, no one has known the score when it comes to LGBT-inclusion and friendliness in collegiate sports programs -- that changes today,' said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride. 'LGBT students today are more out and vocal than ever before and those who are also athletes deserve to know which schools and which athletics programs will respect them for who they are. All students deserve the assurance of safety and inclusion both in the classroom and on the field.'"
"The schools included in the Out to Play List include (alphabetically): Bates College, Bowdoin College, Bucknell University, Columbia University, Indiana University, Ithaca College, Kennesaw State University, New York University, Stanford University and Whitman College. A full breakdown of the schools' individual programs can be found in the Compete Magazine feature and online at www.campuspride.org/outtoplay."
Bates Athletic Director Kevin McHugh acknowledged that "the Department of Athletics has worked hard and intentionally to help lead the Bates community in respecting and welcoming everyone, regardless of their perceived or actual sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Campus Pride's recognition of these efforts is most gratifying." McHugh added that Athletics' efforts are the product of an ongoing partnership with a host of other campus organizations.