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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

UA works to expand opportunities for minorities

The UA is working to provide more opportunities for ethnic minorities.

“There was a 47 percent increase in diversity within this year’s incoming freshman class,” said Manny Felix, ASUA president. “That is a huge increase, and it’s saying that the [UA] is paying attention and trying to attain more minority students.”

The UA 2014-15 Fact Book reported that there were a total of 22,050 UA students who identified as white.

“We work very hard to provide access opportunities for all students,” Kasey Urquidez, dean of undergraduate admissions and vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs Advancement said in an email interview. “Ethnic diversity is very important to us as we strive to expand access.”

Urquidez said the UA offers many programs and services that ensure the university is opening up access, such as Tu Universidad, Tu Futuro Hispanic/Latino College Day, which was held this month in the Student Union Memorial Center and was presented by the Office of Early Academic Outreach.

The college day, which gave students information on financial aid, scholarships and admissions, is one of many that will take place this year.

Urquidez said that Native American College Day will take place Nov. 7, African American College Day will tentatively take place Feb. 20 and Asian Pacific Islander College Day will take place April 16.

Catalina Carlos, associate director of Early Academic Outreach and program director of early recruitment said she thinks it is important to reach as many students as possible, since we live in a community with a high population of ethnic minorities.

“Our student body is no longer made up of primarily male, white students,” Felix said. “This nation is changing, and higher education institutions need to reflect this diversity change.”

Carlos said when they speak to students, they don’t just show them the university’s spirit, the classes they will take or the rigorous academics, but also that their culture is represented here.

“We want to show them that we have specific cultural programs and centers for them, where they can find more of that connection with their background,” Carlos said.

Felix said diversity will prepare college student for work in the global society, because regardless of the career UA students are bound to work with employers, employees and customers, who have many different backgrounds.

“In many ways, college is about learning and working with people—understanding different cultures and backgrounds is essential for success in our diverse world,” Urquidez said.

Felix said we increase our knowledge base and enhance our own self-awareness when we interact with people that are different than ourselves and have different backgrounds and experiences than our own.

“When we attract minority students to our university, we are bringing in students like myself, students who are looking to get an education when our parents did not have the same opportunities as we do now, an education that will help us become successful,” Felix said.


Follow Chastity Laskey on Twitter.


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