Seem crowded around here?
Yes, the admissions lawsuits had another effect than establishing a new legal precedent for the use of race in admissions to institutions of higher education: it was great PR for the University. In a press release today, the administration announced they had set two new records: for the first time student enrollment has topped 39,000 students, and received a record number of applications for this year’s freshman class: 25,943.
Where are the minority enrollment numbers? Slightly below the glowing prose about how “Our schools and colleges have accomplished this despite the severe budget constraints that we experienced this year. They did this by focusing the budget cuts on less essential services and programs, and by concentrating their resources on their core academic priorities.” Which must be code for “digital screens in Haven but no Residence Hall Libraries, and no Woodshop.”
Well, it turns out minority enrollment is up … 0.2 percent. And enrollment of black students is unchanged: “In the total student body, which includes undergraduate, graduate and professional students, underrepresented minorities make up 13.8 percent, up from 13.6 percent last year. By racial group, enrollment percentages are: African American, 8.1 percent (unchanged); Hispanic American, 4.9 percent (up from 4.7 percent); Native American, 0.8 percent (unchanged); Asian American, 13.4 percent (up from 12.9 percent); and white, 66.3 percent (down from 66.7 percent). A smaller percentage of students (6.4 percent) listed other racial categories or did not indicate their race than last year (6.8 percent).
Although there is stable enrollment among underrepresented minorities in both the undergraduate student body and in the total campus enrollment, administrators noted that freshman enrollment among African American, Hispanic American and Native American students declined from 2002 levels. “
Well, I’ll give them a few points for honesty, but didn’t black students lead three University-wide strike to achieve 10% black enrollment … in the 1970s? During the Black Action Movement, or BAM 1, “The strike, which lasted eight days, came to an end when negotiations between BAM and the administration resulted in a commitment made by the University to work toward 10 percent black student enrollment by 1973. BAM and the administration also agreed to additional BAM demands, all designed to create a better atmosphere for minority students. (Source) At least we got CAAS and the multicultural lounges out of the deal. Can somebody remind me again why the administration keeps acting so smug about their supreme court victory? Sure, it’s a great legal victory, but numerically speaking the University hasn’t come very far in thirty years.