University of Tennessee dubbed most ‘unfriendly’ toward LGBTQ students

The University of Tennessee- Knoxville was labeled the most unfriendly LGBTQ campus by The Princeton Review.

The university has a four star rating from the Campus Pride Index.

The Princeton Review, best known for its admissions exam test preparation and tutoring services, published its newest edition of The Best 388 Colleges.

The annual publication’s most recent edition surveyed “over 160,000 students” and labeled University of Tennessee- Knoxville (UT) the most “LBGTQ-Unfriendly” campus.

[RELATED: Campus Profile: University of Tennessee, Knoxville]

The Princeton Review notes that “[m]ost of our ranking lists are based on students’ answers to one survey question.”

The “LGBTQ-Friendly” and “LGBTQ-Unfriendly” lists “are based on how strongly students agree or disagree with the statement, ‘[s]tudents treat all persons equally, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.’”

A spokesperson for the UT system disputed the survey’s results and told 10News that “[t]he Princeton Review survey does not accurately reflect the progress we have made and the important work that continues on our campus.” 

The spokesperson claimed the “Best 388 Colleges” rankings have been called “deeply flawed” by the Campus Pride Index (CPI).

The school maintains a score of four out of five stars, According to CPI’s website.

[RELATED: This is how LGBTQ inclusivity rankings work]

Princeton’s ranking stands in stark contrast to the opinions of students that are included on UT’s page for The Princeton Review

Students argued the school is “a diverse group of people waiting to be friends with you.” Other students called the university community ”remarkably kind” and a great place for “stimulating conversations.” 

Campus Reform reached out to The Princeton Review and was directed to a prepared statement from the outlet’s editor-in-chief Rob Franek.

“We have held the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in high regard for decades...All 50 of our rankings are based on the opinions of students we survey at the college…not our opinions of the schools,” Franek stated. 

The University of Tennessee - Knoxville, the Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and the Campus Pride Index have all been contacted for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

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