Campus Pride Blog

Hot Topic: LGBT-identity demographic questions and college admissions applications

rainbowtestform_sm.jpgToday, Campus Pride Executive Director Shane Windmeyer and Pennsylvania State University researcher Sue Rankin, Ph.D., an author of our 2010 “The State of Higher Education for LGBT People,” are attending the annual conference of the American College Personnel Association in Louisville, Ken.

The two are presenting, “To Ask or Not to Ask: LGBT Identity Questions on National Research and College Forms.”

It’s a hot topic these days. Last year, the Illinois’ Elmhurst College became the first American institution of higher education to include optional demographic questions on LGBT identity in its admissions application. Recently, The University of California announced it was considering similar questions on their Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) forms.

It’s an important development on LGBT issues in higher education and one that Campus Pride believes will further efforts to create safer and more inclusive campuses for LGBT students.

As our executive director noted in our statement on the University of California news: “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. 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.”

If you’re a faculty or staff member and unable to make it to the ACPA conference this week or if you’re there but will miss Shane’s and Sue’s presentation, we hope you’ll join us for our April 19 webinar on the same topic. Learn more about the webinar and others in our spring webinar series and register today.