When Elmhurst College became the first institute of higher education to allow students to identify as LGBT on their applications this January, it was unclear whether it’d be just a small leafy liberal arts thing to do, or more popular.
Now according to the L.A. Times, California’s mammoth state-college system is considering asking students if they’re LGBT on their application or enrollment forms. The question would be voluntary, so a student wouldn’t have to answer if they didn’t feel like it.
Administrators tells the Times it would allow them to figure out whether they have enough programs for gay students:
“It would be useful to know if we are underserving the population,” said Jesse Bernal, the UC system’s interim diversity coordinator. In addition, giving students the opportunity to answer such questions, he added, “sends a positive message of inclusiveness to LGBT students and creates an environment that is inclusive and welcoming of diverse populations.”
The opposite could also happen, though, right? They could receive survey data that says there’s really not that many LGBTs on campus, and cut funding for those programs accordingly.
At Elmhurst, 85% of applicants volunteered answers, with 3% reporting to be lesbian, gay, bi or trans.