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Adelphi students marching in a pride parade in NYC.

Adelphi is a safe, welcoming and inclusive home for all, and the Campus Pride Index recognizes our unwavering commitment to our LGBTQ+ community. Our stars continue to climb ever closer to 100 percent. We are very proud.

Alyssa Furline knew Adelphi was the school for her the first time she stepped on campus and saw LGBTQ+ Pride and Transgender Pride flags next to the Ruth S. Harley University Center. It was during a campus visit when she was a high school senior.

“It made a statement,” said Furline, now a sophomore studying communications. “I immediately felt welcomed.” Furline felt so comfortable that she came out as pansexual during her first year at the University.

“I came from a very conservative school, and Adelphi provided so many resources to me that I felt safe coming out in college,” she said.

Adelphi’s commitment to students like Furline has raised the University’s overall rating on the Campus Pride Index (CPI)—a nationally recognized measure of LGBTQ friendliness—to 87 percent, or 4.5 stars.

For the first time, Adelphi reached a perfect five-star rating on the CPI in three areas: LGBTQ Counseling and Health, LGBTQ Campus Safety, and LGBTQ Recruitment and Retention.

Just five years ago, Adelphi’s overall Campus Pride Index score was 57 percent. Now it’s on the cusp of being a five-star campus, thanks to a number of initiatives carried out by groups of administrators and students.

Allowing name changes on ID cards

In 2021, Adelphi began allowing transgender students and employees to change their name on their ID card without legally changing their names. “Instead of always having their ID card on them, which is a constant reminder of a name they do not identify with, they have their correct name,” said Anna Zinko, chair of Adelphi’s LGBTQ+ Task Force.

Scholarships

The University created an LGBTQ+ and Allies Excellence Fund to pay for scholarships for LGBTQ+ students. The fund will recognize excellent LGBTQ+ students and give emergency grants to students who lose housing or financial support when they come out to their parents or family. The LGBTQ+ and Allies Excellence Fund was part of the Giving Day 2021 crowdfunding event, with a pair of donors pledging to match up to $5,000 in donations that day. Adelphi’s goal is to raise $25,000 to endow the fund by the end of 2021.

Support Network for Students

The University created an LGBTQ+ Empowerment Group for students who wish to meet to discuss topics relevant to the LGBTQ+ community—like coming out to family and friends, bullying, and being a queer person of color. The group is moderated by Scott Zotto ’04, MSW ’09, coordinator of substance use counseling and prevention programming in the University’s Division of Student Affairs and co-founder of the Alumni Association’s LGBTQ+ and Allies Affinity Group. He has focused on topics like healthy same-sex relationships and identity formation. “We want them to feel connected on campus and help them navigate the LGBTQ+ experience,” Zotto said. “We are really there for them.”

The successful initiatives have been the work of administrators, faculty and students on the LGBTQ+ Task Force and the LGBTQ+ and Allies Committee. “There are pockets of people all over campus who have made these things happen,” Zinko said. “Part of what we value and who we are as an institution is that we are a safe and affirming place for people of all identities, including the LGBTQ+ community.”

Zinko and Zotto say their next big goal in making Adelphi a better place for the LGBTQ+ community is the creation of an on-campus resource center with a full-time staff member dedicated to LGBTQ+ programming.

“We feel it’s our responsibility to make sure there’s a whole support network of services for LGBTQ+ students here at Adelphi,” Zotto said. “We want LGBTQ+ students to know that we see you, we know you, we appreciate you and we value you.”

For more on leadership, validation and allyship within the LGBTQ+ community at Adelphi, read this interview with Scott Zotto.

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