By Ira Bohm-Sanchez, July 31, 2014.
In 2013, Arizona State University received a failing grade (2.5 out of 5) on its overall campus pride, according to CampusPrideIndex.org. Earlier this year Campus Pride was at it again, and this time around ASU earned an A.
ASU isn’t the only school working to improve its overall LGBT-friendly climate. In 2011, Maricopa Community Colleges added gender identity to its non-discrimination policy.
While school administrations continue to make progress within their campus climates, student involvement is also a key factor in these scores.
From having a safe and fun place to hang out to establishing connections for future employment, LGBTQ clubs and groups provide student with outlets to make connections, find support and become involved.
Whether you’re a senior in high school or heading into a doctoral program this fall, here is a list of LGBTQ resources available to students affiliated with Arizona’s top three public institutions.
Arizona State University | Campus Pride Index Rating: 4.5 out of 5
ASU, a top-ranked research university, boasts one of the largest undergraduate populations in the nation spread across four campuses. The majority of ASU’s LGBTQ groups are based at the Tempe campus, since it is the largest and also the home of the school’s LGBTQA Services office (located on the third floor of the Memorial Union).
Contact: 480-965-9665; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ways to get involved at ASU include, but are not limited to the following:
Human Rights Campaign
HRC at ASU is a civil rights organization that works to achieve LGBTQ equality on campus and throughout the state.
Contact: email@example.com or facebook.com/hrcasu.
InQUEERy is a interdisciplinary collaborative of scholars based out of the School of Social Work at the Downtown Phoenix campus. The group meets monthly and provides a space for students and faculty to work together on queer research projects and journal articles.
Contact: Natasha Mendoza, Ph.D., LMSW, firstname.lastname@example.org.
LGBT Devil’s Pride
As a chapter of the ASU Alumni Association, this club unites graduates for business and camaraderie through various events, meetings and fundraising efforts.
Contact: Gabriel Escontrias, Jr., Ed.D., email@example.com.
ASU LGBTQ Coalition
The LGBTQ Coalition is an umbrella organization that comprises the school’s student groups and clubs, and acts as a one-stop shop for finding out what resources and spaces are active on campus.
Contact: 480-965-8690; firstname.lastname@example.org; facebook.com/asulgbtq.
National Lesbian and Gay Journalist Association
The ASU Chapter of NLGJA is a group of journalists, media professionals, educators and students that fosters fair and accurate coverage of LGBTQ issues. As the first student chapter in the U.S., this group offers members access to mentorship, educational and networking opportunities.
Contact: Robert Soares, email@example.com; facebook.com/groups/NLGJAArizona.
Sigma Phi Beta
The Alpha Chapter of Sigma Phi Beta is a fraternity for men “from all walks of life” that participates in Greek life activities, as well as community service and philanthropy.
Contact: 1-888-PHI-BETA; firstname.lastname@example.org; sigmaphibeta.org/arizonastate.
University of Arizona | Campus Pride Index Rating: 4 out of 5
This Southern Arizona campus is not only home to the U of A Institute for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies and the upcoming 22nd annual Lesbian Looks Film Series, but also a LGBTQ Resource Center located in the Student Union.
Contact: 520-626-1996; deanofstudents.arizona.edu/lgbtqaffairs.
Ways to get involved at U of A include, but are not limited to the following:
Delta Lambda Phi
The Omega Chapter of Delta Lambda Phi, a progressive male fraternity, that works toward enhancing the quality of life among gay, bisexual and progressive students.
Contact: email@example.com; dlp.org/omega.
LGBTQA Support Group
Billed as a safe space for students, staff and faculty to talk in an open and supportive environment about issues impacting their lives and the LGBTQ and allied communities, this group meets weekly to provide free and confidential resources and guidance.
Contact: Martie van der Voort, M.C., L.P.C., 520-621-3334; firstname.lastname@example.org.
MedPride, a gay-straight medical alliance, focuses on promoting awareness and sensitivity on LGBTQ issues in healthcare, including topics that affect as patients, students, residents, doctors and allies.
Pride Alliance maintains the university’s drop-in center inside the Student Union, which provides a safe space for the LGBTQ students and allies to study, socialize and attend weekly meetings.
Contact: 520-621-7585; email@example.com.
Pridecats Alumni Club
This LGBTQA alumni club provides graduates with opportunities to connect with and engage alumni, faculty, staff, students, and allies, in addition to supporting research and community scholarships.
Contact: David Martinez III; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pride Law Alliance
Open to the students enrolled in the College of Law, this club strives to improve the legal status of LGBT people and to provide legal information to LGBT community members.
Northern Arizona University | Campus Pride Index Rating: 5 out of 5
As the No. 1-ranked LGBT-friendly school in Arizona, according to the Campus Pride Index, NAU is a cool, queer oasis in the pines.
Ways to get involved at NAU include, but are not limited to the following:
People Respecting Individuals and Sexual Minorities
PRISM provides a safe, social environment for LGBTQ students through dance parties, drag shows, scholarships, resources and weekly meetings.
Contact: facebook.com/prism.nau; email@example.com.
The commission is an organization on campus, made up of students and faculty, that hosts events, provides resources and creates academic connections
Maricopa County Community College District
The community colleges of Maricopa County also have active clubs and gay-straight alliances that offer students a safe place with access to resources as well as opportunities to meet as a group and get involved in the community.
Equality Maricopa is a group of students and faculty who work on behalf of LGBTQ students throughout the district. For more information, visit maricopa.edu/equality.
For more information about club memberships or meetings, contact the representative at your school.
Chandler-Gilbert Community College: One Voice
Lori Girshick, 480-857-5536
Estrella Mountain Community College: Gay Straight Alliance
Sandy Zetlan and Kathleen Iudicello,
Gateway Community College: Gay Straight Alliance
Sharon Zygowicz, 602-286-8125
Glendale Community College: Compass
Chris Miller and Brandon Cleworth,
Mesa Community College: PRISM
Amy Leer, 480-461-7055
Phoenix College: Rainbow Spectrum
Kory Ambrosich and Kenny Miller,
Paradise Valley Community College: P.R.I.D.E. Club
Dale Heuser, 602-787-7276
Scottsdale Community College: SPARK
Tim Larey, 480-423-6143; Thomas Williams, 480-423-6667
South Mountain Community College: Q&A
Julie Holston, 602-243-8267; Steve Fountaine, 602-305-5648