Friday, February 28

Student posts video to spark discussion about lack of diversity at UCLA

Black students posted a spoken word performance video on YouTube voicing concerns and frustrations about the small percentage of black students at UCLA. Courtesy of Sy Stokes

Sy Stokes almost dropped out of UCLA during his first year because he felt isolated and alone as a black student on campus.

The third-year Afro-American studies student said he struggled to find groups with whom he shared common interests during his first quarter. While he eventually found his niche in the Undergraduate Students Association Council Cultural Affairs Commission, Stokes said he originally felt scrutinized for being black.

“(That feeling) makes (black people) stick to their comfort zones because they want to feel safe – physically and emotionally,” Stokes said.

On Monday, Stokes and other black students posted a spoken-word performance video on YouTube addressing what they call a lack of diversity among UCLA’s undergraduate student population. Since its posting four days ago, the video has been viewed more than 39,000 times.

Stokes said he wanted to show potential applicants how small the black student population at UCLA was before the UC application deadline on Nov. 30.

About 4 percent of undergraduate students and about 4 percent of graduate students are black, according to fall 2012 and fall 2011 UCLA admissions statistics, respectively.

“We had to do something to put our issues on the map,” Stokes said.

In the video, Stokes said he felt frustrated with UCLA administrators for several reasons, including the falling retention rates of black men at UCLA and the fact that UCLA has a greater total number of NCAA championships than black male first-years.

Stephen Azubuike, a third-year psychobiology student who participated in the video, said that he identifies with the frustrations that Stokes mentions in the video.

Azubuike said that some black male students on campus drifted toward each other to form an interconnected group since they are such a small percentage of students. He added that he thinks black students, including himself, do not receive the proper resources they need to succeed.

The video mentions a campaign called Invest in Graduations; Not Incarceration, Transform Education, commonly known as IGNITE. The campaign is aimed at increasing retention rates for underrepresented students and increasing racial diversity in higher education, said Maryssa Hall, Undergraduate Students Association Council external vice president.

Stokes said he thinks part of the problem of a lack of racial diversity stems from the absence of affirmative action policies in college admissions processes.

Affirmative action was voted down in 1996 after California voters passed Proposition 209 – a law that prohibits California public entities, including UCs and state schools, to consider race, gender, ethnicity or national origins in their admissions processes.

In 1998, the first year Proposition 209 took effect, UCLA’s black student acceptance rate fell from about 38 percent to 23 percent.

The IGNITE campaign is dedicated, in part, to repealing Proposition 209, Hall said.

University officials said they agree that UCLA lacks diversity and said they are trying to work within the parameters of Proposition 209 to bring more students from underrepresented communities to UCLA, Janina Montero, vice chancellor of student affairs, said in an email statement.

While UCLA cannot accept students based on race, the admissions department uses holistic review process in its decision-making. It takes into account the socioeconomic status of an applicant and whether the applicant is the first in his or her family to go to college, according to a statement from Chancellor Gene Block.

Hall said she understands the holistic review admittance process UCLA follows, but she thinks holistic admissions do not make up what Proposition 209 took away from diversity at UCLA.

In her statement, Montero said that all 10 of the UC chancellors signed two friend-of-the-court briefs in favor of affirmative action to the U.S. Supreme Court this year.

“We certainly recognize that the low numbers of African Americans and other underrepresented students on campus does lead to a sense of isolation and invisibility,” Montero said in her email statement. “It is difficult to eliminate this painful imbalance without considering race in the admissions process.”

Kamilah Moor, chairwoman of the Afrikan Student Union, said she thinks the small percentage of black students at UCLA negatively affects the university as a whole.

“Students won’t be able to to truly understand different perspectives and what comes with that – compassion, respect and empathy,” said Moore, a fourth-year political science student.

Stokes said some students have criticized his video and sent him hate mail about it, but most of the students he has talked to said they supported his cause.

“It doesn’t matter how much hate I get, just as long as someone is talking about it,” Stokes said.  

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  • Draco Chu

    I applaud the messages behind Sy’s video. As a UCLA alumnus, I can attest to the fact that this was a blatant issue during the years I was a student, and it disappoints me that it continues to be. UCLA is the most applied-to university in the world, and it seems to me that it would only make sense for the diversity of the student body to reflect that.

    Draco Chu
    UCLA ’10 & M.Ed. ’11

    • hmm

      Perhaps they should begin trimming the amounts of Asian Americans?

      • Jet Spygul

        Or trim the vast amounts of white students in their university that enjoy more privileges than both Asian Americans and African Americans…

    • UCLA13

      UCLA is also a public school and represents the people of California. If the demographics reflected the state’s own demographics it would be: 18% Asian, 36% White, 30% Hispanic, and 4% Black. This reflects the % of CSU/UC eligible high school graduates of those races. Whites and blacks are about on target at UCLA, Asians are very over-represented, and Hispanic are very under-represented considering their large population in California.

      • Not a priviliged gal

        Please explain to me why UCLA has to represent the people of California. Last time I checked, there was no law or anything written about this.

        • UCLA13

          I’m not saying it HAS to represent the demographics of the state, it just shouldn’t be that shocking that the % of black students is about proportional to how many graduate from high school in California. The video uses numbers a lot to make a point. Well… 3,000 black students are CSU/UC eligible each year in the ENTIRE STATE. Some will go to private colleges like USC, Stanford, Redlands, Pacific, out of state, etc… and some will go to community college first. Let’s say 70% of those 3,000 students hope to enroll in a public CA 4- year university. That is 2,100 students. Divide them among each of the 32 CA public universities and you get 65 students in the freshman class for each public college. If a college enrolls more black students to increase their diversity, they simply take away from the diversity at other colleges. Cal State DH is 20% black and enrolls about 500 black freshman per year. That leaves 1,600 incoming black CA freshman to enroll at the other 31 universities, or 51 students per incoming freshman class.

          If UCLA enrolled 100 more black freshman every year, that would be great! Just realize another campus will have an even smaller percentage of black students. There are not enough currently graduating from high school to give each CA public college a 5-10% representation on campus by black students.

          • Not a priviliged gal

            Very astute observation and I agree with your statistics. I am slightly confused as to what your personal view on this situation is. If the goal is to increase the number of black students applying to UCLA, or college in general, then I could see how this becomes the college’s problem. They’d have to expand their recruitment program to target those particular students. Whether they get in or not afterwards is another story.

            If the goal is to increase the pool of black students qualified to attend UCLA, then this has to begin at K-12 and really has nothing to do with UCLA admissions.

            Either way, it’s going to require a lot more work and effort on the part of K-12 plus working to change society and all that. Higher educated students will be more likely to know about UCLA, apply, and get in.

            Now if the goal was to increase the number of students able to get in by lowering the current admission standards, then that is another issue in which I am whole opposed to.

          • Guest

            I agree with both the commenters above. The problem of low population of black students at UCLA is not a problem that belongs to the UC per se. If blacks make up a small percentage of the CA population, and the argument is that the UC has to reflect the population of CA (which it doesn’t have to), then of course you’re going to get a fewer number of blacks applying and even a fewer number of blacks getting accepted. It doesn’t matter what race you’re talking about, but a fewer number of applicants in any given race will be accepted.

            Where the focus should be on is the education prior college. If you want to increase the black student body at any university, you must first increase the number of black students applying. The UC has no obligation to spend millions of dollars to go out of their way to recruit specific students of certain ethnic backgrounds. In fact, they don’t even have an obligation to go out of their way to recruit anyone if they don’t want.

            Efforts should be made to increase the quality of education in the K-12 levels so that students of all color realize the importance of education and will be more motivated to apply. If the UC receives a small number of application from African-American or Mexican-American students, then that’s not their problem.

  • Guest

    1) Diversity is not the same as people with different races.
    2) I am an Asian and my high school only contains 15% Asian. Yet, I don’t feel isolated. When I come to UCLA, I joined groups that Asian are minorities. Yet I don’t feel left out. If you feel like you are isolated at UCLA because you cannot find anyone in your race, maybe it is time for you to go out of your comfort zone.

    • reply

      I think you should challenge your understanding of the word “diversity.” Diversity is as much about the racial diversity of our university as it is our socioeconomic backgrounds, our nationalities, languages, ideologies, so on and so forth.

      It is also important to note that although you, as an individual, may not feel isolated, this may not be the truth for your peers. Though your experience is truth for you, no one of us can pretend that our individual life represents the whole of society.

      • Guest

        And that is my point. The word “diversity” does not mean racial diversity only. You cannot just put an equal sign between these two ideas.

        • iSupport

          To the original commenter,

          Understand that Asians aren’t viewed the same way as African-Americans are. The U.S. was built on racial prejudices that still exist. So in fact, in America we think diversity = race, though that it not necessarily true.

          Furthermore, it would be abnormal for you to feel left out in a school who’s second highest represented population are Asians. Undoubtedly, you will never understand what it means to be black, but African-Americans were isolated through restrictive convenances after slavery, in addition to be isolated as slaves. Blacks prefer to be around other blacks.There’s a level of understanding between blacks you could never fathom, which is why diversity is necessary for success.

          Fact: Successful Black people are more likely to commit suicide than poor blacks, because they live in communities that aren’t diverse, creating a level of stress and isolation.

          • UCLA13

            This is why the black population is moving back to the new American south. Places like Atlanta, Charlotte, and Houston having booming black populations. Los Angeles is simply a tough place for blacks. Historically black neighborhoods like Baldwin Hills and Lynwood are becoming majority Hispanic and blacks now represent just 6% of California. They represent just 4% of CSU/UC eligible high school graduates in the state. It doesn’t surprise me enrollment at UCLA is just 4% of the student body. There are just SO FEW black people still living in California.

          • Bob

            Just wanted to point out that part of your statement here is a contradiction. “Blacks prefer to be around other blacks. There’s a level of understanding between blacks you could never fathom, which is why diversity is necessary for success.” So you essentially said blacks prefer to be around other blacks, but diversity is necessary for success. So are you saying blacks should all go to school together, or go to school with people of a variety of different races?

          • s

            Asians are the most represented population at UCLA.

          • bsbs1319

            The US put Asians in internment camps not all that long ago, and the Jews had the holocaust. I think it would be safe to say those groups bounced back pretty well. Why do we have to caudal African-Americans? Aren’t they capable of doing things themselves?

          • spoiledchick1203

            Uhm..many of the Japanese and Jewish individuals did not “bounce back” after their horrific treatment. Have you personally interviewed these groups of people to see how they were doing? I doubt it. Two, no one is asking anyone to “caudal” African-Americans, but EVERYDAY, we still face more racism than many other racial groups in America due to the fact that we are “Black” and people are still racist. In many places in America, Blacks still face hate-crimes simply because the color of their skins. Many other American racial groups do not have to deal with this. If African-Americans had their rights and were not constantly placed at a disadvantage, we would not feel the need to press this issue so much. So where you may ask, “why do we have to caudal African-Americans,” the real question may be, “Why do many Americans still have to be racist?” Why haven’t White Americans simply “bounced back” from racism, since you know—it did start over 100 years ago, right?

    • Guest

      You are on point and everyone a part of this video should read this and understand what diversity truly is and research a whole lot more in history. This is America, go outside of your comfort zone, educate yourself to the max, and help others!!

  • $100 baseball hat

    LOL, they’re arguing about affordability and one’s wearing a high-end NOIR hat?

    • reply

      An astute observation, but I think that the close to hundred thousand it costs to attend UCLA and live in Los Angeles is still an issue you’re overlooking with your snide comment. Also, you might want to step back and realize that this is an intentional artistic performance. The outfits worn by the performers are likely chosen to evoke a response from people like yourself. The reality of the situation is that we see students flaunting expensive apparel and accessories at UCLA on the daily, across all color and colorless lines. The performer with the NOIR hat intentionally reflects that type of blithe disregard of issues like affordability.

  • ron

    Stop complaining and start working so that you aren’t dependent on affirmative action, which is embarrassing.

    • some people are just jerks

      Your comment underscores the subtle racism imbedded in the culture you were raised in, the same culture that tells people of color that their color is unimportant. That’s what’s embarrassing, Ron.

      • What’sWrongWithRon’sComment?

        So are you saying people should complain, not work, and depend on affirmative action?

        • Cat

          To “What’s Wrong With Ron’s Comment”,

          You completely misread what “some people are just jerks” wrote. I am sure there is a logical fallacy associated with your bitter comment, probably something to do with purposefully misconstruing an opponent’s argument to make it seem less valid than it actually is.

          To both the last commenter and Ron,

          The subtle racism that he/she refers to is Ron’s assumption that the black students in the video are not working hard and rather, are expecting the so-called “hand outs” of affirmative action. Ron implies a certain amount of laziness associated with those students who support affirmative action or protest institutional discrimination, a attempted connection that simply doesn’t have evidence to back it up. Affirmative action requires the university to look at race/ ethnicity as just one of many other factors of admission. Race/ethnicity tied to a specific socio-economic background and given region can say a lot about the social obstacles faced by the individual student. There may be a legitimate reason why that particular student has a 3.6 as opposed to a 3.9 GPA, and affirmative action helps admission offices take that into full account. As if most people can just work through the pervasive racial discrimination at nearly every level of public education? There are more crucial and systematic factors that affect a student’s success besides individual determination and hard work.

          • Guest

            “Race/ethnicity tied to a specific socio-economic background and given region can say a lot about the social obstacles faced by the individual student.”

            Then how about consider individual obstacles that one might face due to his/her socio-economic background. Oh wait, we already did, and it is called holistic review.

            If socio-economic background is the source of the problem, please just target it rather than race/ethnicity. Not all minorities are disadvantaged and not all majorities are privileged.

          • Jet Spygul

            It’s not the ONLY source of the problem, and it is why other things need to be considered besides socioeconomic status. In addition, the university needs tuition money, and so don’t think that socioeconomic issues are being addressed as well as they need to be either. An example of this running rampant is the University of Michigan where there are more students from families with a $200,000+ income than from families with a $53,000 income or less (The median income of America). When more kids are from the top 5% of earners than the entire bottom half, there is a serious problem in economic diversity.

    • spoiledchick1203

      It is not about “not working hard.” During slavery times, did Blacks not work hard? Did Blacks not get whipped everyday for doing the work that White Americans were too lazy to do? Ponder on that a bit, “ron.” Affirmative Actions allows the playing field to be leveled for all minority groups, so that we can have a step forward to becoming equal to the privileged white majorities that institutional racism loves to favor.

  • Guest

    The current admissions system takes into account the socioeconomic background of applicants in addition to their academics. To take the spot of someone who earned their way into the school simply on the basis of ethnicity is racist in and of itself, and it’s shameful that someone thinks they’re entitled to get into a school because of their race.

    • Webster

      Affirmative action does not mean you feel you are entitled to get into your school of choice…this video makes the point that schools like UCLA aren’t trying hard enough to reach out to underprivileged, lower socioeconomic status, or minority students based on the current laws. There are plenty of talented minority students out there and I am sure UCLA misses out on many of them because they probably go to other schools who take a more active role recruiting them based on their state’s respective affirmative action laws. Additionally, the video also speaks to the fact that getting in is only half the battle, one has to feel comfortable, have resources to succeed, and have financial resources (which Black students at UCLA are apparently lacking) the video is not only about affirmative action.

      • Guest

        I’m not a minority student at UCLA, so I can’t pretend to know how effective or ineffective the support system is for these students. If a large number of minority students feel as though it’s ineffective, then it probably is and something should be done about it.

        However, a large part of the video is about affirmative action, which I do know is an unfair system that I strongly disagree with, which is why I posted my comment.

        To your last sentence, it’s not just black students who are lacking financial resources. That’s a university-wide thing.

    • Jet Spygul

      Except that’s not what affirmative action does. There is no affirmative action program that allows someone to get in “simply on the basis of ethnicity.” AA takes into account many factors. Misinformation about affirmative action is everywhere and is a big part of the reason it was voted out of the California system.

      • Guest

        “In 1998, the first year Proposition 209 took effect, UCLA’s black student acceptance rate fell from about 38 percent to 23 percent.”

        There are a limited amount of spots for incoming freshmen. The 15 percent of black students who got in the school based on AA took the spots of non-black students which means:

        1) Students were accepted into the school because they were black
        2) The students who would have been accepted were instead punished because they were not black.

        The big reason it was voted out of the California system is because using race as a criteria to accept students is racist.

        • Joshua Millen

          Staph it…. You are not allowed to use logic or make sense.

  • Kamilah

    A response to the argument that UCLA cannot increase diversity within the confines of Proposition 209:

  • ?

    A lot of questions regarding race and admissions to UCLA-

    What percent of applicants to UCLA are black males? Is it over 3.3%?
    What happened to enrollment percentages for all races and ethnic groups- Asians, Latino/Latinas, whits- after prop 209?

    I believe UCLA to be extremely diverse. At UCLA, I have been exposed to people of backgrounds that I previously never heard of. I have met people with different religious, socio-economic, ethnic, national, and gender identities.

    While it is true that there are few black students, I don’t believe that means that UCLA is not diverse.

  • Rick

    Excellent performance but… How many black students actually apply to UCLA?

    And of that, what evidence is there that UCLA turns away *qualified* applicants of color?

    What would your solution be? How do you judge the playing field each applicant is playing on? What about poor White students vs. rich Black students? Are those level playing fields? Really, your passion is great but how does your solution *actually* work after we’ve stripped away the platitudes and rhetoric?

    UCLA is a California school so I’d suppose the vast majority of applicants and admitted students are californios just like any state school.

    African Americans make up 6.6% of the CA population so it seems that part of the issue is that there simply aren’t huge numbers of them applying compared to other races. Maybe, maybe not.

    Nevertheless, I was a brown student in a predominately white college. I am the son of immigrants and got scholarships none of which were based on my race.

    It would never occur to me be outraged about diversity. Or the fact that low minority admittance is the schools fault. Besides isn’t it the point to be with other student unlike yourself??

    I came from communities where it was far more common to have a baby or go to jail than get a degree. It IS a problem. But it’s not their problem. The university’s job is to admit qualified students end of story.

    What is the need or benefit of diversity if the students admitted don’t meet the academic standard? And what is this “a level playing field”? What field were the black students in the video playing on that got them into UCLA that the non-admitted black students were not playing on?

    I get that it’s easier for white students to get into universities. I get that racism still exists. But I’m not buying the institutional racism card. I have way too much respect for people of color that they do not need special treatment. They are more than capable of doing it on their achievement. They (we) do need more guidance to get young people of color to go to college. But this needs to happen at the high school and and elementary school level. It needs to happen in the home. We do not need UCLA to “fill the race quotas” it doesn’t solve the actual problem!!!

    Young men and women of color need to stop being told that it’s THEIR fault. Stop blaming unrelated institutions for deeply rooted socioeconomic problems. You’re barking up the wrong tree.

    • Jet Spygul

      Although I agree with what you are saying, especially about starting at the high school and elementary levels, there are two problems I see here:

      1. You say that it is easier for white students to get into universities, and then say that you don’t buy institutional racism. This is a clear contradiction. If it’s easier for white people to get in, then there is not a level playing field and by definition this is institutional racism. Not in the sense of “We are purposely not admitting black people” but more in the sense of “We are passing over qualified minority students because we are using an admission process that is not properly recruiting them.”

      2. You say the university’s job is to admit qualified applicants “end of story.” But really, that’s not even a small fraction of the story. The university’s other jobs are to KEEP those admitted students, educate them, and ensure that they earn a degree so that they can improve their lives. Programs for improving the academic preparation of disadvantaged and minority students are already present at schools such as MIT, and in contrast the UC system doesn’t seem to care about making sure their students graduate.

  • Guest

    I agree that there are not enough black students on campus. I think it’s unfortunate that black students are forced to feel isolated in UCLA. Does this mean that affirmative action should take place? NO. It’s true that many black people are disadvantaged because of their socioeconomic standing, but honestly, people of other races come from this socioeconomic standing too. Imagine two people with similar socioeconomic backgrounds (e.g. in terms of income.) They are of different races. They both worked equally as hard academically. Would it be fair to accept only ONE of them due to his/her race, and not accept the other?

    If you were wondering, yes, I’m Asian-American. Just simply stating this might cause this post to lose credibility. Please hear me out. First off, I do realize that UCLA is comprised of many Asian American students, which limits the diversity of this school. Second, I do realize that many Asian Americans have a higher advantage because they come from good socioeconomic backgrounds.

    Here’s the thing though. Not ALL Asian Americans from good backgrounds. My background is an example of this. My family made ~$15k/year, and I had to work during my high school years while balancing a lot of classes. I don’t recall ever getting more than five hours of sleep during weekdays. My family lived in a studio apartment in a “bad” neighborhood, where higher education was barely encouraged. I’m not saying these things to get sympathy, no. I’m just trying to illustrate that it is wrong to give a group of people lesser chances of being admitted due to an overall evaluation of the status of the group’s ethnicity. If a black student had a decent socioeconomic background and worked less hard academically, would (s)he really deserve a college spot more than an Asian American- simply because of his/her race? Or simply because there are not enough black students on campus?

    I’m not sure if you realize this, but even some Asian American groups have poor college retention rates. Vietnamese Americans have a college degree attainment rate of 16%, and Laotians, Cambodians, and Khmer only have rates around 5% nationwide. (

    As much as I want to see a more diverse group of students on campus, I feel like we should do this in an objective way. We can start off by reaching out to communities that do not encourage higher education. There are many ways of doing this.

    But affirmative action is not one of them.

    • Jet Spygul

      You are conflating the policy of “Affirmative Action” with the policy that a university takes as a whole when admitting students. In fact, adding affirmative action will take all of the things you said into account (i.e. it won’t treat Asians as a monolith “model minority” and will take into account personal background and different ethnicities within the Asian race) White privilege is the main reason that AA has recently been re-framed as a “racist” policy and one that disadvantages Asian Americans. In reality, the privilege given to white students from high income backgrounds and legacy admissions lowers the numbers of all other minority groups admitted, which is a problem that is exacerbated with a lack of affirmative action.

  • UCLA13

    African American students represent just 6% of all California high school graduates. Every university in California is fighting to increase their enrollment of black students to make their campuses more diverse, but they are fighting for the college bound ones that meet minimum qualifications among that 6% of graduates. If anybody should be fighting for better enrollment it is Hispanics. They represented over 50% of high school graduates in California yet are far lower as a percentage of the student body.

    I too would feel alone, but the fact is the black population in California is just really small and decreasing each year. Blacks now make up 6.6% of California.

    California is 40% Hispanic, 34% White, 13% Asian, and 6.6% Black. The balance is other. If enrollment matches the percentage of our high school graduates in the state, the numbers should be closer to this.

  • UCLA13

    UCLA is 4% black. California’s CSU/UC eligible high school graduates are 4% black. It is sad to look around and see there are so few black students, but it reflects the demographics of California as a whole. Either black students avoid certain campuses entirely to form a large population at certain schools in the state (CSUDH is 20% black for example) or get spread out so each campus has some black students. In 2012 there were just 7,900 black CSU/UC eligible high school grads. Not even enough to fill the junior level at UCLA, let alone the other 32 public universities in the state.

  • UCLA ’12 Alum

    From 2007 to 2009, UCLA Admissions accepted a HIGHER percentage of black and Latino students with mid-range holistic scores, than white and other races with the same scores:

    UCLA Law Professor on academic mismatch and how affirmative action HURTS minorities:

    You can’t accept people who aren’t apply and/or aren’t graduating high school. African Americans represent JUST 5.9% OF applicants among ALL THE UCS (ALL SEVEN):

  • Guest

    Not everyone has the capability to study engineering. In addition, if you are not passionate about engineering, it is very unlikely that you will get a good engineering job after graduation.

  • guest

    I am a latina woman and a UCLA alumni. I think that the UCLA population is not and should never be represented by figures partaking to the state of California. That is simply ridiculous! Students at UCLA come from all over the United States. As a matter of fact 11% of UCLA students are international. Know actual facts of where the student population comes from before dropping numbers.

    • Chris

      No offense, but what does your ethnicity or where you went to school have to do with the discussion? Do you honestly believe that either of those factors makes your more qualified than anyone else to give an opinion? THAT is ridiculous. Now, as for citing population statistics of California, that is extremely relevant. “Why?” You ask. Residents of California pay in state tuition, which is considerably less than out of state tuition and tuition for international student. Naturally, this is going to attract people more from within the state than elsewhere. 83% of the students enrolled at UCLA are from California. Assuming your statistic is correct, that would mean only 6% of the remaining student body is made up of US students from other states. So it’s not unreasonable to expect that the student body is going to reflect the general population of the state.

  • J

    Funny that “diversity” most often just means “We need more African-Americans”.

  • Dillon

    Let’s get more Latinos and Asians on the football and basketball teams too.

  • Michelle

    Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is permanently abandoned…then everywhere is war. Bob Marley

  • Not a priviliged gal

    Why does the population of students of UCLA have to represent the population of California? Just because it’s a public school, doesn’t mean it’s limited to the demographics of CA. UCLA accepts a sizable number of international and out of state students. It’s a top research university, it’s absurd to limit the amount of qualified students to only Californians and then further limit the students to quotas based off of race.

    Anyways, if large amounts of Black students are dropping out, then it probably means they weren’t qualified to attend UCLA and shouldn’t have been accepted in the first place. I accidentally attended one AAP meetings thinking it was something else and realized it was basically targeted for ~certain~ minority students who couldn’t figure out the most basic of things. How freaking hard is it to spend 10 minutes googling “UCLA Graduation Requirements” and read a few webpages before figuring out what the requirements were. Why do you need 2 people spending an hour explaining this to you? If you couldn’t have figured this out by yourself, then you don’t deserve to be a student here.

    Wouldn’t it have been better for those students to be accepted at “lesser universities” where they’ll fit more amongst the average students and don’t have to face the same academic pressure, instead of fastracking them to UCLA where they’ll only struggle and eventually drop out? A degree from a “lesser university” is still better than being a UCLA dropout without a degree. Then those graduates can have kids and maybe one day their kids will have a chance at attending UCLA.

  • Victoria Tran

    I bet if we had a race-blind, income-blind, gender-blind admissions process for all universities, nobody would be able to complain anymore. Right?

  • joey jay

    All this talk of diversity is a side issue. The actual point that no one addresses is the diversity of IDEAS, which is absent in UCLA, as it is in most other universities. A great majority of students, not to mention professors, are enamored of the cult of liberalism, allowing no other perspective to enter the close minded world that looks aghast at any ideology that disagrees with theirs. No alternative or questioning allowed, paying only lip service to a balanced education, something unheard of these past 40 years on American campuses.
    Skin colors are irrelevant, since as human beings we are all ONE and the same. It is the diversity and variety of viewpoints that gives meaning to us as thinkers and explorers of issues. But God forbid that should happen on a university campus.

  • liz sussman

    I am a UCLA alum from long ago, and I think you should be proud to be a student at UCLA. Yours is the opportunity to get an education at one of the finest institutions in the world. It will provide you with the opportunity to get out and help other young African-Americans be eligible, apply for, and get accepted to this institution or other similar ones. You are not Rosa Parks; you are in the elite right now. UCLA is the front of the bus for anyone able to get an education there. Take advantage of it.

    Over the years, I have seen many attempts at outreach at UCLA, from giving campus tours to high school students from disadvantaged areas to tutoring programs to scholarships, etc. Acting as victims is not helpful; working to help other young black people is.

    • MyTwoCents

      You make some good points Liz. I guess I can be considered one of a previous generation with regard to the issue at hand. My point of view ‘we’ (African-Americans in the collective) need to think beyond governmental intervention. I mean aren’t there sufficient ‘sourced’ African-Americans now such that we don’t always need to reach out to our government for interventions. What I’m asking is where are the moneyed elites, academic and sports professionals that these young people can reach out to? Why are these students, that have been accepted to one of the finest educational institutions in the country, calling out that institution instead of calling out Black leaders? Why are these students not calling on the CBC (Congressional Black Caucus) or other Black-related sources from a collaborative standpoint to help them help the University recognize, and meet, a need. Not just a need at UCLA but from the ground up. Partner with UCLA to foster programs in communities with the sole purpose of driving high school students with higher education goals instead of waiting until a limited number are accepted only to realize a disconnect. That I think is what education is/should be about, critical thinking that includes thinking outside institutionalization-based thought. Institutionalization is not just penal system based it includes mental traps, i.e. government is the (only) remedy and that is just plain not true (unless you want it to be); just as diversification applies to financial asset distribution it too applies to adjusting an outlook on impediments, developing work arounds and collaborative efforts at amelioration. Collaboration and militant posturing: being an ‘old guy’ I’ll take collaboration; posturing helps only if you have a means of support and that support is not reflected in the article.

  • Mark

    Standing and posing like thugs isn’t going to win any supporters

    • MyTwoCents

      Unfortunately Mark, I, personally, think you are correct. However I would also qualify your statement by saying that they are getting the attention they want and believe they need and there will be supporters. I am an older (age 55+) African-American male and I just don’t see how the militant look appeals to anyone today, especially as regards students fortunate enough to get in a University like UCLA.

  • Mark

    the guy leading it is not even black. he’s Asian!

    • meggyweg

      Uh, he’s like one-quarter Chinese. That’s all. He’s the cousin of Arthur Ashe, a black tennis player.

  • Sanju

    video Ad is not coming, You know what might be the reason?

    Here are links: