Wednesday, August 21

USAC discusses admissions

On Tuesday, USAC held a very brief, relaxed meeting. With some of the councilmembers missing or arriving late and others preparing to rush off to the Mighty Mic event, things went quickly.
The only key things on the agenda for this week were special presentations, including a particularly interesting one by Vice Chancellor Janina Montero on the admissions statistics for this year.
Montero said, on behalf of the administration, she was happy with results of the new holistic approach (modeled after Berkeley’s). Admissions rates for underrepresented minorities were up this year, as reported in the Daily Bruin last week.
“Institutionally, we are quite committed to the holistic approach at this moment,” Montero said.
Tina Park, the external vice president, had a number of questions for Montero. She wondered whether UCLA, in adopting Berkeley’s admissions approach, would begin to look more like Cal and would see more overlap in the applicant pools for the two schools.
Montero responded by saying that, yes, there was overlap, but UCLA hopes to attract admitted students, particularly those from underrepresented groups, by creating scholarships and courting them.
Park also questioned whether low-income and first-generation college students are really getting a fair shot in the admissions process.
Montero said one of the challenges facing the school is that as UCLA’s applicant pool grows each year, it forces the school to become more and more selective. This goes against the principles of public education, of which accessibility is a key component.
Members of the Queer Alliance then gave a brief overview of the Day of Silence, which will take place on Wednesday, April 18.
As they explained to the council, during the Day of Silence, participants (who the Queer Alliance hopes will include plenty of straight people), will spend part of the day in silence in support of people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities who are not able to openly share their sexuality.
And with that, the meeting was over. As members were leaving, some rushing off to other commitments, President Marwa Kaisey warned them that they weren’t getting off easy — there would be a nice, long meeting with plenty of action items and long discussions next week. I’m sure they can’t wait.

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