Potentially Sensitive Information

Your letter of reference is a screening tool for the application process, so you may deliberate over the types of information you include about the student, especially if the information is potentially sensitive or may be viewed by the reader as controversial. The CWS encourages students to include in their applications any information they feel is central to their identity or encompasses values that are important to them. We recognize that a wide variety of potential readers exist, some of whom may not share the student’s views on issues of diversity, multiculturalism, sexuality, political affiliation, disabilities, or religion.

We encourage you to talk with your student about how she is addressing an issue or situation in her application, and how you can best support her in your letter. If the potentially sensitive information does not directly affect the candidate's ability to fulfill the responsibilities of the position for which she has applied, is not visibly apparent, and may be considered a private matter, you may choose not to mention it at all.

If you have questions about a particular circumstance, please feel free to contact the CWS.