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February 25, 1999 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-02-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Black sc
By Sarah Mcgill
The Chronicle
DURHAM, N.C. - In the early
9s, black high school students were
'drawn to historically black colleges and
universities in great numbers.
-,Dine years later, however, many
61ack students are opting to forego that
experience. All five of the historically
black colleges and universities in the
University of North Carolina school
system have witnessed declining enroll-
ments and Scholastic Aptitude Test
scores in the past few years.
.gging enrollment is not exclusive
Worth Carolina HBCUs but reflects a
broader pattern, said Gary Barnes, U.
North Carolina's vice president for pro-
gram assessment.
"I would say we're looking at a
national trend," Barnes said.
One reason for the decline may sim-
ply be competition.
"Minority students have greater
choices than they did ten years ago,"
Angela Terry, vice chancellor for
audent affairs at North Carolina
Cetral University. "The markets for
1lack students are broadening."
The belief that the racial homogene-
ity of HBCUs is poor preparation for
life after college may also contribute to
*tinued from Page 1A
participants to support a possible GEO
ike. "Honoring our picket lines means
hmnoring women and people of color at
,tbe University ... defending our picket
4iies means defending affirmative
t Speakers at the rally included Detroit
Css Technical High School senior
Agnes Aleobua, who plans on attending
University in the fall.
,leobua said that while it is impor-
ant for high school students to get
'iolved in and understand affirmative
tion because it relates to their future,
'it needs to be improved upon and built
"It's like a quarter when we deserve a
follar' Aleobua said. "We can't build on
zero, but we can build on the quarter."
Aleobua said she was accepted with
Continued from Page 1A
to gain entry to the middle class, and conte
the fact that a stigma is placed on minorx
because of it.
"I have no stigma;' Smith said. "I'm as sk
at what I do as the next person. Any woma
minority would tell you that you have to be t"
as good and twice as fast to get a job.
" don't think there is racial preference
t ," she said. "It's affirmative action."
But Jaye said preferences based on "group al

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The Michigan Daily -- Thursday, February 25, 1999 - 7A

hools face

Waiting for.re-entry

declining enrollment, Terry said.
"We are aware of that mispercep-
tion;' Terry said, "and are aggressively
working to move away from it."
The shift comes at a time when
affirmative action and aggressive
recruiting are bringing more minori-
ties to predominantly white campus-
es. Last year, for example, Duke,
UNC at Chapel Hill and N.C. State
University enrolled more black
undergraduates than ever before.
"If you're wondering if that has been
at the expense of the historically black
schools, I just don't know," said Jerome
Lucido, director of admissions at UNC-
But some HBCU administrators feel
it is becoming increasingly difficult to
compete with other institutions for the
brightest students. Indeed, for the five
historically black NC schools com-
bined, the average SAT score rose to
932 in 1994 but fell to 879 this year -
even given the 1996 SAT recalibration.
"To a large extent, I think we are at a
disadvantage (in recruiting students)
because the resources of NC State and
UNC are so much greater," Terry said.
Many school administrators say
HBCUs witnessed a revival in after the
1984 publication of Jaqueline
the help of anaffirmative action admis-
sions program.
"If affirmative action is eliminated,
many students won't get to go to col-
lege" she said.
LSA senior Jon Blavin, who joined
the rally because his class was canceled
when a fire alarm was set off in Angell
Hall, said affirmative action is a com-
plex issue that needs to be addressed at
a broader societal level beyond the
The University "is a segregated school
in a lot of ways," Blavin said. "People
segregate themselves, which can be more
dangerous than any legislative issue that
affects the University,"he said.
Blavin explained that in his classes
he sees mostly "white suburbanites"
like himself, who attended high schools
that he said better prepared them for
college than an inner-city schools

Fleming's Blacks in College, which
claimed that black students have more
fulfilling post secondary experiences at
Now, many hope another event will
catalyze the revitalization of North
Carolina's HBCUs - the expected
swell of college-aged students in the
coming years. During the "baby boom-
let," the UNC system is expected to
absorb 48,000 new students by 2008 -
a 31 percent increase.
Perry Massey, vice chancellor of stu-
dent affairs at Fayetteville State
University, said efforts to expand the
school's enrollment by a third should
strengthen its programs.
"The survival of an institution is based
on the student population," he said.
But Eva Klein, a UNC-hired consul-
tant, doubted that ailing institutions
would be able to boost their enrollments
without improving facilities.
"Historically black schools face a
catch-22," she said. "Until they get
more students, they can't pay for facili-
ties, and until they improve their facili-
ties, they can't attract the students."
Willie Brown, a UNC Board of
Governors member, said declining
enrollments are a result of institutional
"But not letting inner-city students in
is not the answer," Blavin said.
Members of Delta Sigma Theta
sorority, a public-service oriented
sorority in the Black Greek
Association, held a banner and signs in
support of defending affirmative
LSA senior Megan Davis said Delta
was originally formed during the
women's suffrage movement. They con-
tinue to support women's issues and
African American issues through activ-
ities like "non-biased" affirmative
action facts handouts and letter writing
campaigns, Davis said.
LSA junior Mwanaisha Sims, a Delta
and an MSA representative, added that
the Greek system is too often portrayed
in negative stories.
"It's not all negative" Sims said.
"Our focus is to uplift the black com-

Students forced to evacuate Angell Hall.yesterday around noon after a false fire alarm stand outside. Some students
expressed disgust that the alarm was pulled in the middle of midterms, while others enjoyed shortened classes.
New party may affect election

Continued from Page 1A
said there were other issues that prompted him to resign.
"The Assembly is moving away from addressing student
issues," he said.
Burden resigned from his executive position on Feb. 2 after
the assembly passed a resolution condemning U.S. sanctions
on Iraq.
LSA Rep. Elise Erickson, who was elected to the assembly
as a Students' Party member last fall, is now a member of the
Blue Party. She said the new group will take a different
approach to forming its platform.
"I believe in Bram and Andy's mission. It's going to be a
team effort when we make decisions," Erickson said.
But Thompson said he doesn't think parties should have
strict ideologies. "If we lived in a perfect world, a party
would be a group of people with different points of view."
Now that the party is established, some representatives said

they see it as a positive change for this semester's election for
both MSA and LSA-SG. "It will allow for more people to
run," said LSA Rep. Kym Stewart.
Thompson, who was elected to the assembly on the
Students' Party ticket last spring, added that he welcomes the
increased competition.
Students Party leader Ron Page said the Blue Party is "a
good thing."
"It's terrible when there's one major party," said Page, an
LSA-SG member.
Several MSA members said the new party may change the
face of this semester's election. "I really see this election-
being really intense because of the party split;' Stewart said.
Students who plan on running in next month's MSA elec-
tions have until tomorrow at 5 p.m. to submit an application.
Elections Director Andrew Serowik said although only
about six people have turned in candidate applications, he
expects more than 50 people to run in this semester's elec-

iation" are racist, insulting and cheat students
because they "undermine academic integrity."
"How dare the University of Michigan give
college scholarships and teaching assistance
based on the color of the skin rather than indi-
vidual merit, academic achievement and pub-
lishing success?" Jaye asked.
Sumi Cho, an associate law professor at DePaul
University in Chicago, spoke about the intersec-
tion of race and gender, focusing on "white
women's ambivalence to affirmative action"
"Why would white women vote against their
own self-interests in California and Washington

... despite the oft-repeated fact that they are the
largest beneficiaries of affirmative action?" Cho
The answer, she said, lies in the concept of
family. Cho referred to a poll in which many
white women said they feared affirmative action
would hurt employment opportunities for their
male relatives. This relates to the historical dis-
ruption of black, Asian, Chicano and Latina/o
families in the United States, Cho said.
Gail Nomura, an Asian American studies pro-
fessor, further expounded on the history of dis-
crimination against Asian Pacific Americans.

"There are many misconceptions that perpet-
uate the myth of Asian Americans as model
minorities" Nomura said, adding that the affir-
mative action issue "compels us to move beyond
the black and white paradigm."
Nomura related past discriminatory laws that
were used to exclude and prohibit Asian
Americans from U.S. society, including the areas
of immigration, citizenship and bilingual educa-
tion. Today, she said, Asian Americans are used
as examples of high achievers, but are still con-
sidered foreign and alien.
"You spit on us, kick us, and suddenly we

come up smiling as the model minority,":
Nomura said. "There are many ways people can'
manipulate the system."
Law second-year student Jodi Masley said she
agreed with the note Cho ended on, in which she;
emphasized citizen participation to educate oth-;
ers about affirmative action. -
"It's a battle that will be in part in the court,
but is being fought simultaneously in the court,
of public opinion;' Masley said. "And if a spirit t
of equality, of opportunity, is to prevail, then it's t
a fight that has to be waged by building a move-;
ment in the streets."

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