Both sexual orientation and gender identity are included in the university's equal opportunity policy. Additionally, the City of Tacoma municipal code prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. (Chapter 1.29 of the code.)
B-GLAD is the University of Puget Sound's gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and straight alliance. It is recognized and funded by the Associated Students of the University of Puget Sound (student government). According to their mission statement, "B-GLAD works to make the campus a safe and accepting place for all people regardless of their sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation." B-GLAD functions primarily as a political and social organization. The group welcomes all who are interested and is one of the most active student organizations on campus.
The Office of Intercultural Engagement (OIE) is designed to support the needs of students of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students; women; and students of various spiritual backgrounds. OIE also coordinates the Student Diversity Center, where B-GLAD and other multicultural student organizations frequently meet.
The staff in Counseling, Health and Wellness Services (CHWS) are very supportive. All services provided by CHWS are private and confidential. Donn Marshall, chief psychologist and director of CHWS, also serves as one of two advisors to the B-GLAD student organization.
Non-discrimination and inclusion of LGBT people at Puget Sound is not only a university policy, it is a philosophy central to our mission. For example, the Career and Employment Services office has recently developed resources specifically addressing career search issues for LGBT students.
Residence Life staff help foster a positive environment in the halls for all students. In a survey each spring, students in the residence halls are asked, "How satisfied are you with your fellow residents regarding their respect for differences of sexual orientation?" Over the past three years, students' responses have indicated higher satisfaction each year, and students report higher satisfaction than students at most other schools, ranking in the top 20% of over 200 schools surveyed. In the most recent survey, over 70% of residents reported feeling satisfied with the level of respect.
Several activities focused on LGBT students occur throughout the year at Puget Sound. B-GLAD sponsored events include weekly meetings, film nights, and a popular drag show. The university supports these events and also coordinates several events through the OIE office. During National Coming Out Day celebrations, an LGBT Leadership scholarship is presented. At the end of each year, LGBT graduates are recognized at a special Lavender Graduation ceremony that is included as part of the university graduation calendar.
The campus takes any incident of LGBT bias or harassment seriously. Concerns or complaints may be brought to the Dean of Students. In the event of hate incidents, the Dean of Students office both investigates the situation and responds to affected individuals and groups through clear statements of affirmation, educational programs, and other appropriate support. Both informal and formal processes, including the Student Integrity Code, can be used to address threatening or discriminatory behavior in the campus community.
There is an active Safe Zone Project on campus that involves the public display of stickers designating LGBT-friendly spaces along with workshops addressing heterosexism and resources available to support LGBT students, faculty, and staff.
Domestic partner benefits-such as health insurance-are available for partners of faculty and staff.
The best way to find out about the campus and community is to visit for yourself. Contact the Office of Admission to arrange a visit. Also, check out the profiles of recent students to hear about their experiences at Puget Sound.