Asian Advocacy Group Sees Racism In UC Berkeley's 'Hispanic Serving Institution' Plan

Alex Hall | September 17, 2018
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According to The College Fix, The Asian American Coalition for Education has the University of California Berkeley and its chancellor Carol Christ in the spotlight for the school's proposed mission to become a "Hispanic Serving Institution."

The coalition has sent a letter to the chancellor claiming the university’s plan is meant to be a system of “racial quotas” in violation of constitutional and statutory law.

Berkeley officials have officially denied this accusation as "baseless," but the coalition of Asian-Americans is not convinced.

The Asian-American Coalition sent the letter as a response to chancellor Carol Christ's welcome message, which said:

This year, I will be devoting particular attention to the issue of diversity. One of the boldest goals in our draft strategic plan is to become a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in the next 10 years. (In a HSI, at least 25 percent of students are Hispanic; six UC campuses have already earned this distinction).

Coalition co-founder Swan Lee, when reached for comment via email, made her concerns clear to The College Fix:

“It is alarming how some leaders of America’s top educational institutions take students’ equal educational rights so lightly, and don’t hesitate to trample upon their right to fair competition for best matched educational opportunities, regardless of what skin color they have, or where their ancestors came from,” Lee said to The College Fix. “Racism begets racism, no matter what doublespeak, pretty excuses are used to cover up such deep race-based injustice and ethnic profiling.”

Even in our identity-politics-saturated era, Lee offered an interesting (and uplifting) insight on the enduring American core-value of meritocracy, “A Gallup poll (from 2016) showed that 70% of Americans, regardless of race, favor merit-based college admissions." Lee then added, "These self-righteous clueless intellectual leaders need to stop forcing policies of racism and ethnic profiling on Americans, and stop selling out students’ equal opportunities for easy, convenient money.”

Lee says that her organization has not heard back from Chancellor Carol Christ and is assuming they never will.

A Berkeley spokesman said that the Coalition’s claims “are unfortunately based on the baseless and completely erroneous assumption that this University is planning to use racial quotas as part of its admission process.”

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities itself states that five of the University of California’s 10 campuses—Irvine, Merced, Riverside, Santa Cruz, and Santa Barnbara—are already "Hispanic Serving Institutions."

Meanwhile, 15 of California State University’s 23 campuses are also "Hispanic serving," according to the Association.