Of the 353 institutions with NCAA, D-I sports programs in 2022, 75 are affiliated with a religious group. Those institutions hail from 18 of 31 NCAA D-I conferences and are affiliated with 9 different religions. Ten are members of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), whose mission is to “advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help our institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth”. Athletic departments within religiously affiliated institutions are not a monolith; each department, and institution, has a unique structure and collective of decision-makers. Further, many of these institutions have honor codes or religious traditions that all campus entities are expected to maintain, including the department of athletics. To read more, see our 2020 AEI Addendum on Religiously-Affiliated Institutions.
Of the 353 institutions with NCAA, D-I sports programs in 2022, 7 are Military Institutions, Senior Military Colleges, and Service Academies. Those institutions compete within 5 of 31 NCAA D-I conferences across 6 states and the District of Columbia. Athlete Ally is committed to engaging with U.S. military institutions of higher learning to work stronger and smarter for LGBTQ+ inclusion and diversity for all of their athletes. Athlete Ally knows that military institutions foster an environment that will increase the diversity and inclusion of the Officer Corps and develop officers who engage and understand the ever changing culture of American society while negotiating their own legal processes and procedures as some military students are federal employees. Our full addendum on this topic is forthcoming.
It is well documented that non-discrimination policies and sexual harassment policies are instrumental in fostering climates that support the LGBTQ+ community on college and university campuses. These policies exert protective effects on the mental health of the LGBTQ+ community. However, simply having these policies may not accurately reflect an institution’s inclusiveness, highlighting the importance of continual evaluation of the effectiveness and enactment of such policies. Further, research indicates that having outward-facing policies, rather than internal policies and documentation of inclusion, impact the lived experiences of the LGBTQ+ community on campuses. The accessibility of such information is paramount to inclusion. Our full addendum on this topic is forthcoming.
A 2019 survey by the Association of American Universities found that transgender (trans), gender-nonconforming (GNC), and female students report the highest rates of sexual misconduct of all students. Among undergraduate trans and GNC students, 65.1% reported experiencing harassing behavior since enrolling at their school. For undergraduate women, 59.2% percent experienced harassing behavior. According to the CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 44% percent of lesbians and 61% of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking while 40% of gay men and 47% of bisexual men have experienced sexual violence other than rape. Given these startling statistics, the AEI was modified to include policies related to sexual harassment and assault. Our full addendum on this topic is forthcoming.
Non-discrimination policies and sexual harassment policies are instrumental in fostering climates that support the LGBTQ+ community on college and university campuses. However, the landscape of federal and state-level policies; sport governing body policies that dictate how athletes can participate in respective NCAA emerging and championship sports; and ever-changing policies that dictate how higher education institutions operate all impact an institution’s capacity for inclusiveness. Continuous policy evaluation is necessary. As this policy landscape is shifting rapidly, accessible documentation of how departmental, institutional, state, federal, NCAA, and sport governing body policies interact is paramount to inclusion. From regional to federal levels, legislation that restricts trans people from accessing healthcare or prohibits education around LGBTQ+ topics is also relevant. Collating this legislation is a collaborative effort and up to date information about these policy sectors can be found in the following places: