UW-Green Bay a top LGBTQ friendly university

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -- UW-Green Bay is voted one of the country’s top LGBTQ friendly campuses for the third year in a row.

“UWGB is really special because of our size. We’re a relatively small community, so here when someone has an issue or concern, it’s something everyone’s going to latch onto and support,” says Eduardo Navarro, president, UW-Green Bay Student Government Association. “I think that's why the LGBTQ students feel so comfortable here.”

At just 6,700 full-time students, UW-Green Bay is one of the smallest universities to make Campus Pride’s list of top campuses friendly to the LGBTQ community.

“UWGB is very student-focused,” says Stacie Christian, the Director of Inclusive Excellence at UW-Green Bay’s Pride Center. “So we do ask out students what do they need, and what do they need to feel included in the classroom, included on campus.”

Campus Pride set its criteria on things like LGBTQ campus safety, LGBTQ housing, and LGBTQ policy inclusion. It says those qualifications set UW-Green bay apart from larger schools.

“Most students feel very accepted here, including our transgender students,” Christian says. “They can use their name, the actual name that they're using, on the grade system and the email system and in the classroom, and we also use their preferred pronouns.”

Faculty says many students and staff members come to the university specifically because the campus is so welcoming to the LGBTQ community.

“They came here because they know we have a Pride Center, they heard about how affirming the whole campus is,” Christian says. “It's not just that it's affirming in the pride center, but that the campus itself is affirming.”

Students agree, saying the small campus has a large support system.

“Everyone on campus, every single student, every Phoenix at Green Bay truly deserves the best they can get from this campus,” says Sam Engle, vice president, UW-Green Bay Student Government Association. “UWGB isn't the biggest school, in even the UW system, let alone even the country, and we're able to do some fairly remarkable things, so it's something that we can take pride in, we take pride in it.”

If you're interested in learning more about LGBTQ topics, UW-Green Bay is hosting the National Geographic film "Gender Revolution" on Wednesday, September 13, from 6-8:30 pm in the University Union Christie Theatre. The film is from 6:30-7:30 pm with a follow-up discussion.