If you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer (LGBTQ+), or an ally, we welcome you to our diverse and inclusive community.
We know that Ball State is strengthened by differences in how we think, act, and look. We recognize that varied life experiences help us grow in understanding. Those are just a few reasons we seek diversity among our students, faculty, and staff.
“There are so many great people and groups to be involved with such as Spectrum and Call to Action, and I feel truly welcomed and validated for who I am. I've always felt safe at Ball State.”
— Kevin Walls
actuarial science major and treasurer of Spectrum
How Ball State Supports LGBTQ+ People
At Ball State, we recognize the power of self-identification, therefore we allow students, faculty, and staff to identify their Personal Pronouns, Gender Identity (which may be different from your legal sex), and use their Preferred Name.
- Sex – This is a medical and legal term that you were assigned at birth, and it designates a certain combination of genetics, hormones, and sex organs, usually either male or female.
- Gender Identity – This is what you feel like and how you identify but may not outwardly demonstrate. This may not align with the sex that you were assigned at birth. With the recognition that gender is fluid, we allow individuals the ability to change the gender with which they identify.
- Personal Pronouns – These are how you want to be addressed when someone is speaking with you. Again, with the recognition that these may be fluid, you will be able to change your pronouns at any time you choose.
- Legal name – The name as it appears on a legal document such as a Social Security card or other document in which a legal name change is recorded (e.g., court order).
- Preferred name – The name a person wishes to be known and have appear in certain parts of the University systems.
To learn how to update this please see the Registrar’s page.
University Policies – Our Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, Anti-Harassment Policy, and Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy all make clear that there’s no room here for harassment or discrimination, including bias based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. The latter policy also specifically prohibits such discrimination in education and employment.
Beneficence Pledge – In our Beneficence Pledge, we expect every student, faculty member, and staff member “to treat each person in the Ball State community with civility, courtesy, compassion, and dignity.” We nurture an environment in which each of us vows “to respect and learn from differences in people, ideas, and opinions.”
Housing Policy – At Ball State University, Gender-Inclusive Housing is available throughout several of our residence halls providing safe and inviting living environments for LGBTQ+ students, including transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming students. Students interested in Gender-Inclusive Housing can indicate their preference when filling out their housing application.
Safe Zones – We have many Safe Zone-trained faculty, staff, students, residence hall staffers, and community members. Safe Zone educates people about concerns and needs of LGBTQ+ people in higher education and helps create a more welcoming and inclusive campus area. Safe Zone stickers identify people and places where you can find someone who’ll listen or can give you information.
Title IX – We adhere to the federal Title IX’s prohibition against sex discrimination, which covers actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity, plus the “failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity.”
Counseling Center – Counselors, psychologists, and staff at our Counseling Center are affirming and supportive of all sexual orientations, gender expressions, and gender identities.
Bias Response Team – If you feel you have experienced bias, this team will provide you with a safe place to discuss the incident and address the issue.
Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention – We offer numerous support services and prevention programs that address sexual assault, intimate partner or dating violence, and stalking.
On Campus Groups – At Ball State we have Spectrum and Ball Pride as a way to support our LGBTQ+ community.
- Ball Pride is the affinity group for faculty, staff and graduate students. Contact information can be found here.
- Spectrum: Since 1974, Spectrum has served as Ball State University's organization for gender, sexual and romantic minorities (LGBTQ+) and their allies. Spectrum is advised through the Office of Student Life, the clearinghouse for all recognized student organizations. More information can be found here.
How Muncie Supports LGBTQ+ People
Muncie’s anti-discrimination ordinance includes sexual orientation and gender identity. The protection extends to buying or renting housing and property, education, employment, and public accommodations and conveniences. The Muncie Human Rights Commission enforces this policy and can hear and investigate related discrimination charges; it also can order that actual damages be paid and begin actions for an appropriate legal remedy in a court.