We’ve been rather critical of Harvard in the past with respect to their efforts at welcoming LGBT students as seen here: Harvard and LGBT Students. In short, Harvard, unlike its Ivy League peers, doesn’t rank very highly on the Campus Climate Index nor does it rank in “The Advocate’s” list of gay-friendly colleges. And, unlike many of Harvard’s peer institutions, they also don’t have a resource center for LGBT students that is suitable.
But Harvard is making strides in the area of LGBT inclusivity, perhaps to address its image problem. First, students led the way when Harvard wrestlers wore t-shirts in support of the LGBT community’s National Coming Out Day. Now, Harvard is considering adding a question to their application that gives applicants the option of stating their sexual orientation. But will one’s answer give students a boost? No, according to Dean of Admissions William R. Fitzsimmons as quoted in the article appearing in the “Harvard Crimson”: “Fitzsimmons said identification as LGBT would not act as a positive ‘tip’ in the application process, unlike other factors like place of residence and legacy status which can help land an applicant in the group of accepted students.
According to the “Harvard Crimson” article on admission to Harvard College, “The College is considering adding language to its application for admission that would allow prospective students to self-identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 told The Crimson. ‘We want to send a positive signal to students who are grappling with the issue of [sexual orientation] or gender identity,’ Fitzsimmons said. ‘I think this campus is really welcoming to all students and that’s the signal we want to send.'”
At Ivy Coach, we salute Harvard College for their efforts! Maybe Mr. Fitzsimmons reads our blog and got tired of our criticism. In fact, we suspect he does indeed peruse our writings. Who else Googles “Williams Fitzsimmons Ivy Coach” a few times each year? Ah, the beauty of Google Analytics!