Disclaimer: Calstuff and/or the opinions expressed are not affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley.
Recent Guest PostsTenants' Rights Week
by Jason Overman
SyndicationSite Feed (ATOM)
Add to LJ Friends
Cal Patriot Blog
UC Berkeley Livejournal
California Patriot Watch
The Bird House
Cal Prof on everything
Rants & Raves
Full Time Whiner
Cal "Frat" Boy
Jewish Students Blog
Personal as PublicSoft Boiled Life
Cal Alumni/ Squelch BlogsKedstuff
I Fought the Law
Ne Quid Nimis
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Helping Minority Students outside of Affirmative Action
BAMN's silly little protests notwithstanding, I can't imagine that the voters of the state of California will ever allow a return to full fledged affirmative action based around some priority given to under-represented minorities in admissions.
Another option, which sounds like a really good one, is currently being utilized on campus. A NewsCenter article, "$5.6 million grant boosts UC Berkeley diversity program for undergraduate science students" has a description of the program:
A $5.6 million grant to the Biology Scholars Program at the University of California, Berkeley, will increase the number of UC Berkeley students from underserved communities who are admitted to medical schools and graduate science programs throughout the country.The reasons I like this progam are
1) It is paid for by a "five-year grant from the San Francisco-based Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation". I can be persuaded quite easily to support something that stands even a minute chance of helping others, if it does not cost me anything.
2) The program works:
Matsui described the 12-year old program as "wildly successful," noting that participants — 75 percent of whom come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds – graduate with a biology degree at the same rate and with equivalent UC Berkeley grade point averages as Asian and white students who are not in the program. Minority students in the program are one-and-a-half times more likely to graduate with a biology degree than are minority students who do not participate in the program.3) A program such as this can have long term benefits that will allow it to help solve the structural problems that it is only able to address cosmetically. According to the article, "Currently, African American, Hispanic and American Indian health care workers collectively make up only 9 percent of nurses, 6 percent of doctors and 5 percent of dentists in this country." An increase in the number of minorities who are able to succeed in college and return to their communities as doctors, nurses, or other health professionals can't help but have a positive impact. This will mean more children growing up seeing people they identify with succeeding. Furthermore, the graduates of this program will be better equipped to help send their children along the same path they took, as opposed to those who drop out of college. A student in the article mentions his desire to go back and work in the migrant community that he came from.
4) Finally, and most importantly, the program moves beyond simple classifications based on ethnicity, and instead looks to "help undergraduate students from diverse social, cultural and economic backgrounds succeed in the biological sciences."
BAMN can continue to bus in kids from local grade schools to agitate for an increase in underrepresented minorities at Berkeley, but unless they look to alternative approaches, such as this program, they will only be further marginalized. [Not that I'm holding my breath waiting for BAMN to become less extremist...]Email This Post!
Cal MagazinesHeuristic Squelch
Cal NewsitesDaily Californian
Hard Left News
East Bay Express
Cal OtherUC Rally Committee
Stand nineteen feet tall! Be united! Be tough! Be proud!
Cal's Student government
Cal's Student Portal