by Javier Panzar
Monday, March 29, 2010
“A tense discussion of a “toxic” racial climate took center stage at last week’s meeting of the UC Board of Regents.
Board members responded to recent racially motivated incidents throughout the 10-campus system that have garnered national attention in recent months. While several regents directly apologized for not doing enough in response to the incidents, the board as a whole will consider increasing minority enrollment and funding for retention and recruitment centers as part of efforts to rectify the situation…
“Students don’t feel safe going to class, I personally don’t feel safe going to class,” Ritcherson said. “It’s disheartening.”
UC President Mark Yudof said that he would seek changes in admissions policy as well as the creation of scholarships for underrepresented minorities in order to improve diversity.
He said all the UC campuses needed to employ a holistic review-currently employed at UC Berkeley and UCLA-when screening applicants, rather than focusing on SAT scores and grade point averages in making admissions decisions.
“I want a system that is less mechanical, that takes a look seriously at a range of talents, at skills and history,” he said after the meeting…
“Changing the admissions policy at UC San Diego is not going to change the problem,” Keflezighi said while addressing the board. “If you admit more black students, they are still not going to come to UCSD, knowing that the climate is going to be hostile towards them. You all should honestly be ashamed of yourselves if you are just going to increase the numbers and think that critical mass is going to change it.”
Dan Simmons, vice chair of the academic senate, cautioned the board against expecting new admissions requirements to fundamentally alter racial tensions on campuses.
“It’s not our admissions process that carved swastikas on the doors in the students’ dormitory room, it’s not our admissions process that put a noose in the San Diego library,” Simmons said. “I don’t want to see us misled into thinking that getting the board focused on admissions policy and process is going to solve our problem. Our problem is far deeper, far, far deeper than that.”…read more