There used to be a time when college applications were largely limited to GPAs, college entrance exam scores, and an essay or two about why such-and-such U was the best place for you.

My how times have changed. Under the guise of promoting “diversity” Duke University is asking a lot of nosy questions. As the Daily Caller reports:

Applicants for the 2019 class at Duke University will now have the opportunity to showcase their diversity by elaborating on their sexual orientation and gender identity following an addition to the school’s application materials. …

 “Duke University seeks a talented, engaged student body that embodies the wide range of human experience; we believe that the diversity of our students makes our community stronger. If you’d like to share a perspective you bring or experiences you’ve had to help us understand you better — perhaps related to a community you belong to, your sexual orientation or gender identity, or your family or cultural background — we encourage you to do so. ….”

While the essay also allows students to craft an answer revolving around their race, religion or any other matter of their choosing, the component regarding sexual orientation has drawn the most attention.

While programs and institutions targeted at gay students are widespread on American campuses, actually asking applicants about their sexual identities is exceedingly rare.

Turns out, Duke is the first of some 400 schools to add such a nosy question to its Common Application, and only three other campuses nationwide even ask about prospective students’ sexuality. Pushing for the school’s inclusion of such a question was the campus’ gay rights organization, Blue Devils United. As the Daily Caller continued:

BDU’s president Daniel Kort told the school newspaper that the question would help the school better understand the demographics of both applicants and admitted students, in order to better gauge whether Duke is perceived as welcoming to gay students. However, Kort said he ultimately would prefer for the school to eventually use an optional checkbox explicitly dealing with sexual orientation, rather than simply incorporating it into a broader essay question.

“I believe that the absence of this sort of check box ultimately serves as a double standard of treating gender and sexual minorities differently than their peers of other historically marginalized demographics,” Kort said.

Regardless of anyone’s race, religion, or gender, reducing individuals to mere checked or unchecked boxes is the biggest threat to true diversity. What American institutions of higher learning should be focusing on is diversity of ideas and equal protection of individual liberty to express those ideas civilly.