Five Temple University administrators visited the Dec. 9 Temple Student Government meeting to answer questions from students concerning the issue of falling minority enrollment.
At the TSG meeting on Nov. 25, it was announced by several TSG officers that the percentage of minority students enrolled at the University had fallen between 1997 and 2001.
“It is not a conscious effort,” Dean of Students James Fitzsimmons said.
According to Fitzsimmons, the number of minority students has not decreased, but an increase in number of white students has created a lower percentage of minorities.
TSG president Therion Baker asked for an explanation of comments made by Student Information Systems Director Timothy Walsh.
According to TSG, Walsh, who was not present at the meeting, said that a decrease in number of white males could be considered discrimination against them and favoritism for minorities.
Fitzsimmons said that Walsh failed to use an appropriate example to explain the necessity of looking at diversity from various perspectives.
Fitzsimmons said that Walsh’s statement was not the University administration’s policy.
When Baker asked why Walsh was not present at the meeting, Fitzsimmons said that it was his judgment not to invite Walsh to the meeting.
The administrators handed out 52-page list of programs that the University is involved in.
Many of the programs involve Philadelphia public schools, as well as community organizations.
“The University does not look at ethnicity [when considering] admissions applications,” said Director of Undergraduate Admissions Timm Rinehart.
He said that the admissions office considered students’ high school grade point averages and SAT scores as well as essays, recommendation letters and extracurricular activities.
According to Rinehart, there has been an increase in the number of applications from Pennsylvania residents from outside Philadelphia.
These applicants are mostly white, he said.
The number of overall applications has risen from 8,000 to 15,000 in this past few years, he said, while there are only 3,500 spots available.
Rinehart said that the University has made an effort to recruit minority students by participating in college fairs and hosting campus visits organized specifically for African American and Hispanic students as well as visiting almost every Philadelphia public high school, where minority enrollment rates are high.
Saeko Komura can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org