Less Segregation on Campus
Today, Study Says
PONTIAC, Mich. — College students today are less likely to segregate themselves by race than they once were, according to a Ford Foundation report.
Increased campus diversity and special programs have made students comfortable enough to cross racial and ethnic barriers in academic, political, organizational and social situations, according to the report. It is titled “Campus Diversity and Student Self-Segregation: Separating Myths From Facts.”
“Contrary to popular reports, student self-segregation is not, in fact, a dominant feature of campus life today,” says Debra Humphreys, who prepared the report for the Ford Foundation’s Campus Diversity Initiative project.
“A racially and ethnically diverse university student body has far-ranging and significant benefits for all students, non-minorities and minorities alike,” it quotes University of Michigan psychology professor Patricia Grin as saying.
Students with similar backgrounds continue to cluster on campuses where they live, socialize and study, Humphreys says. That clustering, she says, helps them deal with the stress of being in unfamiliar surroundings. But the clustering does not prevent them from crossing barriers to mix with others different from themselves.
University of Georgia Asks Judge to Allow Race Consideration
In Admissions in 2000
SAVANNAH, Ga. — The state of Georgia has asked a federal court to allow the University of Georgia to continue to use race as a factor for admissions next fall, saying it would not harm the women who filed suit to block the practice.
In papers filed this month in the federal court here, the state says that continuing to use race in year 2000 admissions poses “no real threat of impending injury” to the women.
“In addition, the manner in which race will continue to be used as a factor in admissions has not yet been finalized by UGA,” the state contends, adding that an immediate ban would be “inappropriate and premature.”
“This court should not now put the brakes to a system that has served UGA and the state well, that has resulted in the increased opportunity for a significant segment of our population,” Attorney General Thurbert Baker says in a brief.
Jennifer Johnson, Aimee Bogrow, Molly Ann Beckenhauer, Lindsey Donaldson and others asked Judge B. Avant Edenfield last month to bar the university from using race as one factor in admitting borderline applicants for next year.
The plaintiffs seeking the injunction are responding to an announcement by Dr. Michael Adams, the university’s president, who on Sept. 30 said the school would continue using race in admissions as a way of ensuring diversity.
Edenfield has not set a hearing on the motion for an injunction yet.
Citing ‘Tepid’ Support of Diversity, Berkeley Professor Considers Harvard
BERKELEY, Calif. — A Berkeley professor who studies the role of race in education is considering jumping ship to Harvard, partly over concern that campus administrators have shown a tepid support of diversity.
“It has become a much less diverse place. There’s no sign that that’s going to change,” says Dr. Pedro Noguera, an associate professor of education at the University of California at Berkeley.
Noguera told students earlier this month that he is thinking about taking a job at Harvard in Cambridge, Mass.
Students were dismayed at the thought of losing Noguera, a respected and popular professor who is often quoted on issues of race.
“Without his influence, it might be even harder to get more diversity on our faculty,” student Giang Hong told The Daily Cal, the campus newspaper. “It’s going to be another example of someone who got fed up with the system and left.”
Noguera says the diversity issue isn’t the only reason he wants to leave, but it is a factor.
“There just really isn’t the interest in recruiting a diverse faculty,” he says. “Even with affirmative action, there wasn’t much change on the faculty.”
Noguera says he’s also concerned about minority student admissions, which dropped after the UC board of regents scrapped affirmative action two years ago.
“Personally, I’ve been treated very well,” he said. “I don’t leave easily, by any means. But it does disturb me a great deal that this is the place where most of the African American students I’d be seeing over the next few years would be athletes. I find that objectionable and insulting.”
Berkeley spokeswoman Marie Felde says administrators were sorry to hear of Noguera’s possible departure: “Pedro Noguera is an exceptionally valuable member of the Berkeley faculty and Chancellor [Dr. Robert] Berdahl is committed to doing all that he can to encourage him to stay.”
Noguera, who received his doctorate from Berkeley, served on the Berkeley School Board from 1990-94 and received the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1997.
College Board Opposes Labeling
LOS ANGELES — Poor and ethnic minority high school students who perform well on the Scholastic Aptitude Test should not be given a special label by the agency that administers and scores the test, The College Board president says.
As part of a project to help colleges and universities improve the admissions process, it has been suggested that the SAT testing agency label students “strivers” if their combined score on the math and verbal sections is 200 points higher than average for their ethnic and socioeconomic group (see Black Issues, Oct. 14).
But late last month, College Board President Gaston Caperton voiced his firm opposition to such a plan. “The strivers will not be a part of the SAT ever,” says Caperton.
Miami U. to Erect Memorial for
Slain Civil Rights Activists
OXFORD, Ohio — A memorial is being erected to three civil rights activists who trained at Miami University before going to the South to register Black voters in 1964.
Community leaders and university officials broke ground earlier this month for an amphitheater-style, outdoor classroom in honor of Andrew Goodman, 24, James Chaney, 21, and Michael Schwerner, 21, whose murders inspired the 1988 movie “Mississippi Burning.”
Plans for the memorial were announced in February. University officials say it will cost between $50,000 and $100,000 and should be finished in 2000.
The three students disappeared June 21, 1964, while on a trip to see a firebombed Black church. Their bodies were found in an earthen dam on Aug. 4 of that year.
Ku Klux Klan members went to prison on federal conspiracy charges in the case.
They were among about 800 civil rights volunteers who trained as part of the Mississippi Summer Project at the Western College for Women, now a part of Miami University.
© Copyright 2005 by DiverseEducation.com