Collaborations Improving Campus Climate

Pride flag flying on 102 Church Street

by Bria Marcelo, director of Diversity Resources, Chief Diversity Office

Across the University of Iowa, eager partners are concerned with creating a more inclusive culture. Knowing we do it better together, departments have been working cross-collaboratively to strategize, share ideas broadly, and, ultimately, increase awareness around the LGBTQ community, men, white race identity, and unconscious bias practices. 

Some of the most notable achievements are through the work of the Trans Inclusivity Taskforce and the newly created UI Pride Committee. The Taskforce has continued their projects on gender inclusive restrooms, training at the hospitals, student records, and increased communication through their website. This year, the Taskforce hosted a Trans Inclusivity Summit, which highlighted the efforts and practices at UI and other universities and organizations across the state. The summit was part of Iowa City Pride Week in June. 

The University demonstrated their strong support of the many individuals at UI who identify as LGBTQ by becoming a titanium sponsor for Iowa City Pride. In fall 2017, the UI Pride Committee was formed as a result of the success of the President’s inaugural LGBTQ Pride Luncheon earlier that spring. This led to campus and community-wide collaboration, which increased opportunities for UI representation during the festival, including information tables, educational opportunities, and a spot in the parade.

Other notable partnerships include the work of the Healthy Masculinities group by hosting the first ever Men’s Summit to discuss problematic expectations of men and men’s role in dismantling rape culture. Partners have also connected to discuss White race identity and practices for being more effective allies. These discussion sessions provide an opportunity for individuals to look at experiences and privileges related to their racial identities. Finally, partners in the Chief Diversity Office, Office of the Provost, University Human Resources, and the Carver College of Medicine have teamed up to create an online module for unconscious bias training. This project will provide virtual teaching tools, like videos, tips sheets, and more!

It is through partnerships that we are able to reach the most people and provide the best service to the students, faculty, staff, and partners of UI. Thank you to all of the partners who dedicate extra time to hearing many voices and make actions happen.



Gay Student Organization | UI became the first state university to officially recognize and continuously fund a gay student organization 


UI LGBTQ Staff and Faculty Association | Established to support interests of LGBTQ campus community.


Rainbow Graduation | The UI offers the first Rainbow Graduation to celebrate the achievements of LGBT graduates and their allies.


Admission Application | The UI becomes the first public university in the U.S. to include optional questions about sexual orientation and gender identity on its admission application.


LGBTQ CLINIC | UI Health Care opens the state’s first medical clinic that focuses on providing services for members of the LGBTQ community.


Student Records | UI becomes one of the first universities in the nation to offer students the opportunity to specify a preferred first name and pronouns of reference as part of the Inclusive Student Records Initiative.


Gender Inclusive Restrooms | 147 campus restrooms were re-labeled as gender inclusive as part of student-led initiative. 


Iowa City Pride Parade | The UI is a titanium sponsor of Iowa City Pride, an annual week-long LGBTQ festival hosted in downtown Iowa City.