CU Boulder has been contemplating asking applicants to disclose what their sexual orientation is for some time now. However, when the CU Independent reported that it was going to be on the application for next fall, the media coverage was overwhelming. According to Scarlet Bowen, Director of the Gender and Sexuality Center, CU has still not come to a decision on whether or not the question will be on the application.
Bowen believes the media responded so widely to this story because it, “has been controversial for some people who first hear about it, and they’re not thinking about the ways in which [CU] does data collection already in order to address equity gaps at universities”.
According to cu spokesman, Ryan Huff, the question would be completely voluntary and would not affect a student’s chances at admission. Bowen also states that the data would only be used in aggregate, just like how they use it for all other various populations that have been historically marginalized.
Townson Lemansky, an active member of the Boulder Trans and Genderqueer support group, was shocked like many others when he heard about cu possibly asking the question to applicants. It seemed discriminatory at first but as he thought about it more he realized cu was doing the exact opposite, “In reality asking shows that it does matter and that you do care and I think it might take some time for people to realize that, but these are all steps in the right direction.”
Lemanksy and Bowen both agree when they think it is very important to gain more data on the LGBTQ+ community, as it helps provide better student services when they have more numbers. To find out more on the community and their student groups you can go here.