Posts Tagged ‘UW Diversity’

The Final Tally on the Diversity Throwdown

December 10, 2009

Opinion Page Editor Sean Kittridge (more people need to talk about how stellar the titles he comes up with for the Herald’s pieces are) announced the end of the Diversity Throwdown yesterday. So, I thought a tally on how many pieces were published for, against, and just relating to affirmative action on campus would be interesting.

A couple of things to note first. I focused my search mostly on the Herald, I only included Cardinal columns that came off the top of my head. Second, categorizing each piece is unfair and a vast oversimplification…but it makes for a good time.

The results:

Against: 6 (3 letters to the editor, 3 by columnists, none I could find after the declaration of Diversity War)

For: 10 (7 letters to the editor, 3 by columnists)

Calling for a re-framing of the debate: 7 ( 2 letters to editor, 5 by columnists, including 2 from Smathers)

In between: 3 (columns like Smathers asking people to write in etc.)

Again, this is by no means scientific. But, it should be a relatively accurate count.

“Compositional Diversity” advocates: less McCain, more Obama

November 24, 2009

It’s beginning to look like the Herald and Cardinal ed-boards aren’t the only ones who can manufacture a crisis within the ranks of the informed campus community. Apparently, a group of staff writers can do it too, albeit in the form of a “diversity war,” not a boycott.

My concern when I started seeing facebook events with hundreds of members popping up titled APPARENTLY there are just too darn many “minorities” on the campus, and 90 comments under pieces by Jim Allard (seriously, who still pays attention to him?) was that the responses of advocates of affirmative action policies  were going to  ignore  serious arguments  in favor of name calling and emotionalism. Turns out, I was wrong.

But, now advocates need a more honed and specific message.

The issue of “diversity” is too large and complex to be dealt with in 800 word op-ed pieces. Supporters of affirmative action have been challenged to show why race should matter in admissions,  so they should stick to that. The case is there. The playing field is still far from equal on account of race, color-blindness is still a prescriptive and not a descriptive term, and the argument championed by the visionary Clarence Thomas that race-based affirmative action policies only hurt the legitimacy of accomplished people of color still sucks.

Both the Herald and Cardinal have now promised the platform, it is time to start making the case effectively.

Pretend diversity is way easier

November 20, 2009

One of these things is not like the other one…

Look about halfway down the left side of both pictures. Notice any difference between the original picture on the right and its final copy on the left?

In the summer of 2000, in a small room in the University of Wisconsin, the editors of the fall admissions brochure were frantically searching through every single photo ever taken on campus, desperately trying to find photographic evidence that black people went to their school.

Insert snarky comment about UW diversity here. I always wondered how every college brochure picture included such an eclectic mix of ethnicities.