« on: April 24, 2006, 07:12:40 PM »
I usually hate engaging in AA debates, mostly because they tend to degenerate into personal attacks and baseless drivel. However, I just read something in my school newspaper that is the last in a series of letters to the editor/articles condemning "diversity" in admissions, and I'm absolutely sick of it. I need you all to help me craft an intelligent response to this; since I AM a "minority" I don't want to sound overly upset or emotional, so hopefully you all can give me some perspective.
First, an intro: I go to a small, Southern, WASPY liberal arts school known for its homogeneity and predominantly white and Southern student population. Our admissions office has a hard time attracting minority applicants, so they hold minority recruitment weekends, fly minority kids here, and generally try to create some interest in the school in a population that would otherwise not think about applying (I believe they're also somewhat more generous with $$, but they claim it's to the same extent as to a legacy/athlete/person of interest). However, they are very adamant in saying that they do NOT take race into consideration when ADMITTING students, except to "differentiate between equals."
This letter is from an anonymous "concerned parent." It asks the school's administration to "substantiate the benefits" of increasing racial diversity, which the author seems pretty skeptical about. It also misinterprets comments from Admissions officers (who are quoted as saying that they give incentives to minorities to APPLY here) by saying that Admissions actually gives preference to minorities in admissions.
It questions the University's stated policy to "increase American racial and ethnic diversity on campus to a level approximating the mean" in similar institutions, saying that this goal is no different from a quota.
The letter complains that administrators won't release SAT scores divided up by ethnicities (which I actually think would be interesting), and says that this is some kind of cover up to hide the fact that admitted minorities are doing worse on the SATs than their white counterparts (which I don't necessarily dispute, but given the inadequacies in education that affect many minorities, I don't think the SAT is an accurate measure of intelligence, and hope to convey that in the letter). (And, for those who are about to attack me for unknown reasons, my SAT was in the 99th percentile).
It goes on to say the following "Do I have a problem with minorities attending this school? No. Unequivocally, if a student of any race is the best academically qualified and merits a position I salute him. But, I do have a problem with helping one group of people by hurting another group...I do not agree that an admissions policiy of preferecens for minorities is necessary to enrich the educational experience of all."
ARRRGGGHH. I'm ticked off. Very ticked off. If you have any suggestions as to what to write, please, help.