Univ. of California selectively recruits Latino and black students

She notes this will be accomplished by encouraging underrepresented students to apply and by offering them increased financial aid.

UC president Janet Napolitano told minority students and parents she wants to increase the ratio of minority students in the school system by thousands.

The University of California (UC) is demonstrating its latest cop-out of affirmative action laws: selectively recruiting Latinos and blacks for the UC system.

During a visit to Manual Arts High School in South Los Angeles last week, UC president Janet Napolitano told minority students, parents, and faculty members of her plans to increase the ratio of minority students to non-minority students in the UC system by thousands. Napolitano said this would be part of a goal to increase racial diversity in the UC system by encouraging underrepresented students to apply to the UC and offering them financial aid among other resources.

“A robust financial aid program makes it possible for a wide range of students to earn a UC degree,” Napolitano said. “We want to make sure they and their parents know a UC education is within their reach.”

Napolitano said she visited the predominantly black and Latino South L.A. high school because of the rates of graduation and college acceptance among its students, 45 percent of whom were accepted into the UC system last year.

"I'm here to make sure that number goes up," Napolitano said.

Napolitano also discussed the UC’s recent allotment of financial aid for illegal immigrants in the UC system.

Napolitano said her reasons for targeting black and Latino students is because they were the least represented minority groups in the UC system.

"I wasn't happy with the numbers," Napolitano added. "I thought we could do more. We should be more focused. We should put some real energy into this."

Last November, Napolitano and 10 UC chancellors submitted an amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court supporting affirmative action in recruiting UC students. The chancellors protested that racial diversity in the UC system had decreased because of the 1996 affirmative action ban in California.

“The University of California belongs to the people of California, and race-blind admissions have curbed our ability to fully engage the learning potential found among this state’s diverse population,” Napolitano had said in a press release.

When the UC and the Supreme Court could not agree on academic affirmative action measures, Napolitano took a platitude of roundabout measures such as race-influenced application questions, recruiting programs for minorities, and other resources aimed at selectively increasing minority students in the UC system without officially breaking the law. Recent UC data reports show an increase in minority student enrollment coinciding with a sharp decrease in Asian and Caucasian student enrollment in the UC over the past decade.

Carlos Flores, a fourth-year philosophy student at UC Santa Barbara, told Campus Reform he thinks college recruiting efforts should be equally targeted at all California students regardless of race.

“It is perfectly commendable to encourage and help students to be more competitive for their college applications,” Flores said. “But this idea that there must be such-and-such amount of students of such-and-such profile is baseless and, if affirmative action is used to reach these desired outcomes, both condescending to Hispanic students and unfair to more competitive students who won't be admitted because they do not have enough melanin in their skin.”

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