Gay life at St. Lawrence

Our son’s college choice is down to St. Lawrence and Ithaca College. There is a lot about St. Lawrence that make it the preferred choice, but he is deeply concerned about gay social life at St. Lawrence because it is relatively small and isolated. Our son has been attending a small boarding school (150 students in 6 grades) in a small town for the past 4 years. He has plenty of friends, and teachers and students all think he is a great guy, but he is the only openly gay student a the school, and he is tired of being a community of 1.

He is concerned that at St. Lawrence, he would be part of another tiny community. A posting in this forum last year makes it sound like he is right to be concerned, that he will only have a community of about a dozen. Simple numbers would also say that he is right to be concerned. Ithaca College alone has more undergrads than St. Lawrence and SUNY Canton combined, and Cornell adds another 14,000 undergrads to the Ithaca area.

As much as he likes the FYP, the study abroad programs, the outdoor activities (especially downhill skiing) and the people he met at St. Lawrence, right now he is thinking that Ithaca college must be his choice if he is to have a meaningful gay community. I am curious if anyone at St. Lawrence would agree or disagree? I don’t know if it makes a difference, but he will have a car.

@ParentOfTheSon I attended SLU and I have a child that is considering joining the class of 2021. SLU offers many things but I think the gay community would be small. The fact that Ithaca College offers a larger student body with Cornell in the same location must be considered. Also, I never knew SLU and SUNY kids to mix. As a side note, SLU is 90 minutes from Whiteface, the closest ski center. Many students ski, but it is by no means convenient.

Thanks for the information. I suspected that mixing between the schools would be relatively infrequent, if only because of inertia.

Hi ParentOfTheSon. LGBTQ community was discussed briefly at the very end of the student panel at the visit day at SLU this past weekend, not sure if you were there. It left me with a generally positive impression, though the size of the gay community wasn’t mentioned. Best of luck to your son with his decision.

I don’t think the topic came up when we visited on the 17th. When we left, he thought the school was the right one for him, and academically I agree. It was only upon later reflection that he inclined toward IC because of the social aspects.

I think the LGBTQI panel session IC had on their Diversity Day a couple weeks ago made the difference. It was a panel of IC students for prospective students, so I didn’t go. He said it left the topic and became a general Q&A session almost immediately. I think what left an impression on him was simply that there were gay students. Now that I think about it, the panelists alone were a larger number of gay students than he had ever seen in person in his life. None of the other schools we visited did anything similar.