N.C. State Version of Project Uplift Among Proposed Solutions to Low Acceptance Rate of African-American Students
Kierra Leggett | Editor-in-Chief
High school outreach, campus involvement of African-American students beyond Pan-Afrikan Week and higher student attendance at non-social AASAC events were the three goals proposed at Friday’s Acceptance Rate Action Team meeting toward increasing the acceptance rate of African-American students at N.C. State.
Among those present at the meeting were Tomesha Murray, president of the Minority Association of Pre-Med Students and Busola Ola, president of the Afrikan Student Union.
Though high school outreach was the only proposed goal directly associated with raising the acceptance rate, members of the Acceptance Rate Action Team felt greater involvement and support of student organizations within AASAC would help raise awareness and bring attention to the dismal rates.
Members of the action team suggested that a lack of visual presence of African-American students on campus could be a deterrent for African-American students considering applying or enrolling at the university.
“People only come out for certain [social] things,” said Andrew Thomas, a senior in engineering. “ But, one of my friends sent me a picture from the yard show, and it looked like an HBCU.”
The action team raised concerns that if the African-American acceptance at N.C. State does not improve soon, N.C. State could fare a fate similar to that of the University of California at Los Angeles. The public university currently has more NCAA championships than Black male freshman.
According to a video created by African-American students at the university, the total number of undergraduate and graduate black males enrolled at UCLA in fall 2012 was 660 making African-American males account for 3.3 percent of its male student population. 65 percent of the African-American males enrolled at the university are student athletes. The video provides statistics that of the 2,218 males who enrolled in the fall of 2012, only 48 were African-American.
“We don’t want that to be N.C. State,” said Marshall Anthony, AASAC chair. During the Friday meeting, Anthony was adamant in what he thought a possible solution to the problem could be. “I think AASAC needs to have more involvement with potential incoming freshman,” said Anthony.
Members of the focus team suggested the implementation of N.C. State’s on version of Project Uplift, a summer residential recruitment program hosted by the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at the University of Chapel Hill. According to the UNC website, the goal of Project Uplift is to “enhance the racial, ethnic and socio-economic diversity of Carolina’s undergraduates.”
Currently the university offers African-American, Native and Hispanic symposiums hosted by the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs to help accepted students acclimate to the campus environment.