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June 16, 2008 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2008-06-16

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

8'

Monday, June 16, 2008
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

ADMISSIONS
From Page 1
admission paid enrollment depos-
its, the same percentage of students
who accepted admissions offers
overall.
Ted Spencer, associate vice
provost and executive director of
undergraduate admissions, said
the number of minority applicants
and enrolled students for this year
was good, "relative to the fact that
we were working under the con-
straints of the proposition."
"We're not happy where we are,"
Spencer said. "But we're happy they
didn't drop off as drastically as they
did in other places."
After race- and gender-based
affirmative action was banned in
California, the University of Cali-
fornia at Los Angeles saw a more
than 50-percent decrease in the
enrollment of underrepresented
minority students.
The 2008 admissions cycle was
the most competitive in the Univer-
sity's history. After receiving 29,794
applications,12,533students -about
42 percent - were offered admis-
sion. Of the 2,771 underrepresented
minority students who applied, 47
percent were offered admission.
Despite an 8.6-percent increase
in the number of students who
applied to the University, the num-
ber of underrepresented minority

applicants decreased by 1.9 percent.
University officials said the drop
in minority applications could be
attributed to perceptions that the
campus isn't welcoming in the
wake of the affirmative action ban
- an image University officials and
recruiters are working to dispel.
So far, they've been successful,
according to School of Education
junior Kim Weidl, president of
the Multicultural Greek Council.
Weidl, who works in the office
of Undergraduate Admissions to
recruit Latino students, said stu-
dents she worked with this year
weren't concerned aboutthe impact
of the affirmative action ban. They
were more concerned with things
like financial aid and leaving home
to attend school.
Spencer predicted the decline
in applications would only be tem-
porary. He pointed to the decrease
in applications from underrepre-
sented minorities after the 2003
Supreme Court ruling in Gratz v.
Bollinger that made the University
stop awarding points based on race
in the admissions process.
Minority enrollment numbers
dropped in 2004, but rose the next
year to surpass 2003 levels, peak-
ing at about 13 percent in 2005.
University officials predict the
declineinunderrepresentedminor-
ity applicants is temporary. They
said they have increased outreach

efforts targeting middle school and
high school students in Michigan
and throughout the country.
"We have many tools to achieve
a diverse university community
and proposition 2 does constrain
our use of some of them, but it has
caused us to redouble our efforts
using others," Spencer said.
Supporters of the affirmative
action ban, like LSA senior Chris
Irvine, former chair of the Univer-
sity's chapter of the College Repub-
licans, said the University should
be targeting students based on
socioeconomic status.
"A decrease in underrepresent-
ed minorities is not what we were
shooting for," Irvine said of the
affirmative action ban. "The goal is
not to have more overrepresented
groups."
In an effort to recruit students
from groups currently underrepre-
sented on campus, including first-
generation college students and
those from lower-income families,
the University uses the College
Board's "geodemographic tool"
Descriptor PLUS. The program col-
lects data from census information
and College Board testingprograms
to sort students into 30 neighbor-
hood and high school clusters and
provide the University. with infor-
mation about the socioeconomic,
educational and racial breakdown
of the applicant's community.

Spencer said Descriptor PLUS
has been an important mechanism
to target underrepresented com-
munities without considering race,
but said it was just one of the ways
the University is working to main-
tain diversity on campus.
The Office of Undergraduate
Admissions reassigned one employ-
ee and hired three new outreach
interns to help recruit students.
The University -opened the new
Center for Educational Outreach
and Academic Success in May,
which coordinates community out-
reach efforts.
"We look at this year and certain-
ly we've lost an important tool, and
ithashadanimpactonournumbers,
but we're hoping that in the future
we can develop new measures to
identify students and encourage
them to enroll," Spencer said.
Steve Grafton, president of the
Univerity's Alumni Association,
said he found the enrollment num-
bers encouraging, as they weren't
as low he had feared.
"However, if we think we are
over the hurdle, we are wrong,"
Grafton said. "We must be diligent
if we have any hope to restore pre-
vious levels and ultimately grow
diversity at Michigan."
- Daily Staff Reporters Sara
Lynne Thelen and Trevor Calero
contributed to this report.

ZINGERMAN'S
From Page 3
ners had invested more than
two years and $100,000 in pre-
liminary planning for the new
12,000- to 22,000-square-foot
construction project.
With the new space, he said
Zingerman's had hoped to make
a number of upgrades to its busi-
ness,includingmore deliseating,
a patio, a tasting and demonstra-
tion kitchen, an event space that
could accommodate up to 125
guests and a larger space for
Zingtrain, the company's train-
ing and consulting service.
Though Saginaw said he
wasn't sure what would be the
company's next step toward
expansion, he said that chal-
lenging the commissioners' rul-
ing was a definite possibility.
"We don't think that they
made a decision based on the
merits of our argument, and
that was disappointing and
surprising," Saginaw said. "It
just sounded like they were
giving their opinions, and they
thought that we didn't need to
add space."
Saginaw said he and his part-
ners might challenge the deci-
sion on grounds of procedural
error at the state level.
If that doesn't work, he said
the next step would be to chal-
lenge the rulingin district court,
but he wasn't sure if it would go
that far.
If it does go to court, though,
Saginaw said Zingerman's
would have to present the
development as an addition that
would benefit the larger com-
munity -- a case he said could
definitelybe made.
At its four locations through-
out the city, Zingerman's has
about 540 employees -- a num-
ber that Saginaw said would
have grown along with the
expansion.
Besides a larger staff, he said
the new development would
have also meant paying higher
property taxes to the state and
bringing in more profits - 10
percent of which the compa-
ny donates back to non-profit
groups in Ann Arbor every year.
With all positive economic
benefits that Saginaw said the
expansion would bring, he said
he didn't totally understand the
commissioners' decision.
"I was surprised," Saginaw
said, "I didn't know that hand-
ing out business advice was the
purview of the Historic District
Commission."

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