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U.C. Students Applaud Study of Minority Enrollment

Written for the web by Jason Kobely, Internet News Producer

With University of California regents preparing to take a closer look at the impact of a state ban on affirmative action a decade ago, many students on U.C. campuses said they already know the result of that change -- fewer students of color.

U.C. Regents agreed Wednesday to look at how admissions and enrollment have changed in the 10-campus system since the passage of the controversial Proposition 209 in 1996. The law prohibits the use of race in state admissions, hiring and contracting.

At UCLA and U.C. Berkeley, two of the system's largest campuses, only about 200 students each -- approximately two percent of the incoming freshmen class -- are of African-American descent.
U.C. Davis student Alicia Henry said since she enrolled at the college five years ago, she's been struck several times by the lack of fellow African-American students.

"It has been difficult when you sit in class and you're the only student that looks like you or the class and teacher expects you to represent your whole entire race," Henry said. In 2005, the campus' 530 African-American undergraduate students made up about three percent of U.C. Davis' undergrad population of 22,735.

Henry applauded the Regents' decision to investigate the state of minority enrollment and hopes the results will lead to more recruitment.
"I think it's really critical that we put our money into educating future generations," Henry said. "If we're not going to school, then what is our generation going to look like?"

Officials believe the results of the affirmative action study should be completed by the end of the year.

Copyright 2006 © News10/KXTV. All Rights Reserved.

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