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September 05, 1991 - Image 26

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-09-05

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Page 6-The Michigan Daily/New Student Edition - Thursday, September 5, 1991

1 4


- a flt S _n .. :. btc ..4.@ n^. n ~ T u. Sa ,3, TZ e tFLE PHOTO/Daily
higan is often the site of racial tension. Here, students honor the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as part of the Civil Rights movements in the 1960s in a march staged on campus during last year's MLK Day PcTO/Daily

Mas tond
S These two articles, which ex-
plore the climate for minority stu-
dents both on campus and nation-
ally, appeared in the Daily during
the 1991 Winter term.
In an attempt to integrate the
campus into a multicultural commu-
nity the University introduced the
. Michigan Mandate in the face of
declining minority enrollment in
Since the Mandate's inception,
the campus has been split regarding
' the document's merits. Administra-
tdrs have hailed the Mandate as a
". novel creation that will help pre-
pare students for a diverse 21st cen-
= tItry workforce.
However, some students said
they are skeptical about the admin-
i stration 's intentions in framing the
w Mandate and question the Man-
dae's premises.
Still others claim that a program
to recruit minority students to cam-
pus has and will lead to a decline in
the University's academic stan-
dards through the admission of
lower qualfied students on the ba-
ss of ethnicity.
~.1yfHenry Goldblatt
Daily Staff Reporter
Citing increased minority en-
rollment figures, University offi-
cials confidently announced they
had completed the first objective of
tie Michigan Mandate and were
rmoving on to phase two.
But the next step goes beyond
,numbers. It involves educating the
University community to achieve
4integration - a goal which Univer-
sity President James DLuderstadt
says has not been realized in any
other area of American society.
By placing confidence in educa-
-ion to realize cultural integration
a process which has barely been
researched - the University has put
itself in a precarious position. If
buderstadt's plan works, the Uni-
versity will become on of the first
multicultural communities. If it
_fals, he risks ending up with an at-
oiized institution.
In 1987, University administra-
tors introduced the Michigan Man-
date to symbolize the University's
pledge to affirmative action and to
increase minority enrollment.
Director of the Baker-Mandela
Center Emery Smith, like many mi-

ate pr

omises racial equality
Mandate cannot work without stu- lished a report on how to increase Administrators point to figures nority student leaders have differ-
dent input, they say. visibility of minorities on campus. they claim demonstrate the success ent opinions.


dent body. I am frustrated with the
student government. They view
their role as criticism and negative
rather than moving the Mandate
forward," he said.
Duderstadt said the Mandate
must be brought to the grassroots if
the second phase is to succeed, but
admitted he has not decided how to
achieve this.
Although the administration can
.implement and sponsor educational
programs, they cannot dictate stu-
dents; everyday lives. Many resi-
dence hall students have commented
that when they enter the cafeteria
they see many students of one race
or ethnicity sitting with each other
in one part of the cafeteria.
With minority enrollment
reaching 20 percent, University ad-
ministrators believe now is the key
time to integrate the University
Referring to the research done on
the ability of education to achieve
integration, Duderstadt said the dis-
cipline is in its infancy.
"Thus far people have dabbled
with small experiments. But we
don't have any more time for exper-
iments. Something much more dra-
matic,will have to happen," Duder-
stadt said.
Student self-segregation is an
area the President hopes to target
with the Mandate.
"We cannot continue to be seg-
regated in the way we are. Segrega-
tion deprives groups of opportu-
nity," Duderstadt said.
However, Smith said he didn't
believe self-segregation was neces-
sarily an obstacle to a multicultural
"I don't see a problem with self-
segregation.sPeople socially define
themselves in many ways. (The ad-
ministration) always seems to put
blame on the student of color as do-
ing something that is wrong,"
Smith said.
Director of Affirmative Action
Zaida Giraldo said she feels the edu-
cational programs can solve this.
"Making people feel more com-
fortable with each other is the ul-
timate goal of all programs and...
will break down self-segregation,"
Giraldo said.
The administration said it hopes
to reach all students through pro-

"It would be interesting if they
talked to the constituencies," Smith
said. "Where is input from African
Americans, Latinos, and Native
Americans? How about the commu-
nity it is supposed to be helping?"
Smith said he believes the Uni-
versity is lagging behind peer insti-
tutions in this respect. Smith
pointed to other major universities
which have been more effective than
Michigan at integrating minorities
such as Stanford, which has a non-
western course requirement, and the
University of Toronto, which pub-

University administrators dis-
agree with this assessment. Duder-
stadt argued the University is a
front-runner in the integration of
minorities into a campus-wide
Duderstadt has employed his
Presidential Initiative Fund - a
$100,000 discretionary stipend - to
aid educational proposals to encour-
age integration. Although the fund-
ing will come from the University,
the impetus for phase two programs
will come from the students, staff
and faculty.

of phase one in increasing minority
student numbers. However, al-
though the number of African
American tstudents has increased
from the low point in the mid-
eighties, these numbers are still be-
low those in 1975.
In the past year, the percentage of
African Americans, Asian Ameri-
cans, Native Americans, and Hispan-
ics attending the University have all
increased between 10 and 13 percent.
While administrators said they
are pleased with these figures, mi-

"I wouldn't agree that the Uni-
versity has made progress increasing
minority enrollment. If you look at
the original BAM (Black Action
Movement) demands in the 1970s,
the University agreed to meet the
demands to bring the numbers up to
the African American population
reflected in the state," Smith said.
The current University African
American population is 7 percent.
BAM demanded this number reach
10 percent.

Nation scrutinizes Affirmative Action

by Sarah Schweitzer
Daily Staff Reporter
Earlier this year, University President James
Duderstadt announced his plan to broaden the
scope of affirmative action policies at the Uni-
versity with the implementation of the second
phase of the Michigan Mandate - Duderstadt's
plan to transform the University into a diverse
and multicultural University.
This "second phase" involves the creation of
a Council on a Multicultural University which
will supervise and aid affirmative action and
other programs designed to achieve the goals of
'I want to be able to
understand that everybody
brings something to the table.
This University is great
because of diversity, not in
spite of it'
- Charles Moody,
Vice Provost of Minority Affairs
the Michigan Mandate.
Yet across the country, affirmative action is
coming under fire and some believe its existence
is being threatened.
On the national level, many experts predict
the appointment of Justice David Souter to the
U.S. Supreme Court will result in the continua-
tion of a series of court decisions limiting the
realm of affirmative action.
Funding for affirmative action programs at
the university level is being threatened by
mounting state budget deficits.
Additionally some scholars have attacked the
very basis of affirmative action and question its
actual benefits.
Prof. Shelby Steele of San Jose State Univer-

even though there is little organized opposition
on campus.
Counselors report they continually receive
calls from students blaming friends' or sib-
lings' rejection on a minority student's accep-
tance. In addition, some white students believe
minority students have lower test scores and
grades. Many callers attack what they perceive
to be strict quota system in undergraduate ad-
missions, said one undergraduate admissions
counselor who wished to remain anonymous.
In actuality, there is no existing quota sys-
tem within the admissions process, said Sue
Rasmussen, an affirmative action planning offi-
Undergraduate admissions officers, Ras-
mussen said, aim to produce a diverse class but
do not have any set numbers which dictate how
many Black, Hispanic, Asian, or Native Ameri-
can students should be accepted.
Only Black, Hispanic, and Native American
students are considered under-represented and
thereby eligible for affirmative action.
"If admissions were done on a strict numbers
game, the entire class would be from New
York," Rasmussen said, alluding to the fact that
student applications from the Northeast often
have many of the highest grades and SAT scores.
When applications are considered, Rasmussen
said, there about 20 subjective factors which are
considered in addition to grades and SAT scores.
Race and ethnicity are two of those factors.
Some students feel the University is admit-
ting unqualified students by diminishing the
importance of traditional acceptance standards,
such as SAT scores and grades, said Rick Shaw,
director of Undergraduate Admissions.
"It is an assumption on the part of majority
students that minority students aren't quali-
fied." Shaw said "After years of working here.

nation imposed on underrepresented minorities
in the past.
Shaw said by increasing minority representa-
tion on campus to a level equal to that found in
society at large, he is fulfilling a social respon-
"If affirmative action programs were re-
moved, it would set us backwards," he said. "We
have a responsibility to undo the ills of the
Like Shaw, Vice Provost for Minority Af-
fairs Charles Moody agreed that minorities
must be paid back for past discrimination.
"Institutions have to act affirmatively to
make sure past discrimination is not perpetu-
ated," Moody said.
Moody, unlike Shaw, spoke about affirmative
action with the passion of an African-American
who himself has been the victim of discrimina-
Moody emotionally described how he ac-
cepted a job in a laboratory handling feces be-
'Students who feel they've
been wronged by affirmative
action should try to figure out
why affirmative action is so
important. It is a way of
planning for the future'
- Rick Shaw,
Director of Undergraduate
cause he was excluded from a higher position he
said he deserved. Had there been affirmative ac-
tion, Moody said, he would not have had to suf-
fer this humiliation.
"Peonle who are hvsterical ahout affirmative

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