Title

LGBTQIA+ Campus Climate at a Small Liberal Arts University: An Exploratory Study with the Aim of Improving the Environment for Queer Students

Graduation Year

2019

Comments

At the request of the author, this paper is not available for download. Bona fide researchers may consult it by visiting the University Archives in Tate Archives & Special Collections; contact archives@iwu.edu for details.

Abstract

Research suggests that a significant portion of LGBTQIA+ individuals report that their sexual orientation and/or gender identity play a substantial role in choosing which postsecondary institution to attend; thus, it is incumbent upon institutions for higher education to assess their respective campus climates. This project evaluates LGBTQIA+ campus climate at a small, private, Midwestern liberal arts university. Utilizing a grounded theory approach, I interviewed my queer-identified classmates – selected via a combination of strategic and snowball sampling – about their experiences on campus. Through these discussions, I gained a better understanding of queer students’ experiences within the classroom, extracurricular activities, living spaces, and elsewhere throughout the institution. Findings include a divide between cisgender and transgender or nonbinary participants’ perceptions of campus climate, as well as incongruence in institutional policy and students’ lived experiences. The information I gleaned from these interviews was then used to suggest ways for the university to better serve its LGBTQIA+ population.

Disciplines

Gender and Sexuality | Sociology

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