I strongly support offering an LGBTQ Studies minor as advocated in your recent editorial. However, not offering a minor in LGBTQ Studies does not necessarily imply that “Ithaca College has failed to be an inclusive institution and is leaving a gaping hole in its students’ education.”
There may be a legitimate concern whether student interest in a proposed LGBTQ Studies minor is adequate, along with a concern that we already have a proliferation of minors. When a minor requires additional resources or courses beyond those currently required for a given major, it is difficult to justify that cost if few students enroll.
According to the Spring 2013 Office of the Registrar’s enrollment report, 48 minors were offered in the School of Humanities and Sciences. Fifteen of those had fewer than 10 students enrolled. For example, Jewish Studies has four, Muslim Cultures has three, Medieval and Renaissance Studies has one. The recently added Asian American Studies minor has two students enrolled as of Fall 2013 — but this is a brand new minor.
Perhaps, if it is feasible, the college may explore a planned studies approach to offering a minor until student demand for an area of interest proves itself worth implementing.