The University of Iowa admissions office has made a landmark change to their application for admission. As of December 1st, applicants to the University of Iowa have the option of responding to the question, “Do you identify with the LGBT community?” We happen to think the question is a bit vague (Elmhurst College outside of Chicago became the first school in the United States to directly pose the LGBT question, as you may remember). Lots of folks identify with the LGBT community, whether or not they are members of the LGBT community. But that’s for another day. The facts is that the University of Iowa, by posing this question, has become the first public university in the United States to include a question regarding an applicant’s sexual orientation in the application for admission.
We applaud the University of Iowa for this step. It is in line with the university’s goal of increasing the diversity of the student body. How can a university recruit LGBT students, after all, if they don’t know who identifies as members of the LGBT community? Well, now the University of Iowa, unlike its public university peers in the United States, will indeed know this information. Or, given that the question is a little vague, they’ll at least have a better indicator.
As reported by “NBC News” in an article on the change to the University of Iowa application, “According to school officials, the University of Iowa was the first U.S. public university to admit men and women on an equal basis, the first state university to officially recognize the LGBT community, and the first public university to offer insurance to employees’ domestic partners.” Go Iowa!