When Elmhurst College, a private institution in Illinois, became the first college to include a section on their application asking prospective students if they are affiliated with any LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) clubs, it immediately caught the attention of the media. The College had no intention and took no action to stop the media.
Consequently, the four-year school became known nationwide. Many people, including the president as well as the director of the admissions office of Elmhurst College, thought that this was a breakthrough in institutions in the process of making gay people accepted by society. The admissions officer emphasized how welcoming Elmhurst’s diverse student body was to the LGBT community.
Elmhurst is known as an active and famous advocate for the gay community. Parents, who want their children to experience a diverse community, are likely to send their kids to Elmhurst. Other students, faculty and staff at well-known universities and colleges, such as those at Harvard University, who possess the same desire to create their own images as diverse institutions, are following Elmhurst to include the section of LGBT community membership declaration request in their applications in the near future.
No one can deny the diversity of Elizabethtown College, but we are not creative enough to include that request in our application. Therefore, we missed the opportunity to be well-known across the nation like the private institution in Elmhurst, Ill. Elmhurst might save money on getting its name across the media in the tight economy.
The father of the idea should get some bonuses from the College and his idea should be an example in cost management textbooks. Some applicants might falsely define their sexual orientations and camouflage themselves as members of the LGBT community in order to enhance their personal chance of getting the diversity scholarships.
Gay rights are a hotly-debated topic, and there are diverse standpoints about this controversy. Some people possess negative opinions about members of the LGBT community, whereas others are advocates for gay rights and then many are neutral.
Gay people are human beings; they have families, friends, jobs, hobbies, they love truths, and hate lies as all people do. No one is the same; we are all different in some ways. For example, my hobbies can be different from my friends’. I like to listen to traditional Vietnamese music, which I grew up with, while my American friends love country music because it is part of the American culture.
Nevertheless, we are good friends because our characters are compatible with one another’s. With regards to long-term friendship, personality is much more imperative than anything else. Sexual orientation does not decide personality. Therefore, being gay does not mean that person is inherently degenerate. In addition, the decision to accept or reject an applicant by a college or university is based on the applicant’s academic ability as well as other achievements in the past. No school should enroll a gay applicant in order to make its student body.
Some people who are proud of being religiously devout have an extreme bias that gay people are immoral and evil. These people abuse, bully and hate gay people for being themselves. They disturb the tranquility of their community with bellicose actions such as protesting against gay rights.
Being gay is not a personal choice. Ultimately, it is just a difference. Let’s treat it like other millions of differences in life and treat gay people the same.
When I brought up the incident at Elmhurst to Mr. Paul Cramer, vice president for enrollment at the Etown Admissions Office, he said that, from a demand perspective, Elmhurst was likely to receive a good bit of media attention with its decision to include sexual orientation/gender identity as an optional question on its application. The attention at the national level is likely to generate additional applicants for the school. According to Cramer, Elmhurst itself admits that the question might also dissuade some applicants. So, from a net application perspective (demand for Elmhurst), the plan has the potential to include as many applicants as it excludes.
Cramer thinks that from an applicant’s perspective, this plan sends a message about Elmhurst and its community. By including the question and suggesting affirmative responders are likely to receive positive support, it says something about the nature of the Elmhurst campus. That message also has the potential to be positively and negatively received by various audiences. Again, the plan has the potential to include as many as it excludes.
He believes some effort to defining an institution’s position on diversity is necessary and Elmhurst feels their approach was the best for their institution.
Cramer prefers Etown’s approach to inclusion much more. The Plan for Inclusive Excellence works at fostering a community that values all kinds of diversity (race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, ability, gender, gender identity and expression, age and national origin). In doing so, our College’s diversity helps to promote learning, academic excellence, global awareness, and a sense of social justice, human dignity and peace. By demonstrating our commitment to the Etown plan, Cramer believes we, as a community, limit exclusion and increase inclusion from both demand and applicants’ perspectives.
In my opinion, being gay is just a normal difference and members of the LGBT community are just like everybody else. Therefore, we ought not to mistreat, bully or abuse gay people. We love being ourselves and so do gay people. Members of the LGBT community are more accepted in society and therefore, I think Elmhurst and the media are over-emphasizing the importance of the request for the declaration of LGBT membership from the prospective students