Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Affirmative Action For Gays in College Admissions?

In a two-fer tonight, John at Discriminations (see blogroll at left) gets yet another link here at Right On The Left Coast:

I’ve argued here a number of times that many people oppose gay demands for “equal rights” because they saw similar demands from blacks and women, whick they supported, morph into demands for preferential treatment, which they oppose. I’m surprised it took this long to happen, but now affirmative action for gays in college admissions has being seriously proposed at the annual meeting of National Association for College Admission Counseling. And Middlebury College has just begun

giving students who identify themselves as gay in the admissions process an “attribute” — the same flagging of an application that members of ethnic minority groups, athletes, alumni children and others receive, according to Shawn Rae Passalacqua, assistant director of admissions at Middlebury....

Passalacqua said that gay students bring “a unique quality” to the college, which he said tries hard not “to be too homogeneous.”

At least the proposer, Greg McCandless, associate director of admission at Harvey Mudd College, recognized that his proposal was “tricky.” For example, do only gay students who are “out” bring that “unique quality” to campus?


Of course there's more, if you go read it....

6 comments:

EllenK said...

There's been a great deal of consternation about this. On one hand, gay students are a minority, but unlike ethnic minorities, the status isn't evident-unless the kid shows up in drag i guess. But when you get right down to it, aren't we all minorities of one kind or another? I mean-is a gay,male engineer more desirable as a student than a left handed, blue eyed artist, or a paraplegic dance major or a deaf writer? At what point do we draw the line?

Eric Warburg said...

What ever happened to the notion that the most qualified person gets in? Asking someone to put their sexual preference on a college application is like asking someone if they're married on a job application. Does it really matter? All it does is add another category to be sorted into, when really, there should only be two: qualified and not qualified. I'm not sure where what two consenting adults do behind closed doors comes into performance in the classroom. In the end, isn't that why they sort applicants at all? To find the best and let them in? Affirmative action doesn't do anything to eliminate discrimination because it is discrimination.

Anonymous said...

Maybe there should be a gay-only college?

One of Mudd's Women said...

Honestly, what burns me is this is coming from my alma mater, Harvey Mudd. Mudd is a tiny place that focuses on science and engineering. When I went there in the late 80's, you could major in chemistry, physics, math, or engineering. They added CS and biology a few years after I graduated. Mudd was a meritocracy type of place, and their few experiments with affirmative action typically failed when students couldn't handle the coursework. Now, to see them leading this charge is depressing.

Doug said...

It'll be interesting to see how many high school seniors pick up on this "preferential" designation and mark it down to get in-then "come out" as straight once they are enrolled. After all, it really isn't something that can be checked like ethnicity. All one would have to say to get away with it is "I was confused-like many people my age."

If it would give a nudge to admissions in top colleges, I can see some real potential for abuse.

Oh, and btw, I do think it is a RIDICULOUS extension of affirmative action. Just wondering how many kids will exploit it.

Darren said...

Doug, I mentioned this to one of our counselors at school today, and she said that colleges are already seeing this type of thing in their "tell us about you" essays.

Serves those colleges right, in my book. Those essays are designed to get around the Prop 209 bans on state affirmative action, so it's not surprising that some students try to game the system--just like the universities are trying to game the system.