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September 09, 1982 - Image 25

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-09-09

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 9, 1982-Page 3-B

10% black enrollment may never be met;

Although one out of every six residents in
Miichigan is black, the state's universities,
especially The University of Michigan, have
been unable to achieve black enrollments
anywhere close to that proportion. A single
black in a 200-student lecture is not an uncom-
mon site on campus.
Many administrators believe that the
University's stated goal of 10 percent black
enrollment is unattainable now and may never
be met.
0 THE REGENTS adopted that objective 12
-years ago after extensive student uprisings and
demands that the student body reflect more
closely the racial make-up of the state.
Since 1970, when the Regents set 1973 as the
deadline for meeting that 10 percent goal, black
.enrollment has never exceeded 7.3 percent and
,now stands at 4.9 percent.
Dozens of ideas for increasing the recruit-
ment and retention of black and other minority
students have been proposed by administrators
aiad students over the years. Some of those
ideas were tried and failed, some still are being
used, and many were never implemented.
THE CONSISTENT failure of the University
to enroll and retain an adequate number of
black students and the ever worsening
economic conditions in the state and nation
have led some University officials to concede
that the 10 percent goal set for 1973 may not be
possible until 1993, if ever.
- Yet they also say that it is necessary to main-
tain that goal or the situation would get even
A 10 percent goal is "almost a mission im-
possible," says George Goodman, who came to
the University 14 years ago as a minority ad-
missions counselor and today directs the Op-
portunity Program.
"I THINK IT would take generations for that
to become a realistic goal," says Dave Robin-
son, an assistant director of admissions.
The University has "never had 10 percent
ongoing black enrollment, and even if it is
possible I doubt if we will," says Henry John-
son, vice president for student services.
Others close to the situation believe a firmer
commitment on the part of the University to its
stated goal could result in an adequate black
-"I refuse to believe we can't find 3500 black
students from around the country that wouldn't
jump at the chance to attend Michigan," says
Walter Allen, a professor of sociology who has
been studying minority attrition rates at the
University and other colleges around the coun-
try. That number would represent about 10
*percent of the University's total Ann Arbor
"WE CAN IN fact reach 10 percent. It is not
that formidable," affirms John Powell, direc-
tor of Trotter House, a campus minority
student center.

Students from Detroit high schools charge
that the admissions office has put all of its
recruiting efforts into only four Detroit high
schools-Cass Tech, Our Lady of Mercy,
University of Detroit, and Renaissance-and
largely ignored the rest of the students in the
"The (black) students come from four basic
schools. These are top schools, but there are
other qualified students and (the University) is
not reaching them," says Lisa Blair, a leader
of the newly resurrected Black Student Union
and a graduate of Cass Tech.
LANCE ERICKSON, an associate director of
admissions, denies that the admissions office
concentrates its recruiting. in just those
schools. He said the higher proportion of
students at the University are from those
schools because, "They have more students
who are qualified and interested in attending
the University."
Beyond recruitment, a second major factor
in establishing adequate black enrollment is
holding on to those students who get here. i
"You should put your efforts into retention to
maximize the success of the students who do
come here," says Vice President Johnson.
Black, Hispanic and Native American
students drop out of college at a far greater
rate than do white students.
ONE PROBLEM black students entering the
University often face is a deficiency in study
skills. Coming from large urban high schools,
many have not had to have the self-discipline
and study skills needed for survival at a com-
petitive university.
"Study skills play a big part," says Stone.
"You don't have to acquire those skills to get
good grades (in city schools)."
One part of the University that has had suc-
cess in keeping black students in school is the
athletic department. Admissions officers and
other counselors say the influence that coaches
have over student/athletes helps keep them in
school. "The coaches say you be (at a study
session) or you don't dress on Saturday," says
Cliff Sjogren, admissions director.
ATHLETIC scholarships also alleviate a
major pressure on students at the University.
Many students and administrators cite
financial hardships as a prime contributing
factor toward high minority attrition.
In addition, many out-of-state minority
students don't enroll here because of high
tuition costs. University grants are available to
in-state students, but out-of-state students must
rely on federal loan programs, which face
significant cutbacks.
"THERE IS A direct link between the
amount of financial aid that can be afforded
and the number of students you can
admit," says Vice President Johnson.
See 'U,' Page 16

PARTICIPANTS AT A race relations workshop on campus last March said that racism adds to the

Even Goodman, who insists the University,
still is committed to the goal, concedes that
"there is enough statistical evidence to raise
the question of whether the University has not
relaxed a bit."
Black enrollment is not one of the priority
areas addressed in the University's five-year
budget plan. University Vice President for
Academic Affairs Billy Frye, who developed
the plan, says that he doesn't see the
enrollment problem as a financial issue.
"The five-year plan does not represent
everything the University is committed to,"
Frye says. "(Minority enrollment) is another
kind of University priority."
But other campus officials disagree with that
assessmeht. John Russ, the former director of
the Center for the Use of Learning Skills
(CULS), says his program was always under-
funded. "We didn't have the kind of budget to
do the type of program that needs to be done.
Even though they liked our ideas, they did not
fund us." Russ says. CULS is an LSA academic
support service.

In a sharper tone, Russ asks whether the
University's "smaller, but better" plan will
mean a "smaller, but whiter" campus.
SOME OBSERVERS say the University gave
up on its goal long ago. Clarence Stone,
Michigan Student Assembly vice president for
minority affairs, says that the University 'ad-
ministration states its objectives of increasing
black enrollment merely as a political gesture
and will not support the statements with ac-
Powell agrees with that point. "I am more in-
fluenced by peoples actions and not words," he
says, "and when the actions run counter to the
words,'I think there is no serious attempt to live
up to those commitments."
Russ calls the 10 percent goal a "historical
statement.. . The University has not actively
pursued that goal in a very long time.
According to many administrators, the
primary reasons for the University's inability
to achieve its black enrollment goals has been
increased competition among the nation's
colleges for a relatively small number of

Daily Photo by JACKIE BELL
troubles black students face at the University.
qualified black high school students.
"WHEN THE goal was set (in 1970) the
University was a pioneer," says Robinson of
the admissions office. "There wasn't the com-
petition that there is now. Many other schools
have gotten into the market."
The competition comes from other Michigan
universities-such as Michigan State, Wayne
State, and the University of Detroit-and from
out-state private institutions with the financial
resources to aid minority students.
The University relies on Detroit to provide
most of its black students; costs for bringing
out-of-state students to the University are too
high, administrators say.
SOME BLACK student leaders, however, say
that the University's recruiting efforts are not
as effective or as widespread as they could be.
"I wasn't going to go to this school because of
the cool nature of the recruiters," says MSA's
Stone, who attended Detroit's Cass Technical
High School. "I was thinking of going to West
Point or Northwestern because they seemed to
want me there."

Several offices
serve minority
student needs

If you are an entering minority student,
it may be worth your while to check out
programs offered by the Office of
Minority Student Services (MSS).
Located in 2205 Michigan Union, MSS
maintains Asian-American, Black,
Hispanic, and Native American
representatives to assist students in
making the transition to University life
a little easier.
THE OFFICE acts as a vehicle for
getting to know other minority studen-
ts, faculty, and staff, as well as a
resource center for minority concerns
such as racial discrimination, activity
planning, and support for various
minority student groups.
According to MSS staff members, one
of the biggest problems facing minority
students is their feeling of alienation
from mainstream student life.
MSS confronts this problem by of-
fering counseling and assisting as a
mediator/liaison between minority
students and the University.
MSS ALSO has information on more
than 40 minority student organizations
on campus, including the minority
esidence hall associations such as
Abeng in East Quad, Ambatana in
South Quad, The Bursley Family in
Bursley, and Markley Minority Council
in Markley.
The William Monroe Trotter House,
1443 Washtenaw Ave., offers
&.educational, cultural, and social ser-
vice programs of special interest to
minority students. Trotter House also

houses an art gallery, serves as
headquarters for several minority
groups, and provides space for quiet
academic study.
If social and academic pressures
become a problem, or if you just want
to talk, try the Minority Counseling and
Information Office, 3100 Michigan
Union, 764-8312. The hotline staff con-
sists or peer counselors representing
various minority backgrounds who are
trained to offer limited informal sup-
SEVERAL schools and colleges
maintain minority offices, including the
College of Engineering, College of
Pharmacy, Law School, School of Den-
tistry, School of Education, School of
Music, School of Nursing, and the
School of Public Health.
Of special interest to black students is
The Center for Afro-American and
African Studies. The Center offers
various courses, both undergraduate
and graduate, that examine the
cultural and historical perspectives of
Africans and Afro-Americans. In ad-
dition, the Center acts as a resource
center for community service
placement offering experience through
applied practical skills.
The College of Literature, Science,
and the Arts offers academic coun-
seling, special non-credit courses in
math and writing skills, seminars and
workshops, and credit courses in com-
position, math, and psychology through
the Coalition for the Use of Learning
Skills, located in Angell Hall.






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