Macalester is LGBT friendly after all, says Campus Pride Index

560px-Macalester-Humanities.jpg
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5 stars here.
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When this year's Campus Pride Index came out a few weeks ago, both the U of M and Carleton College ranked in the top 25 of the country's most LGBT-friendly higher ed campuses, earning five stars each. But Macalester -- so liberal, so artsy -- put up a measly 3.5 stars, the same as Minnesota State in Mankato. Not long after the results were released, Macalester's listing mysteriously disappeared. 

Mac reappeared on the index last night, this time with a full five stars and a scorecard filled with checks: LGBT studies program, campus police trained on sexual orientation issues, inclusive health services, yes, yes, yep. So what gives? Did Macalester just institute a bunch of new policies and re-submit its survey response to Campus Pride?

No, says Jim Hoppe, the school's Dean of Students and the guy who answers the survey. Apparently, Mac's responses got mixed up from the start, and then the easiest way to fix the results was for the school to delete its Campus Pride profile entirely and start over.

Hoppe has been filling out the survey for "four or five years at least," and was "concerned" when he saw this year's low ranking. "We had just gotten our certificate, and it said we had received five stars," he says, "so something was off."

The accidentally-submitted surveys had come from a workshop, where they were used to test students' knowledge about campus policies. "There was a lot that was not accurate," Hoppe says.

Prospective students have mentioned the Campus Pride Index to Hoppe in meetings in the past. "They're informed," he says. "I feel badly, I know a lot of prospective students check that list, and I hope they didn't get misled."

So Macalester prospies, here's the update: Don't worry, the school's LGBT awareness (and its Queer Cabaret) are still alive and well.


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