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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    College applications should stick with academic questions

    High school GPA, extracurricular activities, leadership skills and classes taken, are the typical fields to fill out on a college application. Now, once accepted, along with dorm preference, meal plan and desired major, students are being asked their sexual orientation by a few schools in the United States. Not only will this scare a lot of hopeful freshmen away, it will also make the school look like they’re judging these aspects. All in all, even asking in the first place is preposterous.

    The University of California system has recently proposed to ask the incoming freshmen their sexual orientation once they’re accepted. ABC News said that this is because the school wants to “ensure there are services for them.” They are not handicapped — there is no need to give special accomodations to gays, lesbians, transgendered or other people non-physically-handicapped students. Robert Anderson, who is the chair of the UC Senate, told the Daily Bruin, “Sexual orientation is a part of diversity and cannot be ignored.”

    Students have many other aspects in demonstrating their diversity. Their jobs, backgrounds, interests and grades are what separate applicants from each other. This kind of diversity is going to be one that a lot of the incoming students may not feel comfortable sharing with the school they have just been accepted to.

    Illinois’ Elmhurst College made the decision last year to ask their incoming freshmen this question too, because they are affiliated with the United Church of Christ. In 2005, Elmhurst’s President, S. Alan Ray, endorsed gay marriage, saying, “In practical terms, we invite applicants to identify themselves as members of the L.G.B.T. community in order to provide them with better student services when they arrive on campus.”

    Some students, when applying for Elmhurst, receive scholarships for being gay, though they should not serve as bait to get students to reveal their sexuality.

    There will be a lot of different reactions from students with this change — some may be completely OK with it, others may change their mind whether attending that particular school is worth it if they’re asking such questions.

    The Common App officials are making the decision to not ask students this personal question on their applications, but are proposing they ask them after they have been enrolled. This issue will be revisited sometime in the next 10 years.

    Sexual orientation should not be something colleges ask their new students at any time. Students should be able to express this when they want, and how they want. It should not ever have to be a requirement to share, but a choice.

    — Danielle Carpenter is a pre-journalism freshman. She can be reached at or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions .

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