|(56) Make Programs Merit-Based Rather Than Race
(Howard University Student Newspaper, Oct. 15, 2004)
Colleges and Universities Cutting Back Minority Summer Programs...
Editorial in the Howard University Student Paper "The Hilltop" October 15, 2004
"The thought of a minority summer enrichment program such as a science workshop sounds like a real positive situation. The students can be around other students who are striving toward success and possibly coming from a similar background as them. They can identify with their peers, meanwhile learning to develop their skills and discover their craft.
At the same time, the leaders [of these race-based programs] may take an unnecessarily sympathetic attitude toward their unfortunate and underprivileged background, and teach them from a majority to minority outlook. We think that the Black students could really benefit from a diverse summer program with students from all different backgrounds [presumably including white students]. Learning comes not only from subject matter, but from interaction and culture shock too.
"It isn't fair to deny white students the right to attend minority summer programs. To do so would be assuming that there aren't white students from lower socio-economic backgrounds. At The Hilltop [Howard University's student newspaper], we think summer programs should be colorblind and focus more on need and achievement. Students with financial pressure or extraordinary grades should be rewarded by enriching summer experiences that will prepare them for pursuing a higher education. [Emphasis added. Editor]
"Besides, living in a comfort zone prohibits growth for students. If students are considering a diverse college, they can get a taste of what they're in for. If the interaction is too overwhelming, students can always opt for an HBCU.
"The role of college summer programs is to prepare students for the real world, not to prepare them to live in their own worlds for life. Branching out can be good. We're all for giving any student, of any race, the opportunity to pave their ways to college collectively."
Reprinted from "The Hilltop", Howard University's Student Newspaper, Oct. 15, 2004
Howard University is an historically black, private university located in Washington, DC
Last known link to the original "Hilltop"
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