A video sent to underrepresented minorities may have increased minority enrollment, but some think the University has practiced discrimination with their soliciting.
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions sent out welcome videos this year to underrepresented minorities who were accepted to the University. Minority enrollment is up from last year’s low numbers, according to Chris Lucier, associate director of undergraduate admissions, even though the full set of official enrollment data is not yet available because it has not been fully compiled.
Lucier said the video and other methods used this year increased minority enrollment. Two different videos were sent out in late March to all admitted underrepresented minorities – one catering to prospective LSA students and one to prospective Engineering students. Each video featured a professor from the respective school welcoming the student, listing the University’s programs and showing some features of the University. At the end of each video, the professor encouraged the student to attend Spring Welcome Day, an event for minority students to get acclimated at the University and learn more about what opportunities are available.
“After the video went out over that weekend, (Spring Welcome Day) registration went up astronomically,” Lucier said.
Lucier added that the rate of enrollment was much higher for students who attended Spring Welcome Day than those who did not. By the time the decision to send out videos had been made, it was too late to be able to send videos to all admitted students, so the University decided to only send them to admitted underrepresented minorities, Lucier said.
“We really wanted to try to target underrepresented minorities. We knew that was a group that we really wanted to reach out to,” Lucier said.
As for next year, Lucier said the Office of Undergraduate Admissions hoped to expand video sending to all admitted students.
LSA senior Brian Lundin said he thought sending videos to selected students was outrageous.
“But sadly, I have come to expect such conduct from an administration so out of touch as our own,” he said.