Kansas State recognized as a top LGBTQ-friendly university

The Kansas State University LGBT Resource Center and Diversity and Multicultural Student Affairs hosted the Kansas LGBTQ Leadership Conference on Friday, April 22, 2022. (Archive photo by Carter Schaffer | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State was named a top 40 institution for LGBTQ students in 2022, according to Campus Pride.

Adam Carr, program and project administrator for Multicultural Student Affairs, said the recognition is a huge honor. 

“The [LGBT Resource Center] has a five out of five star rating from Campus Pride and as a university. We are one of very few in the Big 12 to have that recognition, and we’ve had that for multiple years,” Carr said. “In the program, students have access to mental healthcare support, a little bit of personal wellness, health support, voice therapy and a mental healthcare resource fund that students can access to help cover those costs.” 

Brandon Haddock, coordinator of the LGBT Resource Center, said the center provides a safe space for individuals who are discriminated against because of their identity. 

“Any institution can send out a message that it’s welcoming to a particular community,” Haddock said. “As a university, we are getting better at saying ‘no, really, we are doing these things to ensure that people feel safe and to feel affirmed in their identity.’”

Haddock said, during the first 250 days of this year, there were over 300 legislative bills filed across the United States discriminating against the LGBTQ community. He said this is a sign that the community is not always safe.

“There is a chance of violence we don’t want to experience,” Haddock said. “That’s why this office is here so we can work on some of those things and say, no, we need a policy as a university to support students and make sure they feel safe.” 

Lauren Steege, freshman in environmental design, said the resource center is helpful for LGBTQ students at K-State. 

“It has been good so far, and there is a lot of our community living here,” Steege said. “I feel like I belong, and I find people just like me very easily.”

Haddock said inequalities still exist at many universities.

“Even as a university, we are always going to be improving how we can support individuals and communities of all identities and also encourage and build an environment of equity,” Haddock said.

Carr said the resource center has various student organizations for LGBTQ students.

“There are five student organizations, and they are good at providing students a space to find community, learn about themselves and others, and they have opportunities to attend conferences and have presentations,” Carr said.

According to K-State Today, campus organizations such as the Sexuality and Gender Alliance, LGBTQ+ Faculty Staff Alliance, Gender Collective and oSTEM support LGBTQ students on campus. 

Carr said he is also a co-chair for the LGBTQ Faculty Staff Alliance, and the staff gets together and brainstorms ways to support faculty and staff members who are LGBTQ.

“The faculty like to help each other out. In turn, the program helps mentor student org groups, so stepping out of their role in the university helps provide those students people to go to that could support them,” Carr said. 

To learn more about the resources K-State offers, visit the LGBT Resource Center website.