Thursday, August 25, 2011

Uncloseted 'Gay Kids' Get Money at Elmhurst College

The Chicago suburban college, of the gay-affirming United Church of Christ, has become the first institution of "higher learning" to categorize incoming students by sexually-deviant behavior. Students who accept the "gay label" may be eligible for special homosexual scholarships.

-- From "Elmhurst College puts question about LGBT status on admission application" by The Associated Press 8/25/11

The application asks: "Would you consider yourself to be a member of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) community?"

Elmhurst College admissions dean Gary Rold says students who answer "yes" may be eligible for a scholarship that will pay up to a third of tuition. He says the information also will help officials direct incoming students to services and groups that could help them on campus.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Elmhurst College asks prospective students about sexual orientation" by Kara Spak, Staff Reporter, Chicago Sun-Times 8/25/11

“Increasing diversity is part of our mission statement,” said Gary Rold, Elmhurst’s dean of admissions. “This is simply closing the loop, in many ways, of another group who has a very strong identity. It may not be race and religion but it’s an important part of who they are.”

Those who answer “yes” may be eligible for a scholarship worth up to one-third of tuition, not unusual because about 60 percent of incoming students receive some type of scholarship aid, Rold said. More importantly, he said, knowing students’ sexual orientation will help officials direct incoming students toward services or groups that might help them make an easier transition to college life.

And while the question might attract more applicants, he thinks that number will balance out with students who do not apply because of the question.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Elmhurst College's Sexual Orientation Application Question First In The Nation" posted at Huffington Post 8/25/11

The question is the first of its kind according to Campus Pride, a national advocacy group working to foster more LGBT-inclusive college settings, whose executive director Shane Windmeyer described the move as "a distinct and unique paradigm shift in higher education" in a statement Tuesday.

"For the first time, an American college has taken efforts to identify their LGBT students from the very first moment those students have official contact with them. This is definite progress in the right direction -- and deserves praise," Windmeyer said.

The question is an optional one for prospective students to fill out on the newly designed application, and also offers a "prefer not to say" option. It appears in a series of questions asking applicants about their religious affiliation, languages other than English spoken in their home and other questions school administrators hope will help identify students' needs and potential interest in campus programs and resources, according to Campus Pride. In this case, students could be put in touch with a student club called Straights and Gays for Equality (SAGE).

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Admissions Preferences for Gays?" by Richard Kahlenberg, Chronicle of Higher Education 8/24/11

Elmhurst College, by asking students who apply whether they consider themselves “to be a member of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trangendered) community” is taking us in a very different direction, from equal treatment to affirmative action. Of course, members of the LGBT community should not be discriminated against in admissions, should be welcomed and supported once on campus, and the diversity they bring should be celebrated. But the purpose of asking individuals to identify themselves at the application stage, as part of a process designed to promote greater diversity, signals that identity will be a factor in admissions and scholarships, a line not to be crossed casually.

Affirmative action presents difficult policy questions. I respect supporters of racial preferences though I ultimately have come down instead in favor of considerations of economic disadvantage in admissions. But advocates of gay rights need to think long and hard before they decide to break with the long-advocated—and increasingly popular—principle of nondiscrimination in favor of something quite different.

To read the entire opinion column above, CLICK HERE.