The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3 - 35

Exploring LGBTQ+ Students' Awareness of Housing and Antidiscrimination Policies Across Institutional Type

(e.g., gender identity, birth sex, religiosity) and
institutional (e.g., size, private, religiously affiliated) demographics; academic (e.g., grade
point average, student-faculty interactions)
and health (e.g., smoking, suicide attempts)
outcomes; and awareness of policies (e.g.,
antidiscrimination) available at participants'
institutions. We distributed the survey at a Midwestern LGBTQ+ and ally student conference
and through listservs. On average, students
spent approximately 30 minutes completing
the survey. The study received Institutional Research Board approval.
The original survey dataset includes 952
participants. The analytic sample consists of
the 922 participants who responded to the
three policy awareness questions (n = 922).
Table 1 summarizes participant demographics.

Measures
	 Awareness of Policies. To assess participants' awareness of LGBTQ+ policies (research
question 1), we asked: "Does your institution
have an antidiscrimination policy that includes
sexual orientation as a protected group?;"
"Does your institution have an antidiscrimination policy that includes gender identity/
expression as a protected group?;" and "Does
your institution have specific housing policies
or living spaces for LGBTQ individuals?" Response options were "Yes," "No," and "Don't
Know." From an ecological perspective, it is the
individual's perception of the environment that
matters, not some verifiable condition. For the
purposes of determining awareness, respondents' responses were sufficient evidence of
their awareness of the presence of policies. To
determine how the presence of these institutional policies vary across institutional type (research question 2), we assumed a high degree

of accuracy in students' responses. Because
participants were given the option to indicate
"Don't Know," we assumed that students who
responded "Yes" or "No" were answering to the
best of their knowledge. Walter, Cleary, and Rey
(1999) suggested that surveys should include
"don't know" as a response choice because respondents may "genuinely 'don't know'" (p.
259). Similarly, Diamond (2000) endorsed
the use of "don't know" or "no opinion" in
survey research because including this option
"reduces the demand for an answer and, as a
result, the inclination to hazard a guess just to
comply" (p. 244).

Institutional Type. Participants reported
the highest degree granted at their institutions. Based on their responses, we created
the following groups for institutional type: Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral
degree granting institutions.

Data Analysis
We ran descriptive statistics (e.g., frequencies) for all variables and cross-tabulations, including chi-square tests of association, across
awareness of each policy and institutional type
to determine if differences in students' knowledge varied by institutional type. For analysis
to assess students' awareness of their institutions' policies, we created an awareness variable by grouping "Yes" and "No" responses
together and compared them to "Don't Know"
responses (i.e., aware/unaware). That is, we
considered respondents who selected either
"Yes" or "No" to be aware of their institutions'
policies, whereas we considered those who selected "Don't Know" unaware. We conducted
two chi-square tests. The first analyses addressed whether the variable of institutional

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The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3

Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3 - Intro
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