FEEDBACK: Elmhurst really the first?

Elmhurst really the first?

Regarding the article, “Elmhurst College becomes 1st to ask about sexual orientation,” in the Aug. 29 issue of Dallas Voice.

Three colleges that I know of personally have been asking this for several years. Elmhurst is far from the first to ask about sexual orientation.

I applied to law school with the University of Pennsylvania and they ask this. U.C. Berkley used to ask this, though I’m not sure if they still do. Either Cornell or Columbia also ask on their applications.

Ryan R. Cooper, via email

Editor’s note: According to Shane L. Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride, Elmhurst College is the first college to ask about sexual orientation as an optional demographic question on an undergraduate application. Graduate schools, especially law schools, have been asking the question and UPenn and Dartmouth have been leaders in that area. Windmeyer said that probably has to do with age — many students aren’t out when they’re first applying to college but have come out by the time they’re applying to graduate school. Law schools may be asking because of injustice that’s been done to the LGBT community and the variety of cases involving discrimination against the LGBT community. Other undergraduate applications have asked about interests. But interest in joining a group such as a GSA is not the direct demographic information that Elmhurst is asking.

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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 31, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Gay U-Mass Dartmouth Student’s Car Vandalized With Anti-Gay Slur

A gay student at UMass Dartmouth parked his car on campus Saturday afternoon, only to return to it later painted with anti-gay slurs. "We’ve never experienced anything like this before,’’ says a university spokesman. “This is a very isolated incident." Police investigating the incident agree. Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack sent an email to students alerting them to the incident, described as "a crime against an individual but also an affront to the very essence of our community," and reminding them there resources available for anyone who feels bullied or harassed. "As members of a community that highly value every person, we must join together to condemn this cowardly act,’’ MacCormack says. “We must join in support of this student and all members of our GLBT community who — like all of us — seek to be treated with respect and dignity as they pursue their dreams and aspirations here." To see such an immediate reaction from UMass Dartmouth brass is encouraging, especially in the Clementi Era.

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