Editorial | A welcome out-reach
We support sending letters to LGBT students, though the Admissions Office needs to be cautious
March 2, 2010, 5:35 am · Updated March 2, 2010, 12:00 am·
Applying to college is stressful for many high-school students. Determining where to enroll once accepted can be equally as daunting.
Students often want to attend a school where they feel like part of a community — especially if they are members of a minority group. By partnering with the Lambda Alliance to reach out to self-identifying lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students who have gotten into Penn, the Admissions Office is taking a positive step toward making the University more welcoming for them.
Penn’s campus has one of the highest-rated LGBT communities in the nation, and the school has a wide array of resources for these students. While the LGBT Center already does its own outreach and some prospective students seek out this information on their own, others may not be aware of all that Penn has to offer. Letters sent out through the Admissions Office will help market the University’s LGBT resources to a greater number of people in a more official manner.
While we think the outreach will be beneficial, it is necessary for the Admissions Office to take a cautious approach when determining who will receive the letters. Many LGBT students are not fully out of the closet or may not want to make a big deal about their sexual orientation. It appears the Admissions Office only plans to reach out to students who are active in LGBT programs or write about being out in their essays — guidelines that seem promising. Sexual orientation can be a sensitive issue, and some extra care is key.