Campus Pride dumps UCF, UNF from rankings of best universities for LGBTQ students
UCF facilities lit up in colors of Rainbow Flag. Image via UCF.

A prohibition of DEI prompted a 'red alert' instead advising students to be wary of enrolling.

A group spotlighting positive college environments for LGBTQ students just dropped two Florida universities from its rankings.

Campus Pride excluded the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the University of North Florida (UNF) from its Best of the Best LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges & Universities list. That’s despite both colleges earning high marks in prior years.

Instead, the organization issued a “red alert” cautioning students against attending.

The reason? The organization issued a press release citing a new law (SB 266) overhauling Florida’s higher education system in part by prohibiting spending on diversity, equity and inclusion programs or classes.

“Campus Pride issues a ‘red alert’ warning to prospective students and families that the excluded universities’ 5-star rating will inevitably go down,” said Campus Pride Founder, CEO and Executive Director Shane Mendez Windmeyer.

“New laws in Texas and Florida effectively require colleges and universities in those states to cease LGBTQ+ inclusive programs, services and policies. Students and families must exercise caution in choosing to go to college on any public Florida or Texas campus.”

The warning notably came out the same week the Florida Board of Education approved several controversial measures including enforcement requirements on segregating bathrooms and changing facilities by gender at birth, even in student housing.

“New state laws endanger and harm LGBTQ+ people, particularly transgender students, and create hostile and unwelcoming learning environments for all students,” Mendez Windmeyer said.

The Florida campuses will still be included in the Campus Pride Index, but the organization said scores there will be impacted as new laws and regulations go into effect. Profiles in the index will be updated later this year.

Notably, Campus Pride’s Best of the Best list in 2022 ranked UNF as the top school in the Southeast United States.

UCF, which boasts the second highest enrollment of any university in the U.S, was ranked in 2021 by Campus Pride as the best university in Florida for LGBTQ students to attend.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • rbruce

    August 25, 2023 at 1:53 pm

    My alma mater isn’t on index. How can I get it on the worst 10 list?

  • Richard C. Russell

    August 25, 2023 at 9:37 pm

    UCF and UNF congratulations for your selection being acknowledged as a Patriotic institution that upholds the ideals of our Founders up to and including the Patriotism exhibited by our Greatest Generation who saved the world from Facism. You’re greatly appreciated!

  • PeterH

    August 25, 2023 at 9:43 pm

    First, the students stop enrolling.
    Next, the professors quit their employment.
    Followed by more students leaving for better educational opportunities out of State.
    Finally, the football players arrive awaiting a sports facility! Enrollment increases with football athletes on sport’s scholarships!

  • Gatik Junior College

    August 28, 2023 at 12:30 am

    UCF and UNF congrats for your choice being recognized as an Enthusiastic foundation that maintains the standards of our Organizers up to and including the Positive energy showed by our Most prominent Age who saved the world from Facism. You’re enormously valuable!

Comments are closed.


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