California State Colleges Might Ask Students If They’re LGBT On Apps

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.

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  • Nick

    Thought: A lot of young adults come to accept a LGBT Identity in College and some applicants who may recognize their LGBT Identity may not yet be comfortable noting it on a college application that will potentially be seen by parents, guidance counselors, or teachers. If it’s really about programming or identifying a rough outline of the LGBT student body, a survey of each graduating class as they leave would probably be more appropriate. (This is just one consideration among many, many others and I do find the whole premise a little worrisome).

  • Kyle

    I am excited for gay people to be counted on the Census. And, it’s going to happen whether the “worrisome” gay or straight people like it or not!

  • Clockwork

    That Gay Studies program will really help find a job in this economy.

    It will help solve the world’s problems with energy; help us compete with China and
    India too, it will even help kids go into biochemistry and contribute to research
    for an HIV vaccine.

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