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Frequently Asked Questions

While there’s no easy way to fully describe the campus climate at any college or university, we have addressed some questions you may have about LGBTQ Campus Life at the University of Richmond.

Does the University include sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in its non-discrimination policy?

Yes! Sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression are included in the University’s non-discrimination policy.

Is there an active LGBTQ student organization?

Quite a few, actually! SCOPE (Students Creating Opportunities, Pride, and Equality) head up much of the social and activist efforts among LGBTQ students on campus. Additionally we have the Equality Alliance which works on LGBTQ issues in our law school.  Finally we have Icebreakers, our confidential support group for those who need to talk about issues around sexual and gender identity.

Is there a campus office for LGBTQ student services?

Yes! Common Ground is home to LGBTQ Campus Life, and includes an associate director position dedicated to LGBTQ Campus Life and an LGBTQ Lounge space. We offer support, advocacy, and programming for LGBTQ students and their allies.

Where can I find resources on coming out?

Our LGBTQ Lounge features lots of great resources on coming out, from brochures, to books, and even movies.  Icebreakers is a confidential support group run by trained student facilitators and is meant to assist students who are in the process of coming out or need to talk about issues surrounding sexual and/or gender identity.  We also have great allies in CAPS (Counseling And Psychological Services) as well as the Chaplaincy for those seeking more emotional or spiritual support.  Finally, our Safe Zone Allies are trained in supporting students through their coming out process.

How can trans students find resources and support on campus?
To meet the needs of trans students at the University of Richmond, Common Ground has created a one-stop website featuring information, resources, and campus policies.  Visit Trans at UR for more information.
Are other campus offices supportive and inclusive of LGBTQ students and issues?

Support for LGBTQ students on campus is widespread. Here are just a few highlights:

What activities are sponsored on campus for LGBTQ students?

Common Ground's LGBTQ Campus Life iniative offers several signature events for LGBTQ students including:

Additionally we offer workshops, discussions, and speakers throughout the year that speak to the LGBTQ experience.  Our LGBTQ student organizations, SCOPE (Students Creating Opportunities, Pride, & Equity), and the Equality Alliance in the Law School hold meetings, discussions, and programs throughout the year.  Check out our calendar on the LGBTQ Campus Life Home Page for more event information.

Is there a procedure for reporting LGBTQ-related bias incidents and hate crimes? How does the school respond to such incidents?

The campus has a well-thought out Bias Incident Protocol that includes numerous options for reporting such incidents. The protocol also specifies that a Bias Resource Team convene when incidents are likely to have community-wide ramifications. The team, which includes many of the University’s highest-ranking officials, then guides the campus through any crisis with a special emphasis on ensuring that those who have been made to feel vulnerable by an incident garner the institution’s full support and compassion.

Are supportive faculty and staff easily identifiable?

In the past year alone, more than 400 members of the campus community became members of the Safe Zone program. Most of the members are staff or faculty, and nearly all of them display their Safe Zone signs, which indicate their eagerness to support LGBTQ students. A listing of some of the LGBTQ and allied Safe Zone members is posted online.

Of course, there are many other members of the campus community who have not been able to attend a workshop, but still offer support to LGBTQ students.

Does the school offer domestic partner benefits?

Yes! Same-Sex Domestic Partner Benefits are available for same-sex partners of faculty and staff. These benefits include health and dental coverage, flexible spending accounts, tuition benefits, leave benefits, library and recreational facility privileges, and the employee assistance program (EAP).

What Richmond-area resources are available for LGBTQ students and their allies?

The city of Richmond is full of resources for LGBTQ students. Diversity Richmond offers members of the Richmond community access to support groups, visiting exhibitions, and actively supports local LGBTQ causes.

The (ROSMY) focuses on LGBTQ issues within area school systems, and serves as a welcoming environment for LGBTQ youth in the Richmond area. In recent years, ROSMY has hosted a successful alternative prom as well as discussion groups related to transgender issues and leadership development among youth. 

The LGBTQ community of Richmond is also served by the Health Brigade. The first HIV/AIDS clinic in Virginia, the Health Brigade provides free HIV testing and a transgender clinic.

Southerners On New Ground (SONG) focuses on racial and economic justice in a queer context and works to support LGBTQ people of color.  Richmond is home to one of their many field offices.

GayRVA, Richmond’s leading online magazine dedicated to the LGBTQ community, provides an up-to-the-minute look into Richmond’s LGBTQ culture.

LGBTQ Campus Climate

The LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index assists campuses in improving their LGBT campus life and shaping the educational experience to be more inclusive, welcoming and respectful of LGBT and ally people. The index is owned and operated by Campus Pride, the leading national nonprofit organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create safer, more LGBT-friendly environments.

A password is not necessary to access UR's campus climate report, but you will need to enter your full name and e-mail address.