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June 29, 1979 - Image 13

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Michigan Daily, 1979-06-29

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, June 29,1979-Page 13
IMPERSONAL A TMOSPHERE CITED
Minority attrition presents challenge to 'U'

(Continued from Page 3)
which provides academic support ser-
vices and classes geared towards
minority students; minority offices
within the individual schools and
colleges; and student organizations
geared towards minorities.
PAM GORDON; former Michigan
Student Assembly (MSA) vice-
president for minority affairs, sent a
survey of minority student services to a
random sample of 300 minority studen-
ts.
"Some people thnk they're doing
their best, other people have complain-
ts," said Gordon.
There is a disparity between ad-
ministrators and the counselors
providing the services, she said.
"On certain levels are administrators
who are verbally saying things," said
Gordon. "I personally feel distrustful of
their sincerity. Some people on the level
of dissemination, trying to do coun-
seling, are pretty sincere."
"THE MINORITY student is liable to
look at the majority white campus and
say 'nobody cares,' " said Davenport.
"Underlying all of this is still a latent
discrimination."
William Cash, assistant to Interim
University President Allan Smith, said
he "doesn't think of any barriers" to
higher education for minority students.
"It all depends upon the individual,"
said Cash. "I don't believe that the
University of Michigan places any un-
due barriers for minorities. Some don't
like minorities like some don't like
women."
CASH ADDED that some black
students transfer out of the University
because they "would prefer going to a
totally black institution."
LSA freshman Jimmy Fussell said he
"hasn't come in contact" with any
racial bias yet.
"As far as most of the people and the
atmosphere are concerned, I like it," he
said. But he said a number of his frien-
ds had complained about bias.
JANICE O'NEILL, a graduate
student on the Black Matters Commit-
tee, said a number of undergraduate
students have mentioned problems with
racial bias on campus.
"As a result of a number of un-
dergrads I've talked to and that have
complained to me, there quite clearly
are some problems," said O'Neill.
O'NEILL SAID the "treatment
students encounter after coming here"
is one reason for minority attrition, and
therefore declining enrollment.
"If students who initially came here
report back to their former counselors,
and younger sisters and brothers, that
they have been treated negatively,
these people are going to be
predisposed not to avail themselves of
the same treatment," she said.
George Goodman, director of the Op-
portunity Program, said "the reason a
minority versus a non-minority, drops
out is probably the same," but "you

lose more minority students in terms of
the environmental background."
THE ATTRITION rate for Native
Americans is by far the highest of the
groups mentioned in the February
report to the Regents
John Concannon, Native American
recruiter for the Undergraduate Ad-
missions Office, said most Native
Americans come from a non-college-
educated family and "don't know the
ins and outs of a college education."
Concannon added that bringing any
student with a weak academic
background into the competitive
University environment is "an in-
justice, because we don't have strong
supportive services."
EVEN SUBTLE aspects of an
academic program could discourage a
minority student, according to Trotter
House's Potts.
"The experiences and perspectives of
blacks and Third World peoples have
been excluded from mainstream cour-
ses," he said.
He cited the syllabus for Political
Science 160, which is World Politics. He
said the reading list contained nothing
written by "a person of color."
"HALF THE blacks dropped it. You
feel you are not a factor in world
politics - nothing could be further from
the truth," he added.
But LSA junior Sherrie King main-
tained that "the problem isn't
academic at all - it's money. It's just
the impersonal atmosphere of the
University."
King added that' many students are
forced to leave the University because
they can't foot the bill. Many students
who need a job which may, for exam-
ple, supplement work/study, can't find
time to keep up with the academics, she
said.
KING, WHO is starting to organize a
group to "unite black students on cam-
pus" in the fall, said the organization
will provide supportive services to
students.
"The programs here to help black
students don't really help black studen-
ts. When you go in there and ask them
to answer a question, they really can't
help you," she said.
Minority programs are feeling the
pinch of budget cutbacks, according to
King.
"WITH CUTBACKS, the first
programs they will be getting rid of will
be those programs. They're slowly get-
ting rid of the black programs."
David Robinson, assistant director of
Undergraduate Admissions, began a
recruitment program, called Each One,
Reach One, in which minority students
currently enrolled in the University
were asked to recommend other
minority students for recruitment.
But King echoed the Black Matters
Committee's O'Neill. If minority
students aren't happy at the University,
she explained, they won't recommend
anyone for the Each One, Reach One

program. pool."
TOP OFFICIALS claim the Univer- Charles Allmand, acting director of
sity's recruitment efforts will increase, Affirmative Action Programs, said his
even though they ,admit past efforts office is "encouraging every program
have not led to a minority enrollment to recruit. A lot of activity is currently
proportional to the population outside being done." But, he added, "We feel
the University. we have to do more."
"I think the University has made an Potts said the University has "set no
intense effort," said Vice-President for precedent historically" to increase
Student Services Henry Johnson. "This minority student enrollment.
University was one of the first - other "There has been a big campaign to
Universities have gotten into the get them to increase enrollment - to
resource pool - while the number of try to see if they'll do something about
minority students has soared, you're it. Whether or not it takes place
dealing with more bidders for that remains to be seen," said Potts.

THIS WEEKEND ONLY
HADRIAN VII
a staged reading of the Broadway play
Friday and Saturday, June 29 and 30
8 p.m. at CANTERBURY LOFT
332 SOUTH STATE STREET-second floor
$2 general admission beginning at 7:30 p.m.

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