Expectant date of entrance. Name. Address. Social Security Number. Last school attended. Sexual orientation. One of these inquiries is not like the others.
We all remember filling out our college applications, excited and agitated with answering the same questions over and over. Students already have to answer questions that leave their brains throbbing trying to remember certain aspects of their education, but a question about one’s sexual preference seems very irrelevant to one’s education.
But I also find it relevant because it is a part of who the applicant is. I can see both sides of the issue.
When I heard about Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Ill. implementing this in inquiry in their application process, I thought it was as stupid as bringing the McRib back. What’s the point? What do sexual orientation and education have in common?
Wait for it…wait for it…survey says nothing. I find it quite offensive that such a question would be asked. Our education and learning capabilities have nothing to do with who we are attracted to.
I find it quite odd that with the repeal of “Don’t ask, Don’t Tell,” universities would consider asking a question so unnecessary. A person’s sexual orientation has nothing to do with ability to serve or in this case, learn. So, again, I ask—what is the point?
What about the person who is not ready to come out or who prefers not letting people know his or her sexual orientation? You are invading an individual’s privacy and confiscating their right to keep something so personal to themselves.
At Elmhurst, they ask ‘Would you consider yourself a part of the L.G.B.T. community?’ If the answer is yes, there are scholarship opportunities. I find a university doing this odd and idiotic. This is something I think an L.G.B.T.-based organization should do. Let’s be real—how many heterosexuals could say ‘Yes, I am a part of the L.G.B.T. community,’ in hope of receiving a scholarship.
Then I thought about the question as a positive. As an African American female, every application I fill out asks about my race. So why would it be so bad for a college to ask about someone’s sexual orientation? It is as much a part of someone as their race is.
The question could also help an applicant if he or she is a part of the L.G.B.T. community, because the university could introduce and help the applicant adjust to the university with fellow L.G.B.T. They can seek guidance and support on campus and not feel out of place or invisible.
I am truly on the fence with this subject because I feel it is unnecessary, but if it truly serves a purpose, I am all for it. If it is meant to unite students and make the adjustment to college easier and not separate or alienate L.G.B.T. students, I think it would be something that should be implemented.
College applications are already stressful enough without deciding if one wants to share his or her sexual orientation with the application review.