Thursday, August 25, 2011

Diversity is for real?

The argument that colleges need diverse student bodies started out as political cover for programs that helped disadvantaged minorities. (I'm not saying the programs ever effectively targeted disadvantaged people, just that that was the goal.)

Now, it seems, people actually value diversity. A small private college in Illinois is asking students if they are gay so they can have a diverse student body.

Two thoughts:

1. The college says being gay "will have no impact on an applicants' chances of admission." Is that like how MIT has the dean of admissions personally get all legacy applications but that doesn't affect the admission rate?

2. Let's do the math. You set up a quota of say 3% for students who identify as gay. A large portion of the gays are still in the closet at 17 and don't identify as gay, say 50%, so .03*.5*.97 = 1.4% of the student body who didn't identify as gay is also gay. In other words, the policy is designed to over-represent gay people.

3. What I like about the policy is that students at the college will leave more exposed to "gay math," "gay biology" and "gay economics." If you didn't know, math, science and engineering (and everything practical) work differently for men who have sex with men. 2+2=5 for instance.

The upshot is that you should check the gay box when you're applying. How are they going to prove you lied?

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