Warren Wilson College named most LGBTQ-friendly college in North Carolina

Attorney Roberta Kaplan delivers Constitution Day lecture at Warren Wilson College, which eCollegeFinder named the "most LGBTQ-friendly college" in North Carolina. Photo by Rachel Sexton, courtesy of WWC

Press release from Warren Wilson College:

Aug. 3, 2015 – Warren Wilson College is the most lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning-friendly college or university in North Carolina, according to eCollegeFinder, a website “dedicated to inspiring and informing college students with comprehensive online tools and information.” eCollegeFinder credits Warren Wilson College’s Center for Gender and Relationships (CGR) with bringing in “numerous LGBT activists” and creating an open dialogue regarding transgender issues along with asexuality and bisexuality.

“What makes Warren Wilson unique is its inclusiveness, which addresses the spectrum of [LGBTQ], while other colleges may still be caught up trying to accept lesbian and gay students,” said Mike Simmons of eCollegeFinder. “Not all colleges have an Asexuality Awareness week, which shows the initiative to educate and show more identities than just the two commonly addressed.”

In the last year, Warren Wilson College played host to LGBTQ activists, including Roberta Kaplan, who successfully argued to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, and Ruth Messinger, president of the American Jewish World Service (AJWS), who discussed issues faced by LGBTQ communities in developing countries. Following the Supreme Court’s most recent decision to declare marriage for same-sex couples legal in all 50 states, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College, Paula Garrett, Ph.D., who also writes on the topic of gay rights for the Huffington Post, was a sought-after media expert.

“Warren Wilson College strives to create a safe, welcoming and inclusive space for everyone,” said Jeannine Heynes, director of the CGR. “We are proud to be recognized as the most LGBTQ-friendly school in North Carolina by eCollegeFinder and one of the top five in the country by the Princeton Review.”

The CGR’s mission is to build and sustain healthy relationships within the Warren Wilson College community by offering education, advocacy and resources within the LGBTQ community and in the areas of sexual assault and relationship violence prevention, gender equity and intersectionality, and sexual health and education. The CGR team provides creative and relevant programming and workshops, affinity support groups, trainings, outreach through social media, and opportunities for community service and activism.

Warren Wilson College earned the recognition based on the 2015 Princeton Review’s “The Best 379 Colleges” list, which ranked the Asheville campus at No. 5 for the “Most LGBT-Friendly” colleges. eCollegeFinder also reviews “events, workshops, and overall LGBTQ support that colleges provide for students,” according to Simmons.

About Able Allen
Able studied political science and history at Warren Wilson College. He enjoys travel, dance, games, theater, blacksmithing and the great outdoors. Follow me @AbleLAllen

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