Emerson falls in Princeton Review rankings

by Bret Hauff / Beacon Staff • September 15, 2016

Despite Emerson’s new gender-inclusive bathrooms, the college is no longer the nation’s frontrunner in LGBTQ-friendliness, according to The Princeton Review’s list of “The Best 381 Colleges: 2017 Edition.”

Of the 62 lists included in the study, the college lost rank in each of the six categories it qualified for this year, including the top spot in “LGBTQ-Friendly,” now claimed by Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. 

For senior journalism major Philippe Gonzales, this came as a surprise.

“Everybody here does what they want to do and nobody judges others,” he said. “I think Emerson tries to do a good job at accommodating people and their identities.”

But this seemed accurate to Dylan Walton, co-president of Emerson's Alliance for Gays, Lesbians, and Everyone (EAGLE). The junior political communications major said Emerson could improve by incorporating LGBTQ narratives into curricula and encouraging students to create projects embracing their identity.  

“Emerson has potential to be the top LGBT friendly school in the nation,” Walton said. “To do it, we need to be a leader rather than a follower of other institutions.”

Before coming to Emerson, Dean of Campus Life Jim Hoppe said his former employer,  Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, fell from the Review’s #1 LGBTQ-Friendly spot in 2007. 

“[We shouldn’t] put too much stock in the actual number,” Hoppe said. “Just being in the rank makes you stand out from the other 300 or so schools.” 

The annual report ranked Emerson:

- #7 for LGBTQ-friendliness; down from #1 last year

- #13 for students who study the least; down from #2 last year

- #7 for the best college radio; down from #3 last year

- #10 for the best college theater; down from #4 last year

- #11 for the least religious students; down from #5 last year

- #20 for “There’s a Game?”; down from #12 last year

According to The Princeton Review’s website, these lists are compiled from student surveys administered in the last academic year. 

An average of 125 students at the 381 institutions answered an 80 question survey about their school's academics and administration, life at their college, their fellow students, and themselves, according to the website. For this year’s edition, The Princeton Review surveyed 143,000 students.