New Questions Asked at Grays Harbor College to Support LGBTQ Learning Environment

ABERDEEN, Wash. – Students registering for fall classes at the Grays Harbor College will be asked what their sexual orientation is, and how they identify their gender.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning group said the college is collecting the data to better understand students’ diverse perspectives and experiences.
Options include bisexual, gay, lesbian, queer, straight, other, or you can answer that you prefer not to answer. For Gender you can also choose not to answer, or one of the following; feminine, masculine, androgynous, gender neutral, transgender, or other.

Answers will be kept private, even from staff, and shared anonymously with institutional research departments.

A spokeswoman for the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges says it actually was students in other colleges who proposed that the data be tracked. Laura McDowell says the goal is to ensure all students have a successful, welcoming, and safe experience in college. 

McDowell says data will help colleges establish a benchmark to see how these students are performing and design programs and extracurricular activities to help them succeed.