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Pride for LGBTQ campus progress

MSU Denver achieves high Campus Pride Index rating.

By Josie Lavender

January 26, 2021

Students marching in Pride Parade.The Campus Pride Index is a nationwide resource that has served as a benchmarking tool for college and university LGBTQIA+ inclusion since 2007. After Metropolitan State University of Denver representatives completed the Campus Pride Index’s extensive survey outlining the University’s values, services, resources and more, MSU Denver received a 4.5-star ranking out of a possible five stars.

“We have been focused a lot on policy and infrastructure work, which I think has contributed to our high rating,” said Steve Willich, director for the Auraria Campus’ tri-institutional LGBTQ Student Resource Center.       

Introducing gender-inclusive bathrooms and locker rooms on campus is among some of the structural contributions in MSU Denver’s Pride rating. Another key component to the index is community and student-to-faculty allyship. The LGBTQ SRC offers events and opportunities for community-building as well as Auraria Campus Pride Initiative trainings and presentations to educate Roadrunners on how to be LGBTQ allies. Interested parties can email for details on upcoming trainings. 

To help better serve campus diversity, ACPI educational trainer and event coordinator Kat Hazel has been developing an intersectional training on how to support queer and trans people of color. She explained that one of the best things faculty members can do for intersectional students is raise awareness about available resources such as the Student Care Center team. As classes resume this week, Willich and Hazel also emphasized the impact of Canvas’ pronoun-customization feature and using students’ preferred names.

“The risk of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts and actions in those who are not respected (through proper name and pronoun use) is actually about nine times the rate of a typical American,” Hazel said.

Hazel also shared helpful tips for using and respecting Roadrunners’ correct names and pronouns.

When a student, colleague, friend, loved one or acquaintance has asked you to use different pronouns and their correct name:

1. Respect their request, even if you don’t understand it.

2. Recognize that their reasons for changing their pronouns are not anyone else’s business but their own.

3. If you accidentally use their former name or incorrect pronouns, a simple apology is enough, and continuing to correct your language is appreciated.

To learn more about the LGBTQ SRC trainings and resources, visit

Topics: Award, Diversity, Excellence, Inclusion, LGBTQ Student Resource Center

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