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Author Topic: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?  (Read 13644 times)

TBoneUCLA

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #50 on: March 14, 2005, 01:34:33 PM »
I honestly believe you'd get better results if there was a tax reduction for corporations/firms who meet certain diversity factors.  I don't say I necessarily agree with this policy, but can guarantee the end goal of diversity would be reached much more quickly than trying to push the agenda at the university admissions level.

Ever see Boeing, Intel, Microsoft, or Lockheed recruiting high school students?  And yes, this would go closer to the source of problem.



i think the deal with aa in law school is this:

general logic says that if 10% of the population is black, then 10% of practicing lawyers SHOULD be black, as lawyers are out there to represent the people. however, i have a feeling the % of black applicants is WAAAAAAY lower than 10%, like lets say it is maybe 3% or something.

WELL, we still need that 10% representation in law schools, so 10% of each class will be made up of black applicants. that means if a class is supposed to be around 400 people, an adcom will shoot for having 40 black 1Ls, even if only 100 black applicants applied. see what i am getting at?

i dont believe AA is there to make up for racism, i dont believe it is there because some adcom feels sorry for someone that had a tough time of things (as many many other people that had a tough time of things are given no help)

i feel aa is there to create diversity in this profession. the end. the REAL issue is why are so few black (or latin) students doing well in college and applying to law school? that can easily be a funding issue, or a cultural issue, but i think it is the issue nonetheless....

SillyMia

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #51 on: March 14, 2005, 02:02:45 PM »
Well, as a minority, it makes me really cringe when people use their minority status as an ďinĒ.  Now, I have experienced times (several of them) when I didnít fit in with my classmates and I was being ignored, but frankly, most people are comfortable with people like them and I had to keep telling myself that.  I also didnít fit in with my ďownĒ people because I was (and am) too conservative.

Then I see these urm that come from privileged families, a home, supportive parents, etc. start saying how hard being different was.  I donít buy it.  Really, itís hard, but not THAT hard to blame grades and lsat on it. 

However, I do agree that there are people, like myself, that grow up with friends in gangs and never discuss college.  Friends that get pregnant at 14 and drop out of high school.  Parents that donít encourage going to school and make their child work over 30 hours with them to help out the household starting at age nine.  Moms that drop off their kids two hours late to school and then when they are called due to truancies, claim their child was ďsickĒ. 

I graduated high school with a 1.8 gpa and just graduating high school was a feat.  Can you imagine how difficult college would be for somebody in this situation?  I left having no clue what college was (I also moved four times in high school so had no support system in any school).  Yes, I read several books to help with the ďlanguage barrierĒ, but let me tell you, a couple prerequisites in English does not get you up to speed when youíve been speaking another language with a single parent that has a third grade education.  People take for granted what they learn at home and how that puts them just that much ahead.  I used to read the dictionary for fun.  Despite this, I still canít say certain words correctly because I read them like they were spelled.

So, no offense, but do you think that a gay person has the same situation?

What it comes down to is economic disadvantage in the "ghettos".  Not discrimination (although I have gone home feeling like crap b/c of discrimination several times).  Iíve seen people pull the race card in professorís office hours.  Iíd be fuming!  No, itís not race.  Iíve known several White people who worked two jobs and went to school while Ms. Color is complaining after her 5 hr/week subsidized job.  Iím sorry, but itís not race.

The only way that Iíve seen race  (what is now touted as ďperson of colorĒ) play an issue is people with families that donít know any better and discourage the continuing education since we should be working.  Does any of this make sense?

I feel that urms are taking advantage of this, but I don't think that simply because their parent had to work two jobs to help them out in college is a reason that they should get preferential treatment.  I think this holds true for several people. 

I don't blame my grades (well deserved) on my urm status.  I just hope that the question continues to change from urm to economically disadvantage and WHY. 

shiveringjenny

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #52 on: March 14, 2005, 02:23:02 PM »
I don't blame my grades (well deserved) on my urm status. I just hope that the question continues to change from urm to economically disadvantage and WHY.


yeah, i blame my grades (3.2) on being poor and sick, not being black. hopefully a 174+ on the LSAT will mitigate that and i will get into a good law school.


angmill08

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #53 on: March 14, 2005, 03:55:01 PM »
I just don't see why so many whites complain about being railroaded or punished by AA. If your numbers are borderline for a school, you're hoping something beyond the numbers will make them want you. Race is that factor for people who benefit from AA. Geography might be that factor for others. A family connection for another. It may not be something you have any control over and it may seem unfair that these things are more valuable to law schools than the things you do have control over, but... those are the breaks.
I just see this as similar to my job situation that I posted about earlier. I got a break. Somebody else didn't. We all don't get breaks all of the time. Overall, for most people, the good breaks and bad breaks even out and make it fair. If not, it could be a fluke, or it could be part of a pattern of systematic unfairness. But I don't think AA has created a pattern of systematic unfairness for whites, as it does not appear to be preventing white people from entering elite schools or professions at a disproportionate rate. It does seem to be helping minorities get into elite schools and professions, though, which is why I support it, imperfect as it is.
When I found out I didn't get into one of my reaches and saw others with similar or lower #s get in, I was sad. I know I could do well in that school even though my #s were on the low side. Perhaps if I weren't white I would have gotten the chance to prove it to them. But that was a break I didn't get.  Since I feel like I've gotten some breaks for being white, I can accept the idea of not getting some for being white too. It's not a perfect system, I know, but it is a useful tool for mitigating the systematic effects of racism.
164/3.46 Undergrad GPA, graduated college in 1996.
Applied: UT Austin (ED), Univ. of Houston, George Washington U & American U.
Accepted: Univ. of Houston, GW, American
Attending: GW, Fall 2006

angmill08

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #54 on: March 14, 2005, 04:07:06 PM »
Sorry to overpost... but one more thing about the economic disadvantage of life in the "ghettos". I think racism led to the creation of the ghetto, and maintains it today. Why, throughout the 20th century, have whites and immigrants lived in less homogenous ghettos, and assimilated out of them more quickly than blacks? I think racism has a lot to do with it. There is a great book on this subject called "American Apartied". It was written maybe 10 years ago, but it is a very informative study of racial segregation in housing that has informed some of my opinions on this topic.
I hope no one minds the use of the term ghetto. My neighbors under 30 use it often. I could use a different term here if it is offensive, though.
164/3.46 Undergrad GPA, graduated college in 1996.
Applied: UT Austin (ED), Univ. of Houston, George Washington U & American U.
Accepted: Univ. of Houston, GW, American
Attending: GW, Fall 2006

SleepyGuyYawn

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #55 on: March 14, 2005, 04:15:31 PM »
If your numbers are borderline for a school, you're hoping something beyond the numbers will make them want you. Race is that factor for people who benefit from AA. Geography might be that factor for others. A family connection for another. It may not be something you have any control over and it may seem unfair that these things are more valuable to law schools than the things you do have control over, but... those are the breaks.

What you're saying, essentially, is that life isn't fair -- so suck it up.  And I tend to agree.  But I also think that life should be as fair as possible.  I have just as big a problem with legacies as I do with AA.  But I think your argument that geography is as important as race in admissions is specious at best.  

I understand life isn't always fair.  But institionalized injustice should be stopped wherever it occurs.
 
I'm not just talking about not getting into one of your reaches either.  I'm talking about how unfair it is that a significant portion of those applying to law schools have a substantial boost before the process even begins.  

And you say that I shouldn't complain b/c white people aren't underrepresented in law schools, firms, etc.  Alright, it's true that they aren't.  But what if I don't want to just be known as another white person?!  As far as I'm concerned, there's only one of me -- and I'm underrepresented in law schools  ;)


SleepyGuyYawn

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #56 on: March 14, 2005, 04:25:07 PM »
Why, throughout the 20th century, have whites and immigrants lived in less homogenous ghettos, and assimilated out of them more quickly than blacks? I think racism has a lot to do with it.

Have you ever been to Appalachia?  There are far more poor white people in the United States (although, yes, by proportion there are more poor African Americans).

And whether racism has anything to do with the birth of poor, urban, African-American communities is up for debate (but I happen to think there's a definate tie). 

But I didn't have anything to do with this racism... I didn't have any more to do with it than any African American or Latino/a person my age.  So why punish me -- just because my skin is pale?  And you say that it isn't punishment, but the reality is that it is punishment.  When I'm more qualified than another person for a position in a law school, but you allow that person in b/c of the color of our respective skins, you're necessarily punishing me.  That's what I object to.  Listen -- I didn't choose my skin tone any more than anybody else.  And I've never participated in discrimination. 


TBoneUCLA

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #57 on: March 14, 2005, 04:39:02 PM »
If your numbers are borderline for a school, you're hoping something beyond the numbers will make them want you. Race is that factor for people who benefit from AA. Geography might be that factor for others. A family connection for another. It may not be something you have any control over and it may seem unfair that these things are more valuable to law schools than the things you do have control over, but... those are the breaks.

What you're saying, essentially, is that life isn't fair -- so suck it up.  And I tend to agree.  But I also think that life should be as fair as possible.  I have just as big a problem with legacies as I do with AA.  But I think your argument that geography is as important as race in admissions is specious at best.  

I understand life isn't always fair.  But institionalized injustice should be stopped wherever it occurs.
 
I'm not just talking about not getting into one of your reaches either.  I'm talking about how unfair it is that a significant portion of those applying to law schools have a substantial boost before the process even begins.  

And you say that I shouldn't complain b/c white people aren't underrepresented in law schools, firms, etc.  Alright, it's true that they aren't.  But what if I don't want to just be known as another white person?!  As far as I'm concerned, there's only one of me -- and I'm underrepresented in law schools  ;)




finally this discussion has grown some wings and sounds intelligent and thoughtful.

no more stupid talk of drinking fountains and deserving this or that - save such childish arguments for the playground, folks.  this is finally sounding smart

i do have to say that if you look at the numbers people dont get into schools with numbers well below 25% marks because of geography. i think it is fair to say that in this world of law school admission the biggest gain one can have as far as brownie points go is being a URM. nothing really holds a candle to that in terms of suddenly becoming desirable to a school that would otherwise ding you. if we can all at least agree that that is true, fair or unfair, i would be happy.....


and i do agree with the previous poster that being poor is not the same kind of hardship that being gay is, in consideration of ability. i for sure agree 100%.  i didnt like people saying that AA is deserved because they are oppressed and due to that oppression they should get a lift. i brought up the gay thing to say that "well, then in that case, where is my magic box to check, because i have been opressed too!"

it isn't the point of AA, and i think that fact is being fleshed out in this board.

SleepyGuyYawn

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #58 on: March 14, 2005, 04:44:19 PM »
I think it's important for me to point out, as well, that this is one of the only positions I take that's not in line with a general liberal groupthink (I sure as heck didn't vote for Bush, I'm a supporter of the ACLU and other similar civil rights organizations).

I just don't want to be railroaded into believe what I do about AA b/c I'm trying to tow a conservative ideological line. 



risingMC

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Re: are there any URMs that think AA is TOO helpful in admissions process?
« Reply #59 on: March 14, 2005, 04:56:13 PM »
I've been trolling this post for some time, and it seems to be mostly non-URM people complaining about AA. There are some exceptions, of course, and this thread has been more civil than most. But in any event, it was directed to URMs, who so far haven't been responding. Since this thread seems to be more of a bona fide discussion and not like earlier rants, I'll post.

There hasn't really been a consensus on the main purpose (or purposes) of AA. Is it to right the past wrongs of society? But Asians, people of middle-eastern descent, etc. don't get any remedies. Is it aimed to bring up the downtrodden? But most beneficiaries of AA belong to the middle and upper-middle class, while there are likewise many poor whites.

I, for one, I think law schools use it to enhance the "diversity" of their incoming class. Perhaps if our government and society put more money into the earlier stages of education we wouldn't need to focus on the inadequacies of AA, but as it stands, it's probably the best option out there.

On a more personal note, someone asked if a URM could specifically point to something in their life that would have been different had he/she not been a minority. I've mentioned this elsewhere, but the combination of being hispanic and poor most definately had something to do with my abysmal first semester GPA. Still haven't figured out which had the more influence; my best guess is that they complemented each other. In my hometown all Hispanics were usually in poor areas, with crappy schools ... those of us managed to get out of there still faced an uphill battle once in college. Hence the bad gpa freshman year.

To make a long story short, without this first year my gpa would have been something like a 3.8, which is Stanford's median. My LSAT is still three points below their LSAT median of 169, but hey, that's ok. Did being Hispanic give me the benefit of those three questions on the LSAT? Perhaps. But I'm ok with that ... it just surprises me that people make such a big deal over something so minor.