Advocacy group applauds Elmhurst College for decision to include LGBT question on applications
Campus Pride, the leading national college gay and lesbian advocacy group, applauded Elmhurst College's decision this week to specifically include a question about students’ sexual orientation and gender identity in their college admissions application.
"Anytime we can have the information that we need on a college campus to be more responsible for the campus climate I think is a good thing," said Campus Pride Executive Director Shane Windmeyer. "By and large, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender college (LGBT) students are still invisible when it comes to college admissions."
Elmhurst College is the first U.S. institution of higher education to ask a demographic question about identity on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity on a college admission form, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Campus Pride said the college's decision reflects a conscious choice by administrators at the college to actively include LGBT students in the broader life of the college and its campus.
The new application includes the question, “Would you consider yourself a member of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community?”
The college said it joins several other optional questions related to religious affiliation, language spoken at home, and other factors that are presented to prospective students.
Elmhurst College said in a press release that it asks the optional questions because it is “committed to diversity and connecting underrepresented students with valuable resources on campus.”
“We took this step in an effort to better serve each of our students as unique persons,” Elmhurst President S. Alan Ray said in a prepared release. “It also allows us to live out our commitments to cultural diversity, social justice, mutual respect among all persons, and the dignity of every individual. These are among the core values of this institution. They provide the foundation for all of our academic, student and community programs.”