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University of Maryland, Towson University Receive High Marks For LGBTQ Inclusion

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- University of Maryland, College Park and Towson University are two of the most welcoming campuses for LGBTQ students and faculty, according to rankings by Campus Pride Index.

Both schools received five-star ratings, joining 45 other campuses at the top of the rankings, according to Towson University officials.

The nonprofit for campus groups and student leaders compiles the ratings after examining school policies, academic programs, student housing, campus life and resources such as health services and student counseling, among other criteria.

The University of Maryland's flagship campus received five out of five stars in nine of 10 categories. In LGBTQ Housing & Residence Life, the university only received four stars due to a lack of gender-inclusive single-occupancy bathrooms in student housing, according to the nonprofit.

Towson received five stars in five of the categories and four-and-a-half stars in the other five. Campus Pride said the university has an LGBTQ organization for undergrads, but not one for graduate students, and the school lacks a social fraternity or sorority for LGBTQ students.

In a release, Towson University hailed the news after receiving a four-star rating one year ago.

"TU is a national leader in inclusive excellence, and this recognition is evidence of the institution-wide emphasis TU has placed on inclusion," President Kim Schatzel said. "An inclusive and diverse community is a pre-requisite for a quality, higher education experience. Such an educational experience provides that our graduates learn to both thrive and support others to thrive inclusively, and because of those experiences, TU students are better prepared to lead in a 21st Century global economy."

Elsewhere in the region, the Maryland Institute College of Art received four-and-a-half stars; Johns Hopkins University and Goucher College received four stars; University of Maryland, Baltimore County and St. Johns College in Annapolis received three-and-a-half stars; and Morgan State University received one-and-a-half stars.

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