UCSD situation needs proactive response
By Lina Delbruck
UCSD student, Del Mar resident
Ethnic diversity at UCSD is marginal at best; minority groups like blacks and Native Americans represent a very small portion of the total student population. After recent disturbing incidents on and off campus, I began to contemplate why these things happened and what could be done to prevent these hurtful events.
UCSD should be a bridge across cultural divides, not an ivory tower on one side of the economic equation. I realized that the educational experience at UCSD is missing a big slice of historical and cultural experience, reinforcing racial stereotypes that often come about from lack of experience with diverse ethnic groups.
I decided to start Multicultural Coexistence to take a proactive role in promoting harmony and understanding among people of diverse backgrounds. Our goal is to promote diversity at UCSD not through affirmative action, but through access to supplemental resources for underrepresented students. This will help level the academic playing field. We will provide free tutoring to students from underfunded public high schools in San Diego, regular tours of the UCSD campus and presentations to show students that they can graduate from a top university.
The increasing cost of education at UCSD will result in fewer minorities being able to attend this great school, and other campuses that promote higher education. Multicultural Coexistence aims to arrange scholarships for those qualified students who will ultimately change the negative stereotypes that have hounded previous generations. Donating to a student has multiple benefits: not only helping them to become independent, functional members of society, but also to reduce future racial strife by countering the ignorant stereotypes about people from poor economic backgrounds.
If, for our children’s sake, we would like to leave behind us a world less divided by prejudice and debilitating stereotypes, we must reach out to those hard-working students with potential. Those bright young students from disadvantaged families who have made it to here (admission to UCSD) should have the chance to finish what they strived so diligently toward, to become part of the next generation of scientists, engineers and lawyers.
Access to a world of knowledge can allow a motivated student to leap all the hurdles to an advanced degree, and a better life for themselves, their families, and the rest of us. I hope you will help us take the initiative to make this opportunity available to the young people who are our future.