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23 November 2011

Maybe Praise: Harvard University Considers Better Serving LGBTQ Students

A little over a month ago, I wrote in praise of Elmhurst College adding sexuality as an optional part of their admissions form that goes into home life and student interests.  As reported on Care2, now Harvard University is reconsidering doing the same.  The Harvard Crimson, the oldest college paper in the United States, offered a positive opinion of the concept on Monday.
We welcome the College’s decision to offer students the option to self-identify as queer. Such a question does not force students to pick a label while offering students who wish to utilize the option the opportunity to show the College another aspect of their identity.
Harvard prides itself on recognizing the diversity of our student body, through demographic questions and public events such as Diversitas. Public recognition of diversity with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity is no different, and this move will reaffirm the College’s commitment to diversity in all its forms. As with other identity questions, providing applicants with the option of self-identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender shows that Harvard acknowledges and values these unique aspects of their identities.
While many universities in the United States have some claim to fame, Harvard is the best known around the world.  When it takes a stand other schools, both here and abroad, take notice.  I hope that Harvard listens carefully to the encouragement of their Crimson editorial staff.  This could be very good for the school and for the outside community.

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