Center provides LGBT support
The Texas Common Application rejected the option for students to provide their sexual orientation on the college admissions form.
The option has not been offered before, but there has been a recent push to add it to the admission process.
If the information is not being captured through documentation, then there is no place that information would be with the University, Institutional Research staff member Susan Moreno said.
The decision may leave UH statisticians at a loss for information, but it has little impact on the culture of the University.
On a diverse campus like UH, major headway has already been made with the opening of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender resource center in 2010, headed by Lorraine Schroeder.
The center has counseling services, events and an Ally training program that involves other students and faculty to act as support for LGBT students.
“I always feel welcome on campus,” media production senior Athena Armylagos said. “I’ve been to a couple LGBT meetings but haven’t really gotten involved in any activities. It’s really important that we have a LGBT group. It’s a great way to meet new people and talk about events or situations going on in the community.”
However, not all students feel the same way about the LGBT community.
“People are generally not rude to anyone who is LGBT to their face,” finance senior Francis Dorrego said. “However, I have noticed that behind people’s backs rude remarks and jokes are made. Mainly from guys.”
Some LGBT students also keep their orientation to themselves.
“I haven’t been exposed to the LGBT community on campus, but I have a couple people I know who are gay,” Dorrego said. “Some are still in the closet and others are out but discrete.”
Likewise, Armylagos has never experienced any bias from other students.
“Basically, everyone on the UH campus is nice and accepting of the LGBT people walking around campus and if by any chance they aren’t, they don’t say anything,” Armylagos said.
Unlike Dorrego and Armylagos, Derrick Maples, a media production senior, has not been targeted but has witnessed the persecution of his friends.
“I’m an open Bisexual and have never felt persecuted or discriminated for it on campus. The people and friends I associate with are very open-minded and supportive,” Maples said.
“My boyfriend and I feel as though the student body and the school itself (are) accepting of us. However, I’ve had a who had a bad experience, although I do not think this reflects the school as an entirety.”