Engineering equity

CAMPUS ISSUES: The UC Berkeley College of Engineering displays great initiative in its efforts to increase diveristy among students.

While receiving negative press is a destabilizing experience, what follows doesn’t have to be. After the UC Berkeley College of Engineering was spotlighted in an October 2011 California Watch article that uncovered sexism in its male-dominated student culture, the school has made a heartening start toward a more diverse student body.

The college should be commended for the speed at which it has identified problems and pushed solutions that increase the representation of both women and underrepresented minorities in its programs.

By creating an associate dean of equity and inclusion — a position specifically focused on recruiting and retaining students from all backgrounds — the college has proven that it has a long-term intention to address the issue.

A strategy that focuses on the recruitment of people from diverse backgrounds, as the college is already undertaking with its initiatives that target K-12 students, must continue to be a focus under the new dean, Oscar Dubon. Every student at the college should already feel equality of opportunity when they are admitted, but getting there can be a mighty challenge in and of itself. Yes, recruitment is only one part of the issue, but the path to a Berkeley engineering degree must be marked by inroads visible to all potential students.

Only time can tell how successful the College of Engineering will be in promoting the diversity and equity of people who form its community, but the genuine concern its administrators have displayed demonstrates their commitment to remedying those problems.

Berkeley’s engineers must continue to lead the way toward progress and solutions without dwelling indefinitely on what’s broken. In the end, excellence is sacrificed when opportunity is not afforded to all.

We must remember, though, that new deans and recruiting programs do not themselves make up for a lack of diversity on campus, but serve simply as a good beginning to be maintained and elaborated upon.

Only time can tell how successful the College of Engineering will be in promoting the diverstiy of people who form its community, but the genuine concern its administrators have displayed demonstrates their commitment to remedying those problems.

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  • Ambrosia

    While the court process is just beginning for the sheriff, he has already made some questionable comments that throw up some red flags, such as the outdated sentiment that domestic violence is “a private matter, a family matter.”
    ….this is really a repulsive lie, but quite typical of left wing hysteria mills. The sheriff, who has not been tried and allegations against whom have been denied by his wife and associates, spoke of his own situation as one misconstrued and taken out of context by a combination of sensationalist media and political opposition. He then stated that his family situation, totally misunderstood by knee-jerk public scrutiny, is a “private matter, a family matter.”

    Whether the sheriff’s version of events is true or not, it is absolutely ridiculous to say that he said anything remotely close to “Domestic violence is a private matter,” like this is some drunken redneck in 1930s Alabama we’re talking about. That’s not a distortion, it’s an out and out LIE. 

  • Jjjj

    to you guys below: making an effort to include underrepresented minorites does NOT weaken the program or lower standards. having a safe and accepting environment for ALL people, not just white males, should be a priority.
    can you just take a minute to step out of your privilege and look at the bigger picture? there is a reason why these groups are underrepresented and it has nothing to do with competence, rather with the privilege that white males are/have been awarded by society for centuries.

    PS i’m a woman and minority in engineering and this attitude you guys below have is one of the things that needs to be changed within these departments.

    • Adsahjh

      Most people in engineering are Asians, not whites, you fucking idiot.

      • Jeremy Lin all the wayyy

        Asians… the minority group that made it into the big leagues :) …yay for Jeremy Lin and his Palo Alto High School supporters.

        • ShadrachSmith

          Harvard also claims Lin. There are almost daily articles in the Harvard Crimson claiming him as theirs.

    • Guest

      White males, in the engineering department? Wow you should go visit an engineering class. This isn’t the 1950′s anymore and we aren’t living in Alabama. The privileges that come with being a white male in todays society are overblown by people like you.

      I think this has less to do with increasing diversity and more do with an increasing trend of white racism among leftist minorities

    • Stan de SD

       Well, pardon me for thinking that engineering students should be admitted on the basis of MERIT as opposed to skin color, you whiny racist. I’m SO sorry that people of your racial group are “underrepresented”.  Ever consider that a little less  time spend on self-pity and more time studying might help?

  • guest

    Equal oportuniy for All! 
    Oh wait we have that already, THERE IS NO BIAS IN THE APPLICATION PROCESS!!

    Dumbass Libs demand equal representation, this is NOT equality it is discrimination and affirmative action. I can’t wait till all the newly admitted LESS QUALIFIED minorities start getting jobs building public buildings/bridges. 

    Berkeley will no longer be #1 if it compromizes its high standards in its pursuit of equal representation

  • LAWLS

    “Hey guys I have a great idea! We’re currently experiencing a budget crisis and need to maintain the reputation of our engineering program. So let’s spend money to reach out to students with lower qualifications! Yeah! That makes sense!”

    • Stan de SD

       Welcome to Liberalism 101. As Dr. Thomas Sowell once pointed out, liberalism is based on replacing what works with what sounds good and makes people feel better.

  • ShadrachSmith

    What the College of Engineering should do is produce good engineers. 

    That there are few women, and fewer babes in the College of Engineering was a heart-breaking fact-of-life in the College of Engineering long before you were born. There is statistical evidence to suggest that this problem is endemic to the nature of the study of engineering, and not soluble by any methods that conform with the goal of producing good engineers. The higher the academic standards, the better the engineer.

    So, we have two options regarding the College of Engineering, and they are:

    1) Leave the engineers to suffer their lonely-heartbreak in peace, or
    2) Harass them till they give up on the goal of producing good engineers.

    Democrats are required to choose #2.

    An alternative would be for women’s organizations to schedule mixers with the College of Engineering. You want a big house? Marry a really smart nerd.

  • Klrhodes

    The vote of confidence is heartening. Now, the ball is in the college’s court to deliver real results.