In 2011, The Provost’s Committee on LGBTQ Life issued the Executive Summary Report of its examination of experiences and perceptions of members of the campus community about harassment based on sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression. This Campus Climate Report examines the impact of University policies, procedures and practices designed to create an inclusive living, working and learning environment on campus identifies recommendations for future actions.
As the Policy on Prohibited Harassment and Discrimination and the Policy Statement on Non-Discrimination reinforce, the University is committed to providing a welcoming, inclusive environment and fully supports the right of every member of the Carolina community to learn and work in an atmosphere free from discrimination and harassment. You will find the policies in the Nondiscrimination section of the Campus Policies and Procedures website, http://www.unc.edu/campus/policies.html.
The data from this climate study show the positive value of the University’s investment of resources in education, student support and policies related to people with marginalized sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions. Respondents reported greater awareness of available resources than in the previous report, released in 2002. Also, the overall experience of verbal harassment and fear for personal safety because of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression was lower than that reported in the U.S. Department of Education’s 2010 report on the State of Higher Education for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender People.
However, the data also indicated that people’s experiences differ widely by their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer respondents reported experiencing verbal harassment and fearing for their physical safety due to sexual orientation at a much higher rate than heterosexual respondents, and transgender respondents experienced this to the highest degree. In addition, people who identified themselves as multi-racial felt that the University had not adequately addressed issues of sexual orientation.
The Campus Climate Report will help inform the University’s ongoing efforts to create a campus environment that is truly welcoming and inclusive for everyone. One recommendation from the report was to increase opportunities for education and outreach. This is especially important for our entire campus community since the most frequently identified locations of harassment were Franklin Street, the Pit, respondents’ offices or places of employment, and residence halls.
You can access the report and its full set of recommendations here. If you would like additional information about the report or available campus resources, please contact Dr. Phoenix at 919-843-5376 or lgbtq at unc.edu.