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Jontor

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[forpeopleofcolor] Article: A Startling Statistic at UCLA
« on: June 04, 2006, 09:59:40 AM »
At this rate, California “public” universities will start resembling the University of Alabama, circa 1952, in approximately 10 years.

THE STATE

A Startling Statistic at UCLA

At the school whose alumni include Jackie Robinson and Tom Bradley, only 96 blacks are expected in this fall's freshman class.

By Rebecca Trounson
Times Staff Writer

June 3, 2006

This fall 4,852 freshmen are expected to enroll at UCLA, but only 96, or 2%, are African American — the lowest figure in decades and a growing concern at the Westwood campus.

For several years, students, professors and administrators at UCLA have watched with discouragement as the numbers of black students declined. But the new figures, released this week, have shocked many on campus and prompted school leaders to declare the situation a crisis.

UCLA — which boasts such storied black alumni as Jackie Robinson, Tom Bradley and Ralph Bunche, and is in a county that is 9.8% African American — now has a lower percentage of black freshmen than either crosstown rival USC or UC Berkeley, the school often considered its top competitor within the UC system.

The 96 figure — down by 20 students from last year — is the lowest for incoming African American freshmen since at least 1973. And of the black freshmen who have indicated they will enroll in the fall, 20 are recruited athletes, admissions officials said.

"Clearly, we're going to have to meet this crisis by redoubling our efforts, which have not yielded the results we'd like to see," said Chancellor Albert Carnesale, who met Friday with a delegation of undergraduates upset about the situation.

In a telephone interview before the meeting, Carnesale described the preliminary numbers for black freshmen as "a great disappointment" and said that UCLA has been trying for years to boost those levels, within the limits allowed by law.

He and other officials at UCLA and elsewhere said the problem of attracting, admitting and enrolling qualified black students is found at competitive universities across the country and that its causes are complex. In California, the problem is rooted partly in the restrictions placed on the state's public colleges and institutions by Proposition 209, the 1996 voter initiative that banned consideration of race and gender in admissions and hiring.

Other factors include the socioeconomic inequities that undermine elementary and high school education in California and elsewhere, with minority students disproportionately affected because they often attend schools with fewer resources, including less-qualified teachers and fewer counselors.

Many students and professors also say the declining presence of blacks on campus discourages some prospective students from attending, thus exacerbating the problem. Some of those interviewed, including UCLA sociologist Darnell Hunt, said the campus could be doing more than it is.

Hunt, who heads UCLA's Bunche Center for African American Studies, and several colleagues have been studying the issue as part of a multiyear research project on the challenges facing black students in California universities.

In a draft of a report to be released this month, the researchers compared the admissions criteria and processes at UC's three most competitive campuses: UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego. (At the latter, the incoming black freshman class stands at 52 students, or 1.1%, even lower than the others.)

The report found that UC San Diego's admissions process relied most heavily on numbers, while UC Berkeley's was most "holistic," allowing a single reader to review all parts of an applicant's file, including academic and personal achievements or challenges.

At UCLA, in what admissions officials have described as an attempt to increase fairness and objectivity, applicants' files are divided by academic and personal areas, and read by separate reviewers. The researchers asserted that UC Berkeley's process may be the fairest, because it allows students' achievements to be seen in the context of their personal challenges.

In an interview, Hunt acknowledged the difficulty for a campus like UCLA, which received 47,000 applications this year. Yet he criticized the school for rejecting many black students based on what he described as factors of questionable validity, and that he said may be linked more to socioeconomic privilege than academic merit.

"There's a common misperception that this is a horrible problem but that black students just need to do better," he said. "But most of the black students who don't get in go to other top-notch schools — Harvard, Duke, Michigan. We're losing students who could be here."

Ward Connerly, the conservative former UC regent who was an architect of Proposition 209, countered that the issue was not the law he helped create.

"The problem — and this is an old song, I know — starts with the small number of black students who are academically competitive," he said, pointing out that many also choose to attend historically black colleges or private schools. "But I don't think we solve this problem by tinkering with the admissions criteria to make it easier to get in."

No matter the cause, the effect is apparent on campus.

Karume James, 20, a graduating senior who led a recent student protest on campus over the issue, said he remembered the excitement he felt when he arrived at UCLA for student orientation in the summer of 2003.

Then just 17, James was preparing to transfer to the big-city campus from a community college in Riverside, his hometown. And he recalled what he felt when he looked around.

"That was a real shock. I spent about 14 hours at the campus, and I counted only about 12 black people. I guess I'd had this feeling that UCLA was going to be this truly diverse place, and it just wasn't," said James, who is now the chairman of UCLA's Afrikan Student Union. "Not for black students."

James, who was among half a dozen students who met Friday with Carnesale, called the session productive and said the UCLA chancellor was receptive to the group's views. Carnesale, who is preparing to step down as chancellor this month, promised to release a statement expressing concern about the issue and work with alumni, students and others to raise the numbers.

The new figures were part of an annual report showing that a record-setting 37,000 freshmen plan to enroll at UC campuses in the fall. Overall, across all nine undergraduate campuses, the new class shows a continued trend of slight increases in black, Latino and Native American students. These groups, which are still considered underrepresented at UC, will make up just under 20% of the 2006 freshman class, compared with just below 19% for the current class.

But the picture in the latest release varied by campus and by group, with the underrepresented minority numbers at the system's most competitive campuses — UCLA and UC Berkeley — drawing the most attention, as always.

At UC Berkeley, black, Latino and Native American students are expected to make up 15.9% of the freshman class, up from 14.4% this year. And 140 black students, 10 more than this year, have said they will enroll in the fall, making up 3.3% of the overall class of about 4,200. The number of Latino students also rose, from 449 to 509.

At UCLA, however, the numbers fell for both groups, and for the overall percentage of underrepresented students, despite an increase of more than 300 in the size of the total freshman class.

Of the freshmen who say they will enroll at UCLA this fall, 15.9% are from underrepresented groups, compared with 18.1% of the current freshman class. The figure for Latinos dropped from 683 to 659.

"The critical mass of our African American students is eroding, and we know the quality of our education experience is absolutely affected, as well as our obligation to the citizens of this state," said Janina Montero, UCLA's vice chancellor for student affairs.

Jenny Wood, UCLA student body president, belongs to a student committee drafting recommendations to revamp the admissions process.

"I think it's been really detrimental to see this decline in African American students and, overall, in the number of students of color on our campus," she said.

In Los Angeles County, blacks accounted for 11%, or 9,152, of the 84,677 public high school graduates. Statewide, blacks made up 7%, or 25,267, of the 343,481 students who graduated from California's public high schools in 2004, the most recent year statistics are available.

*

(INFOBOX BELOW)

Shortage of black freshmen

Ethnic and racial breakdown of UCLA freshmen*

1985 (peak year for black enrollment)

White: 49.7%

Asian/Filipino: 22.2%

Chicano/Latino: 14.8%

Black: 9.6%

Other**: 3.7%

--

2005

White: 33.3%

Asian/Filipino: 41.0%

Chicano/Latino: 14.8%

Black: 2.9%

Other**: 7.9%

Pie charts may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

*Excludes foreign students. **Includes Native Americans, other groups and those who declined to state.

Source: UCLA

*

Times staff writers Stuart Silverstein and Lynn Doan contributed to this report.

 

_________________

Anthony Solana, Jr.

Attorney at Law

P.O. Box 71067

Los Angeles, California

 

For People of Color, Inc., Founder

www.forpeopleofcolor.org

mivida2k

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Re: [forpeopleofcolor] Article: A Startling Statistic at UCLA
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2006, 01:05:36 PM »
The UCLA Black Alumni Association has started a campaign as well.  They are asking that counselors and principals assist those students who were rejected. 

Ward Connerly is one crazy man.  ( I am trying to be nice).

What the article does not discuss is how UCLA had several programs where UCLA students and professors partnered with inner city and predominately minority K-12 schools.  The intent to was prepare students for admission to UCLA.  The outgoing Chancellor should have discussed how GPA inflation plays a part in the selection process.  Inner city schools in particular offer less Honors and AP courses than a predominately middle-upper class white school.  If a student's school offers only two AP classes she or he will have a lower GPA than a student who's schools offers five AP classes even if both students were to get all As in the class.

After the passing of Prop. 209 (thanks stupid white women and Ward Connerly) many Californian Hispanics and African-Americans, in particular, chose to attend non-UC schools.  That has helped schools such as USC. 
The president's approval rating has dropped to 33 percent, matching his low in May. His handling of nearly every issue, from the Iraq war to foreign policy, contributed to the president's decline around the nation, even in the Republican-friendly South.

fakemark

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Re: [forpeopleofcolor] Article: A Startling Statistic at UCLA
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2006, 04:29:49 PM »
I saw that too. Not shocked, since it's been happening for a while, but saddened. Only 76 non-athlete black students is a shame. The article didn't break down the gender factor, but I bet the number of black males in that class is shockingly low. Someone told me that one year recently at UCLA there were less than 20 non-athletic-scholarship black males in the freshman class.

The passage of Prop 209 was a dark day in UCLA history (and for all the UC's).

mr*mouth*piece

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Re: [forpeopleofcolor] Article: A Startling Statistic at UCLA
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2006, 02:56:43 AM »
I really wonder how Ward CONnelley can sleep at night.
"If ones advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to lead the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours" - Henry Thoreau

Hybrid Vigor

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Re: [forpeopleofcolor] Article: A Startling Statistic at UCLA
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2006, 11:53:57 AM »
This is a two pronged problem - first, there are not enough Black kids who meet the eligibility requirements - this is due to a variety of reasons, such as the one mivida talked about. Second, of the kids who do, many of them now view the UCs as a hostile atmosphere (when it should be the opposite - there shouldn't be any stigma of AA) and flee to USC/Stanford and out of state schools.


I had many friends in undergrad (I went to Stanford, only mentioning this b/c I think its relevant here) who did not get into any of the UC schools. One guy I knew got into Harvard and Stanford but not into UCLA. IMO, that is ridiculous. I think the Cali schools should do something like what has been done in Texas - if I'm not mistaken, any kid in the top 10% of their HS graduating class can go to UT Austin. This sort of accounts for the discrepancies between schools in poor, largely minority areas and wealthier, more likely to be majority white ones.
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Hybrid Vigor

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Re: [forpeopleofcolor] Article: A Startling Statistic at UCLA
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2006, 12:03:27 PM »
This is a two pronged problem - first, there are not enough Black kids who meet the eligibility requirements - this is due to a variety of reasons, such as the one mivida talked about. Second, of the kids who do, many of them now view the UCs as a hostile atmosphere (when it should be the opposite - there shouldn't be any stigma of AA) and flee to USC/Stanford and out of state schools.


I had many friends in undergrad (I went to Stanford, only mentioning this b/c I think its relevant here) who did not get into any of the UC schools. One guy I knew got into Harvard and Stanford but not into UCLA. IMO, that is ridiculous. I think the Cali schools should do something like what has been done in Texas - if I'm not mistaken, any kid in the top 10% of their HS graduating class can go to UT Austin. This sort of accounts for the discrepancies between schools in poor, largely minority areas and wealthier, more likely to be majority white ones.

The UCs do guarantee that if you are in the top 10% of your high school class you can go to a UC.  Frequently they have problems even with that as there are a lot of kids in CA.

Two questions:
1) Why are the UCs viewed as hostile?
2) What was special about the guy who got into Harvard and Stanford and not UCLA?

A UC is not quite the same as the state's flagship school. Why would I go to UC-Riverside if I can go to USC, and get need based aid to boot? As far as the hostile environment, I don't know. I do know that minorities, by and large, like to go to schools where there are healthy numbers of minorities already present. The critical mass effect. At any rate, req's to get into UCLA or Cal are so high that any Black/Latino student who can meet the cutoff almost certainly has other (and arguably better) options.

He was a very interesting person who had solid academic credentials (and he did just fine at Stanford). I really am not going to say anymore about him out of respect for his privacy.
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mivida2k

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Re: [forpeopleofcolor] Article: A Startling Statistic at UCLA
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2006, 12:09:21 PM »
What has happened is that UC campuses are segregated.  African-Americans are sent to UC Davis and UC Riverside.  Asians are sent to UC San Diego and UC Irvine.  Latinos are sent to UC Santa Cruz.  It's ridiculous.  I know that UCLA has been working on becoming a private school for a few years now.  I expect a challenge to the State mandate very soon as the State is hardly providing any funding.  Thus how can you be a State university.

The UCs are not viewed as hostile, but non-Asian minority students see the UC system as not wanting them.

A lot of qualified students are going elsewehere, which is hurting the UC system and the State of California.

No comment about Ward Connerly.  He is in Michigan now.  A ballot initiative will be up in November.  They are going to challenge the Supreme Court's decision another way.  Sad.
The president's approval rating has dropped to 33 percent, matching his low in May. His handling of nearly every issue, from the Iraq war to foreign policy, contributed to the president's decline around the nation, even in the Republican-friendly South.

Inquirer

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Re: [forpeopleofcolor] Article: A Startling Statistic at UCLA
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2006, 12:18:46 PM »
Mugatu --

In order to address your first question, I'm going to have to share a personal story...

I'm from California and applied to UG in 1997, soon after the development of Prop 209. I have friends that went to UC's for financial reasons, but the only reason many of us applied to UC's was either because our parents forced us to or because we didn't think we'd get significant money from better schools out of state.  The whole Prop 209 campaign did a lot to destroy the positive reputation many of the UC's enjoyed in the minds of the Black kids I knew.  I guess we felt that if they didn't want us, then we didn't want to go there. 

I got into UCLA when I applied to UG and was actively recruited to attend by the Alumni Association (and even recieved a scholarship from the school).  Instead of going to a school where I felt my presence was unwanted, I chose to attend an HBCU on the other side of the country (the full-ride helped though).  Although my parents were unhappy, I knew that I had just finished going through years of school (spent in classes where I was frequently the only person of color) where I sometimes felt mis-treated and I was not going to support a system whose leaders - like Ward Connerlly (however he spells his last name) - were on television screaming about my (or at least my fellow Black students) unworthiness.

EDIT:  I'm from Riverside, mivida, and I find that what you describe is very true...

Inquirer

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Re: [forpeopleofcolor] Article: A Startling Statistic at UCLA
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2006, 05:54:05 PM »
Inquirer - I respect your opinion on this issue, but it seems to be a lot to attribute to Ward Connerly's behavior.  He was associated with the UC system, that much is true, but Prop 209 was voted on by the voters.  If anyone is to blame, it would be the people of California.  Why was it so clear that the UCs seemed not to want you?  (They do, by the way...they just can't figure out how to get you to come without violating Prep. 209.)

Well Mugatu,

I was accepted to UCLA - and UCR - AFTER the passing and institution of of Prop 209, so they wanted me without "violating the law," I just didn't want them  ;)

You do know that the voters in California are not representative of the entire state, right? (see evidence about registered and non-registered voters vs. actual voters) Although those who voted to pass Prop 209 share the "blame," I think the problem begins at the source;  Mr. Connerly and friends who even introduced the legislation (and the leaders of these institutions who didn't speak out against the legislation).  Now, because of their "visionary idea" (I'm being VERY sarcastic here) large numbers of qualified African-American candidates are applying to other fine institutions, abandoning the in-state tuition for private instituions and in some cases (like mine) much less "prestigious" schools. 






One Step Ahead

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Re: [forpeopleofcolor] Article: A Startling Statistic at UCLA
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2006, 06:25:29 PM »
just wanted to say it is the same in Texas--top ten percent get into a Texas school--not necessarily UT Austin