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March 13, 1997 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-03-13

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iQA - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 13, 1997

NATION/WORLD

UC regent suggests concealing applicants'

Move pushed by same
regent who lead fight
against affirmative action
By Dana Kiyomura
The Daily Californian
BERKELEY, Calif. - University of
California Regent Ward Connerly, who pushed
forward the university's affirmative action repeal
two years ago, now wants to take names off UC
applications before they are processed to mask
applicants' race.
The idea has drawn fire from admissions
officials, who say the mechanisms for such a
process would be unwieldy and that it will be
impossible to examine prospective students'
personal experiences while ignoring their race
and gender.

"A guy named Jamal Washington is proba-
bly a black guy," Connerly said.
"The culture of the university is deeply
committed to the notion of affirmative
action," he added. "They will find every proxy
they can to 'promote diversity,' and the closest
proxy possible is the person's name."
Connerly said he wanted to strip applica-
tions of names starting with applications for
admission to the 1997-98 academic year,
which will be available to high schools in
November.
If Connerly's proposal wins the approval of
the Board of Regents, university officials
would have only two months to come up with
a new application.
Connerly said he felt the best way to ensure
an entirely blind admissions process, in accor-
dance with the UC Board of Regents decision

to eliminate affirmative action, is to keep the
process anonymous. Major public institutions,
such as the University of Texas, are taking
steps to eliminate ethnic data from their appli-
cations, but no major university has taken
names off its applications.
"The question here is are the readers going
to consciously or subconsciously consider the
names as a proxy for their race," Connerly
added.
He said an anonymous process would take
"every opportunity for mischief off the plate."
But Regent Alice Gonzales, who supports
the race and gender preferences repeal, said
that she and other board members would
have a hard time swallowing Connerly's pro-
posal.
"I think we are entitled to our name or gen-
der whether we are applying to a job or public

institution," Gonzales said.
"Not that we should be given a preference,
but I think we are entitled to our name." -
University of California at Berkeley
Director of Admissions Bob Laird said in an
interview three weeks ago that creating a com-
pletely anonymous admissions process is
almost impossible.
"People will make assumptions, whether
they're correct or not," Laird said. "We will
simply have to execute the law faithfully and
get answers to some of the very complicated
dilemmas.
"I think there's a basic policy question
about whether there is a feeling of being
erased, or some part of you is being erased, if
you are not allowed to identify that part of
yourself, or to talk about that part of yourself,"
he added.

names
Rae Lee Siporin, UCLA's director of admis-
sions, said Connerly could not have been seri-
ous about his proposal.
"I think (Connerly's) statement is symbolic,
unless he intends to have a whole group of
people with black pens marking out the per-
sonal statements, the clubs and the associ*
tions," she said.
Siporin said Connerly's proposal contra-
dicts the UC system's attempts to reform its
admissions process by taking more personal
factors into account.
She said taking names from admissions
makes the process impersonal and sends a
negative message.
"There is some kind of belief that things
can be done numerically and that is a fallacy.
It doesn't work that way," Siporin added.
-Distributed by the University Wir.

f-
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Name
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