Watch: Students Call Out UCLA For Lack of Diversity

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African American students at the University of California, Los Angeles, took to the internet last week to send a strong message about diversity, or the lack there of, at their institution.

The group of students, led by Sy Stokes, posted a video voicing their concerns at the startling statistics about the university’s diversity issue. According to the video, black males only make up 3.3% of UCLA’s student population with 65% of those black males being undergraduate student athletes. Of the last incoming freshman class, only 1.9% were African American. Stokes feels this lack of representation leads to the low retention rate amongst African American males at UCLA, the graduation rate of African American males is only 74%, saying that he almost dropped out due to feeling isolated and uncomfortable on campus.

In an email statement to the school paper, the vice-chancellor of student enrollment, Janina Montero, had this to say regarding the school’s diversity issues:

“We certainly recognize that the low numbers of African Americans and other underrepresented students on campus does lead to a sense of isolation and invisibility. It is difficult to eliminate this painful imbalance without considering race in the admissions process.”

Since the state of California voted down affirmative action in 1996 and passed Proposition 209, banning state schools from considering gender, age, race, ethnicity, or nation of origin in the admission process, black student enrollment has significantly decreased.

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