USC releases video welcoming LGBT students 

'We have come a long way,' says university president

The University of South Carolina released a video Friday about acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students titled "It Gets Better at the University of South Carolina."

The video, which borrows its title from a national movement to show support for LGBT youth and prevent bullying based on sexual orientation, was released by the school's Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and features school leaders including President Harris Pastides, Vice Provost Dennis Pruitt, and several former members of student government. It begins by quoting the Carolinian Creed, the school's pledge of conduct, which calls for students to "respect the dignity of all persons" and "discourage bigotry, while striving to learn from differences in people, ideas and opinions."

"We're a large, Southern university, and some people might not know how far we've come, and although we do still have a little way to go to make things better and perhaps someday perfect, we have come a long way," Pastides says in the video.

Zac Baker, president of USC's Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Straight Alliance, told school newspaper The Daily Gamecock it was significant that the video came from the administration and not from a student advocacy group.

"Our culture is changing," Baker said. "People's hearts are changing, and their minds as well. I think the people of South Carolina and Columbia, and especially those of this university — they don't want to be on the wrong side of history. This is definitely a historic movement of this university because we're doing it right."

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