Cherry Hall lit for Pride Month at WKU
- Monday, June 27th, 2022
As a commemoration of the Stonewall Riots, New York City held the first “gay liberation” parade on June 28, 1970. As these annual demonstrations became more wide-spread and focused on LGBTQ+ pride, they expanded to include the entire month of June. The lights at Cherry Hall this week symbolize the continued work by Western Kentucky University to maintain an inclusive environment that prepares students of all backgrounds to be productive, engaged, and socially responsible citizen-leaders of a global society.
While currently at a 4.5 rating on a five-point scale, WKU, under the direction of our Chief Diversity Officers, is pursuing a five-star rating by 2022-23, according to Dr. Molly Kerby, Co-Chief Diversity Officer and Assistant Provost for Institutional Effectiveness.
“For the last couple of years, we have been working with the DEI Workgroup and Student Government Association to increase our rating with the Campus Pride Index, a national benchmarking tool for LGBTQ+ resources on college campuses,” Kerby said. “The Campus Pride index ranks colleges on areas such as campus life, academics, housing policies, safety, counseling/health, and institutional commitment. WKU’s current index rating for 2021-22 is 4.5, an increase from 2 stars in 2016-17 and 3 stars in 2018-19.”
As it relates to LGBTQ policy inclusion, support, and institutional commitment, multiple groups have been involved in university advancement including the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) workgroup, committees in various units in Academic Affairs and Enrollment and Student Experience, and the WKU Alumni Association.
“It takes intentional effort for campus programs, policies, and processes to be inclusive of our LGBTQ+ students, staff, and faculty. Advancement of such efforts across campus, from our University DEI Workgroup to our Pride Center and Hilltopper Pride Network for faculty and staff, has significantly improved our Campus Pride Index rating,” said Anthony McAdoo, Executive Director of the Alumni Association. “We have to be purposeful to keep building on this work and ensure our LGBTQ+ community is seen, supported, and successful.” McAdoo also serves on the Pride Center Advisory Board and Lavender Recognition Ceremony Planning Committee.
While June is coming to a close, you can continue to learn more and show support for LGBTQ+ individuals all year long.
To learn more about DEI work, visit wku.edu/dei.
Cherry Hall will remain lit through June 30 with rainbow lighting.