This week, Harvard College, which functions as the undergraduate arm of Harvard University, hired its first paid staff person dealing specifically with support for LGBT students and services. The staffer, Lisa "Lee" Forest, will begin work in November. Announcement of Forest's hiring came alongside news that the college will move the Queer Resource Center to a more accessible and prominent - and no longer underground - location.
The Harvard Crimson reports that Forest is excited to begin her work. Forest told the newspaper:
This new program will be a valuable resource for the campus community, and it represents an exciting new chapter in Harvard's history. I am eager to collaborate with Harvard's outstanding students, faculty, and administrators who have paved the way with an impressive array of BGLTQ-related initiatives, and I look forward to working together toward a shared vision of social justice.
Prior to the announcement, Harvard had earned 4.5 out of 5 stars on the Campus Pride "Campus Climate Index," where it stood with most of the Ivy League schools, joining Yale, Brown, and Cornell with 4.5 stars. The creation of a position for a paid staffer could bump Harvard up to 5 stars next year, joining Princeton, Dartmouth, and the University of Pennsylvania, who already boast the top ranking from Campus Pride. Columbia University is not included on Campus Pride's index.