April 10, 2012

Myth of checking the Native box

Adrienne Keene debunks the "myth of checking the box" in her Native Appropriations blog:

Dear Native student who was just admitted to collegeAfter I graduated, I worked in undergraduate admissions, mostly because I wanted to help support and grow the college community that had given me so much. I was the Native recruiter--traveling out to communities, bouncing over rural dirt roads, presenting hundreds of times to students and families in VFW halls and HS auditoriums. Every year, I read mountains of applications and admitted amazing, talented, incredible Native students. And you know what? Not a single one of them was admitted simply because they were Native. I want to say that again. You were not admitted to college simply because you were Native. You were admitted because your special combination of talent, academics, extra curriculars, and personality was exactly what your college was looking for. Period.

In life, some people will throw around the term “Affirmative Action” like it’s a dirty word. To them, it means “some people” (i.e. minorities) get an “unfair advantage” in the admission process. Do you know how much “affirmative action” goes on in admissions offices that has nothing to do with race? Students of alumni (“legacies”), athletes, students from underrepresented states, children of wealthy donors, students from low income backgrounds, women interested in science and engineering, LGBT students, students with disabilities, students who have extraordinary talent in something…I could go on and on…they all get “special” consideration in the admissions process. The goal is to create a well-rounded class that represents many different perspectives, not to be able to say the class has X number of Native American students. You were not admitted to college simply because you are Native.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Teenager Thinks Indians Get Free Ride and "Save the White Race! Sticker.

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