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Author Topic: Am I an underrepresented minority?  (Read 9131 times)

Hocine

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Am I an underrepresented minority?
« on: October 30, 2004, 03:29:04 AM »
My mom was born in Morocco (africa), and my father and all my grandparents were born in Algeria (again, africa).

So.. I'm "african-american" right?

Well.. the thing is, I'm white.  If you saw me, you'd think I was from western europe (people guess Spain a lot)

But we all know that "african-american" is just a PC euphemism..


So.. how do I find out if I qualify as a URM?

Also, while my "ethnicity" is african american, my "race" is Berber (which explains my complexion).. so.. which would it be best for me to put down?  African American, Algerian, or Berber?


When I was applying for undergrad, I checked off African American, and I started getting all these things from schools with pictures of black people on them..  Not everyone in africa is black!  But, again, that brings us back to the whole PC thing..



So.. anyways, I'll restate my questions :D

What should I put down as my race/ethnicity (based on which one will most likely qualify me as a URM without pissing the ad coms off)?

Also, should I write an addendum?  Send a photo and a photocopy of my birth certificate?

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Re: Am I an underrepresented minority?
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2004, 03:31:20 AM »
What should I put down as my race/ethnicity (based on which one will most likely qualify me as a URM without pissing the ad coms off)?

dude, this wasn't the intention of giving URMs a boost in admissions.  it sounds like you're trying to manipulate the system.
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Hocine

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Re: Am I an underrepresented minority?
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2004, 03:32:55 AM »
Heck yes I'm trying to manipulate the system.

Does that make me a bad candidate to become a lawyer, or a good one?  ;)


Seriously though, if you have a potential advantage, why not use it?

I wouldn't blame you if you had an easier time of getting into Boalt just because you didn't have a Y-chromosome.


Besides, I am literally african american, moreso than most "african americans!"

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Re: Am I an underrepresented minority?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2004, 03:35:45 AM »
were you born in africa?

my co-worker is from south africa, and is white.  his children are south african, but they're being raised here.  they look like any other white kids, and i can almost guarantee that they won't be facing a lot of the hardships that minorities here face, particularly the ones that URM status should be helping. 
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Hocine

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Re: Am I an underrepresented minority?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2004, 03:38:11 AM »
Well I don't agree with institutionalized racism so I have no moral qualms about this.

Anyway, I am literally african american, both my parents are immigrants from africa, my grandparents were also born in africa, all of their first languages were arabic and french, etc


I really wanted to get some genuine help here, and we've gone way off topic.. so, shall we just agree to disagree?

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Re: Am I an underrepresented minority?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2004, 03:42:22 AM »
okay, agreed.

you're not the only one on LSD with such intentions.  i just saw another thread about it, about someone (javert) being half mexican.  maybe you can search for it.

i'm middle eastern, but i was born here, and i check all the "white" boxes.  i wrote a diversity statement about being middle eastern because it does add to the diversity of the class, but i think it's a different thing entirely to try to get a boost in admissions based on the fact.

if you feel like you have genuine ties with your culture, go ahead and check the box.  in fact, you probably will anyway.  but you should submit some extra information.  especially if a school welcomes additional information, you should write and submit a diversity statement explaining your parents' (thus your) ethnic background and how it has affected your perception of the world or whatever.

if i were you, i would mention in the diversity statement that you look european though.  you don't want to show up on campus and have them feel that you misled them.

hope that's more helpful than my previous posts.

(edited to include hopefully helpful information)
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Hocine

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Re: Am I an underrepresented minority?
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2004, 03:52:19 AM »
Sent this in a PM but you deserve a public apology:

I'm sorry

I was being rather insensitive about something that seems to be important to you.. thanks for the tip about javert.

You seem like a really nice person, and it wasn't my intention to offend you.

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Re: Am I an underrepresented minority?
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2004, 04:01:07 AM »
i responded with my above (edited) response in the PM.  i didn't realize you were going to post what you wrote in the first place, so i took out the first sentence.  now i don't remember what it said, but feel free to post it if you want.  i think it just said that it's not a personal issue for me.  it just didn't mesh with what i was posting above.

to elaborate some more:
i wouldn't say that i'm offended; i just don't like hearing about people trying to take advantage of a system that's trying to help others.  i tried to think of an analogy, and could only think of stealing money from a charity.  i think that's too extreme though.

anyway, i give adcomms the benefit of the doubt, and i think that the URM thing is a very well-meaning concept that's meant to help compensate people for some disadvantages that they've faced in their education, presumably.  while it's true that you technically may be african-american (though i don't know how technically true that is if you were born here), you're not necessarily the targeted URM applicant.

i stick with my previous advice.  if you are african-american, check the appropriate box.  but you should also write a diversity statement explaining the situation so you won't be misleading an adcomm.  or address the topic in your PS if it works with whatever theme you have.
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Hocine

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Re: Am I an underrepresented minority?
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2004, 04:10:03 AM »
Thank you :)


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Re: Am I an underrepresented minority?
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2004, 04:17:06 AM »
my full reply to hocine's PM: (the only difference between this and the edited post above is the first sentence; this followed hocine's apology previously)

i don't know about the extent of its importance; it's certainly not a personal issue.  i'm middle eastern, but i was born here, and i check all the "white" boxes.  i wrote a diversity statement about being middle eastern because it does add to the diversity of the class, but i think it's a different thing entirely to try to get a boost in admissions based on the fact.

if you feel like you have genuine ties with your culture, go ahead and check the box.  in fact, you probably will anyway.  but you should submit some extra information.  especially if a school welcomes additional information, you should write and submit a diversity statement explaining your parents' (thus your) ethnic background and how it has affected your perception of the world or whatever.

if i were you, i would mention in the diversity statement that you look european though.  you don't want to show up on campus and have them feel that you misled them.

hope that's more helpful than my posts on the thread.  i'm actually going to post this there too.
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