Friday, January 20, 2006

What Race is Your School?

A recent study found that most people who check "other" on college applications are white, click here. This is causing an uproar, because it makes meeting racial quotas very difficult. The study had some eyebrow raising remarks
"The racial or ethnic composition of an institution can be distorted when there is a large unknown population," reads the December study, entitled "'Unknown' Students on College Campuses: An Exploratory Analysis." It includes data from 28 colleges and universities nationwide.
I read this and thought, what do you mean "distorted"? The racial composition is what it is. Is my school Chinese? What race is your school? When asked about this phenomena, the University of Pennsylvania had this to say:
When asked if Penn takes any initiative to investigate those students who do mark "other," [Admissions Dean Lee] Stetson said that his office verifies race through contact with high school college counselors.
wtf? They verify your race? I thought racial identity was a complicated personal thing, but let's be real; you just ask an acquaintence what color his/her skin is.

There is an interesting discussion in the comments about hispanic designation. Most racial boxes are ethnic in origin, but hispanic seems to be an ethnic/culture hybid. I always thought that was weird.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is more than a little vague. If most students are white (65%), wouldn't most students who check "other" also be white? They haven't shown that the students who check "other" differ significantly in composition from the general population.

But also, wtf, your guidance counselor can just eyeball you and tell your race now? I wonder if homeboy just made that up.

Blogger -i- said...

yeah the whole guidance counselor thing seems a bit dubious, to say the least. I'm also one of the proud 'others'. However, my most memorable racial profiling fiasco was when the pigs levvied a drinkin in the park ticket on us. The ignant officer didn't know what code to use for me, so he asked me where I was born, I said Canada and he reluctantly put me down as being Caucasian. CPD, baby, CPD.


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