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April 07, 2005 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-04-07

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 7, 2005 - 5A

Continued from page 1
own opinions about the negative and unintend-
ed consequences MCRI could have if it is passed,"
Coleman said.
UC spokeswoman Ravi Poorsina said the num-
ber of minority students enrolled at UC schools has
rebounded to some degree in recent years, but she
said there is still work to be done.
"After (Proposition 209) went into effect there was
a significant drop in underrepresented minority stu-
dents at the University of California," Poorsina said.
"Although we've since managed to recover to a certain
degree, there are still areas in which there are low num-
bers of underrepresented minority students."
The total number of freshman applicants for UC
schools for 1995 was 45,714, 22.1 percent or 10,083 of
which came from underrepresented minority appli-
cants. The total number of freshman applicants for
fall 2005 was 76,152, 22.7 percent or 17,287 of which
came from underrepresented minority applicants.
But the number of underrepresented minority
students at two of UC's most exclusive campuses
- Berkeley and Los Angeles - have not recov-
ered back to their rates before Proposition 209 was
At the Berkeley and Los Angeles campuses, the
percentage of underrepresented minority students
accepted to these schools declined from 26.1 percent
and 26.7 percent, respectively, in 1995, to 11.2 per-
cent and 12.7 percent respectively in 1999. But the
numbers increased slightly in 2004, rising to 13.1
percent and 17.6 percent respectively.
In an opinion piece published in the March 27 edi-
tion of The Los Angeles Times, UC Berkeley Chan-
cellor Robert Birgeneau said he believes Proposition
209 has created an environment that students of color
feel is discriminatory.

"Freshman enrollment at UC Berkeley, for
instance, has gone from 260 black students in 1997
to just 108 students this year," Birgeneau said in the
article. "That's too small a number to form a support-
ive student community, and many of Berkeley's black
freshmen view themselves as struggling against a
hostile environment."
Birgeneau also said in a press release on March 29
that there were no black freshmen in the university's
applied science and engineering program last year.
There are various explanations offered as to why
underrepresented minority enrollment at UC's more
exclusive campuses has been unable to return to its
pre-1996 rates.
"The best explanation is that even though we're
sensitive to people's backgrounds and all of the
things in the (application review process), academics
are first and foremost," Poorsina said. "(Berkeley and
Los Angeles) are extremely competitive, and it just
so happens that the ethnic make-up of the students
who go there tend to lag in distribution of ethnicity."
Diane Schachterle, director of public affairs for the
American Civil Rights Institute, said she attributes
the lack of underrepresented minorities to problems
within the primary school system in California.
"I think we need to look at the K-12 systems that
are feeding the universities," Schachterle said. "We
need to go out into the K-12 system and ... help
Schachterle said more effort has been made in the
past year on the part of the universities to analyze the
weaknesses in the K-12 systems, and more work will
continue to be done.
In a 2003 statement, UC President Richard Atkin-
son said he believes educational disadvantage is
extremely evident in students' eligibility rates for
UC. According to his statement, a recent study found
that 30 percent of Asian-American students in Cali-
fornia and 13 percent of white students met UC eligi-

bility requirements, while only 4 percent of Latinos
and 3 percent of blacks met the requirements - a
statistic Atkinson called "disheartening."
UC schools have instituted a variety of measures
since the passage of Proposition 209 in an effort to
increase the number of minority applicants.
Poorsina said one of the most successful pro-
grams UC has implemented is called Comprehensive
Review. The program created a new process under
which student applications are reviewed.
For example, students are not accepted only on the
basis of their GPA or ACT scores, but also on factors
such as how many AP courses were available at their
high school and how many they took, and whether
they are the first person in their family to attend col-
"I think this program helps with making sure that
we're accessible to everyone, because some areas don't
have the resources that others do," Poorsina said. "It's
not designed to go around 209, it's meant to make sure
that we're getting every corner of California."
UC has also implemented a program called Eligibil-
ity in the Local Context, which grants eligibility to the
top 4 percent of the graduating class in each California
high school.
University spokeswoman Julie Peterson said the
University has investigated implementing programs
like the ones at UC, but it does not believe such pro-
grams could successfully replace its existing admis-
sions policies.
"We already have in place the system we think
is the most effective at bringing in a student body
that is broadly diverse and that brings in the most
academically qualified students who contribute to
the intellectual excitement of the University envi-
ronment," Peterson said.
"Anything else that we would try to do would be
less effective - if not, we would already be using
it," she added.

asks for
U.S. aid
President Viktor Yushchenko asked
Congress to help the former Soviet
republic make democratic progress by
supporting its entrance into internation-
al organizations including NATO and
ending Cold War-era trade restrictions.
"Please make this step toward
Ukraine. Please tear down this wall,"
he said yesterday, echoing President
Reagan's 1989 call for Soviet Presi-
dent Mikhail S. Gorbachev to reunite
Yushchenko, addressing a joint meet-
ing of Congress, said U.S. support is
crucial to put his country in "the fore-
front of prosperous democracies."
Speaking through an interpreter,
Yushchenko said his three-day U.S.
visit was meant to ring in a new era
of relations between Ukraine and the
United States.
"We seek a new atmosphere of trust,
frankness and partnership," Yushchen-
ko said. "The time has come to make
real steps toward each other."
In that vein, he sought U.S. support
for a host of initiatives.
He asked the United States to back
his country's entrance into the Euro-
pean Union, the World Trade Orga-
nization and NATO, which he said
would spur democratic progress and
economic reforms.
Yushchenko, who has pledged to end
corruption and is working to loosen
Ukraine's historic links with Russia, also
pressed lawmakers to exempt his coun-
try from restrictions that tie U.S. trade
with the former Soviet states to emigra-
tion rights and democratic advances. A
bill to do that was introduced in the Sen-
ate shortly after Yushchenko took office
in January.
He also asked the United States to
cancel restrictions on Ukrainian goods
in the U.S. market and to classify his
country as having a market-based econ-
omy, a move that could ease Ukrainian
entrance into the WTO and would make
it harder for U.S. companies to win anti-
dumping cases against Ukrainian com-
panies. "The time has come to restore
fairness," he said.

-pvc manet be

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