Campus Pride Blog

Campus Pride welcomes University of California consideration of LGBT questions for incoming students

University_of_California_seal.pngCampus Pride praises the University of California Academic Senate annd Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools for their recommendation to allow incoming students to identify their sexual orientation and gender identity. (Read more via University of California’s The Daily Bruin and CBS Los Angeles.)

The questions, which are planned to be optional, will allow university administrators and staff to more adequately prepare for and serve the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students on their campus.

“Colleges and universities are responsible for the education and safety of their LGBT students — a school cannot provide necessary services or maintain proper safety and campus climate without first knowing who are the out LGBT students attending their school,” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride. “Demographic questions asking students about their sexual orientation and gender identity will give university administrators the data they need to properly implement LGBT-inclusive policies and practices. Institutions should be held responsible for student safety, retention and academic success of every student — the addition of identity questions finally make this possible for LGBT students.”

Illinois’ Elmhurst College is the only college or university in the U.S. to add similar questions to their undergraduate admissions application. The question was first asked last year in Fall 2011. Five percent of applicants voluntarily identified themselves as LGBT in the first semester of applications.

The LGBT demographic questions will appear on the University of California’s Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) forms. The question was also recently approved to appear on forms within California’s Cal State and community college systems. A dozen other colleges have inquired with Campus Pride about the addition of such a question and a number colleges in addition to the University of California system have also been reported as considering the question such as Duke University, Yale School of Law and Harvard University.

Campus Pride encourages University of California Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Lawrence H. Pitts to provide final approval for the addition of the question for the safety, responsibility and academic success of every student.