The Leadership Conference is working diligently to see that Tom Perez is confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Labor. Perez is an eminently qualified public servant and consensus builder who has dedicated his career to ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and have the opportunity to succeed. He has served with integrity and distinction at the local, state and national level, compiling an outstanding record of achievement.
Post Proposition 209, Black Admissions Continue to Drop at UC Berkeley
Feature Story by Karlo Marcelo - 7/28/2004The University of California at Berkeley this summer reported a near 30 percent drop in black student admissions for 2005. The dramatic decrease comes amid accusations that the school has been admitting hundreds of unqualified black students at the expense of other qualified students.
African Americans represented just 2.4 percent of the 2004 entering class at UC Berkeley, down from 3.5 percent in 2003. The numbers show a downward trend — 562 admitted black students in 1997 compared to 211 admitted black students for 2004.
School officials say that the drop in black students is the result of several factors, including budget cuts in outreach programs for underrepresented students. According to UC Berkley Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl, Proposition 209, which outlawed affirmative action in the state, has prevented Berkeley from offering programs that recruit and prepare more underrepresented students.
"We have to think about new strategies," Berdahl said. "We understand the will of California voters...but I cannot believe that the will of the voters would be to deny us the right to provide targeted programs to prepare more underrepresented students for admission to Berkeley."
UC Berkeley officials say they will continue to pay careful attention to the new admissions numbers as they try to find ways to prevent the further decline of underrepresented minorities in admissions and matriculation.
Meanwhile, earlier this year, UC Board of Regents Chairman John Moores asserted that the UC system's "comprehensive review" policy, which allows administrators to consider factors such as being the first in a family to attend college and barriers that are overcome, discriminates against Asian American applicants with higher SAT scores by admitting less qualified African-American, Latino, and American Indian students.
Asian Pacific American organizations in California refuted Moores' claim and pointed out that Asian students made up 39 percent of those admitted to UC Berkeley in 2003. The organizations say that Moores omits that almost one-third of the students who were eventually offered admission, despite their low SAT scores, were Asian.