San Diego State University (SDSU) announced they will be offering a major in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender studies, in 2012, echoing congress’s recent ruling to end discrimination against the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community with the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”.
I applaud SDSU’s progressive mindset that makes them second in the country to offer a major in LGBT studies following Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York. Hopefully this will start a ripple effect with other higher learning institutions in California as well as at Pierce College.
It would be great for a college in Los Angeles, which happens to be home to a large LGBT community to acknowledge that population as an important and contributing portion of our society that is worth accepting and understanding across the board.
Expanding the curriculum and giving students the chance to learn more about the LGBT community as an undergraduate is said to help with students pursuing law school, medical school or any corporate position where having an understanding of diversity is needed.
Some people will say, “If there can be a religious, chicano or women’s studies programs, there should be an LGBT studies program as well.”
That’s a Yes and a No. That is a broad statement to make and grouping different types of beliefs, races or genders up against each other to be ranked by importance of being deserving or undeserving of a college program can get pretty dangerous.
At the end of the day, it should be left up to the students to decide; and if they have a desire to learn about a certain subject, it is part of a school’s duty to create courses that will enrich the lives of its young scholars.
Like SDSU, Pierce could begin by offering a few classes or a minor in LGBT studies. If students continue to show interest in the course, it could become a larger part of their academics programs.
The Pierce College Council recently approved an Enrollment Management Planning Committee and one of it’s goals is to ensure the programs and services offered align with the changing needs and strengths of our new students. Students who are interested in expanding their curriculum, whether it’s to offer LGBT studies or any other program, should voice their opinions and get the most out of their college experience.