This study looked at the University of Richmond campus, a campus built in a collegiate gothic style of and comprised of uniform buildings and highly managed landscaping. Specifically, it surveyed queer students at UR to ask about their experiences and feelings being on the UR campus. The survey found that a majority of the 44 surveyed students felt pressure to be or act straight, felt there was a lack of queer visibility on campus, felt most uncomfortable in the settings such as the Business School and Greek Life locations and most comfortable in personal housing. Overall, students liked how the campus looks, but have a majority negative feeling about being on campus and over half did not feel like they belonged socially. The majority also felt there was not a space for queer students to connect and express themselves. Based on this, this study proposes that physical atmosphere of the school reinforces heteronormativity, gender roles, and expectation of behavior for the student body, leaving queer student feeling “out of place”. This study suggests the University of Richmond create a new space for Queer Life, including a natural green space which many students listed as their favorite places on campus. Paper prepared for the Environmental Studies Senior Seminar/Geography Capstone.

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