It is critically important to Saint Louis University School of Law (SLU LAW) to create an environment that is welcoming to and supportive of LGBTQ+ students (and other LGBTQ+ community members). While there is always additional work to do to create a more diverse, welcoming, and inclusive environment, admissions efforts specifically include targeted email messages sent to individual prospective students, informing them of SLU LAW, our inclusive culture, and relevant available resources. Staff members undergo Ally training, and there are Ally signs and relevant materials visible in the Admissions Office and other offices throughout the School of Law. SLU LAW has also committed financial resources to support student participation in specific LGBTQ+ law fairs.
While our admitted student welcome packet does not include specific mention of identity group support for LGBTQ+ students, SLU LAW does direct prospective students to SLU LAW student organizations information on the SLU LAW website, which includes our OUTLAWS organization and other affinity groups. We also direct prospective students to our Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for additional resources.
While we do not specifically ask our students to “self-ID,” we do conduct a climate survey (survey responses are optional and approximately 20% of our student population answered the most recent survey) that asks about sexual orientation. While we have not conducted this survey in the current academic year, the form of the question and responses from the most recent survey are as follows:
Q5 – Which best describes your sexual orientation?
8 None of these adequately represent my sexual orientation 6.73% 7
7 Trans 0.96% 1
6 Queer 2.88% 3
5 Intersex 0.00% 0
4 Heterosexual 73.08% 76
3 Gay or Lesbian 4.81% 5
2 Bisexual 10.58% 11
1 Asexual 0.96% 1
We ask for a preferred name, preferred pronouns, and ask a broader gender question which offers students the chance to self describe.
From our application:
Preferred first name_________________________
What pronouns do you use: ____ He/him/his ____ She/her/hers ____ They/them/theirs ____ Prefer Not to Answer ____ Other_______________________
Gender ____ Female ____ Male ____ Non binary/ third gender ____ Prefer Not to Answer ____
Prefer to Self Describe. If you prefer to self describe, please do so here: ___________________
The admissions committee conducts a thorough and holistic review of each admitted applicant when awarding scholarship assistance, and LGBTQ+ status is taken into consideration if included in the application materials.
SLU LAW has a Plan for Achieving a Diverse Faculty Body, adopted by the faculty and the dean in 2021, that prioritizes diversity in hiring and includes the following statement: “The faculty and the dean are committed to maintaining an environment at SLU Law that is inclusive and that respects and values diversity in all its forms, including with respect to race, ethnicity, religion, culture, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity.” The dean emphasizes with every staff and faculty search that it is an opportunity to hire for diversity. Faculty search committee members are required to undergo training that is focused on diversity and inclusion.
Information regarding the Saint Louis University Health Plan can be found at the following link: https://www.slu.edu/life-at-slu/student-health/university-health-plan.php. Information about the policy administered by Aetna can be found through this link: https://www.slu.edu/life-at-slu/student-health/university-health-plan.php. The policy can be found at this link: https://www.aetnastudenthealth.com/schools/slu/pdbs2021.pdf. Information was also obtained by calling 877-381-3544.
Information is included on the University Counseling Center website at this link: https://www.slu.edu/life-at-slu/university-counseling/index.php and this link: https://www.slu.edu/cross-cultural-center-for-global-citizenship/lgbtqia_support.php
Most restrooms are gender-segregated. Some restrooms are all-gender and are so identified with signage.
Sexuality and the Law; Seminar: Gender and Culture
Student travel has been restricted for the past two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We sent two students who were members of the executive board of the student organization OUTLAWS (a student organization whose purpose is to provide a community that promotes acceptance and raises awareness among the LGBTQ+ and allied students and faculty of SLU LAW) to the 2020 Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Asexual College Conference (MBLGTACC), where they were able to table at the Resource Fair and attend the conference sessions. Each year we also provide funding for students to attend the Lavender Law Conference and job fair.
Yes, optional for all students
This information is captured during the admissions process prior to enrollment.
As Dean, I try to set the tone at faculty meetings, staff meetings, and in individual meetings. Many of my colleagues do that as well in their own offices/meetings. We have work to do for sure, but it is a shared priority to continue to work hard to be safe, inclusive and welcoming.