'Rainbow Scholars' program gives LGBT and 'allied' students $1k stipends, access to unique resources

The program is intended to provide LGBTQ+ students and allied students with a 'meaningful understanding of intersectional leadership.'

Rainbow Scholars are expected to attend various events like the Rainbow Orientation, Rainbow Retreat, and Rainbow Conference.

Bentley University is offering a new one-year program called the Rainbow Scholars that gives LGBTQ+  and ‘allied’ students access to unique resources not provided to other students at the university, including a $1,000 stipend. 

The school launched the program at the start of the 2022–2023 academic year to affirm the identities of LGBTQ+ undergraduates and help other “allied” students become more inclusive on campus. 

[RELATED: Curriculum that warns students against using the term ‘biological sex’ will continue this fall at American universities]

Among the benefits of becoming a Rainbow Scholar are receiving a $1,000 stipend ($500 a semester), and are promised to develop a “meaningful understanding of intersectional leadership,” and applying “inclusive languages” through “real-world experiences.” 

The application for the program is a brief Google Form that asks students to provide their personal information, including their pronouns. 

In June, Bentley celebrated the inaugural class of ten students. One student, Cassie Butch, told Bentley Newsroom her biggest takeaway as a Rainbow Scholar was “learning how to be queer in the workplace.”  

“We had several discussions about intersectional leadership and met with LGBTQ+ professionals,” she stated. “Getting the opportunity to see queer visibility was huge to me, as was understanding the importance of authenticity, the necessity of acknowledging privilege and the power of being an active ally as I move forward in my professional career.”

In the fall, Rainbow Scholar requirements include attending a Rainbow Orientation, a PRIDE Open Forum, Part 1 of the Intersectional Leadership Development Workshop, and one additional workshop of choice.

During the spring term, students are required to attend the Rainbow Retreat, attend Part 2 of the Intersectional Leadership Development Workshop, as well as co-host a workshop at the Rainbow Conference in April.

[RELATED: University offers ‘safe space’ program to educate LGBTQ+ allies].

Some of the workshops offered by Bentley University that can satisfy the Rainbow Scholar requirements are “Unconscious Bias,” “Perspectives: Understanding Others’ Differences,” and “How to Advocate in Professional Spaces.” After each workshop, students are expected to write a reflection.

The Rainbow Scholars Program is overseen by the Office of Gender and Sexuality Student Programs and the Center for Women and Business. These departments also offer other programs such as “Men as Alliance,” which encourages students to “commit to allyship [and] action against gender bias and discrimination.” 

Campus Reform has contacted Bentley, the Office of Gender and Sexuality Student Programs, and the Center for Women and Business. This article will be updated accordingly.