By Rosemaira De La Cruz
Starting next year, Elmhurst College in Chicago will ask prospective students about their sexual orientation on their college applications—making it the first American university to ask such a question.
Should City College do the same? Christian Brito, 19, says no way. “It’s an uncomfortable question,” states the incoming freshman. “Why do colleges need to know that anyways?”
Elmhurst College officials says that asking about sexual orientation will increase diversity at the school. It’s also a useful tool in directing LGBT students to groups and resources on campus, and students who check the “gay” box will also qualify for scholarships.
That doesn’t matter to CCNY senior Charlotte Ozuna. “The question is irrelevant and out of place for a college application,” says Ozuna, 21. “Maybe if in the application it explains the purpose to the question, students will still answer. If not there’s no point in asking.”
Others worry that students who say they are gay or lesbian won’t be given benefits. Instead, the question could be used against them. “What if they’re discriminating against gays?” wonders Denisabel Deleon, 20, a senior at CCNY. “What if they just want to make it seem like they’re asking for positive reasons? I hope CCNY doesn’t start asking.”
John Little, 22, has a different take. “I am comfortable with my sexuality, and if colleges want to know I’ll answer proudly,” says Little, a senior. “I don’t think their purpose is to discriminate. I’m glad they are focusing on the best interest for gay students.”
Besides, adds Little, “I need any scholarship I can get.”