In response to recent student protests against decreased minority enrollment at Temple, administrative officials made it clear that they have been taking steps to change the trend.
President David Adamany, Temple Student Government (TSG), la Asociacion de los Estudiantes Latinos (ADEL), the Majority Action Coalition (MAC) and other members of the administration will meet April 9 to address the student groups’ concerns about minority enrollment.
Since an agreement was made between ADEL and then-President Peter J. Liacouras in 1994, ADEL claims the University has not attempted to fulfill what was written in the agreement.
In the agreement, the administration constructed a response to ADEL’s demands that included targeted recruitment of Latino students, faculty and staff. The response did not include specific numbers or goals in terms of Latino enrollment.
Temple Admissions Director Timm Rinehart said Temple is doing a lot more than it has in the past to try to attract minority students to the university.
“We are doing as much or more than we did several years ago,” Rinehart said.
Temple has formulated a formal Latino recruitment plan. Rinehart said the university has planned an area-wide Latino college fair in May to go along with a phone-a-thon, a reception and special e-mails for admitted students. Rinehart also said that he has personally reviewed, and in some cases overturned, applications for Latino students who are “close to admission.”
Rinehart offered two main reasons for the declining minority enrollment.
“The first reason is that there have been a whole bunch more white, qualified students [and] we haven’t done anything to recruit that as some people believe,” Rinehart said. “The second reason is that five years ago we were admitting African Americans and other students who were not well-qualified and were not ready to come to Temple.”
Rinehart said that because of the increased number of applicants the university no longer has to accept those students who are not ready to attend Temple. He added that this is better for the students because they can get to Temple by another route, for example, via community college. He also said this is better for the university because all of the students are ready.
ADEL continues to point to the declining percentages of minorities on campus to argue that Temple has not done enough. Vice-president of ADEL, Daisy Valentin, said ADEL will ask Adamany on April 9 for a continuation of active recruitment of Latino students.
“Our main issues are increased recruitment of Latino students and funding for the Russell Conwell Center and a separation of the Spanish-Portuguese department from the general Foreign Languages department,” Valentin said. “We would also like Temple to increase the total percentage of Latinos students here by 7 percent.”
Although ADEL, TSG and MAC have slightly different agendas for the meeting, the groups are all in support of one another’s platforms.
Jason Boll can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.