UC Berkeley struggles with Black student admissions

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- One of the most diverse universities in the nation, also has one of the lowest number of African American students. Blacks represent only 3 percent of undergraduate students at UC Berkeley.

The Black Student Union is asking that the university make institutional changes to attract and retain more students.

"You could go around campus and not see anyone that looks like me for the whole day and that's really disheartening," said Saaleha Bey, a Berkeley student.

Here's part of the breakdown of students at UC Berkeley:

The Black Student Union has met with the UC's chancellor to discuss ways to attract and retain more African American students.

"A lot of students that apply to Berkeley get in and choose to go to different school, different top universities because they feel they will be better welcomed and received at those institutions," explained Cori McGowen, also a student.

The California voter-approved Proposition 209 banned race-based admissions, as well outreach.

Since then Cal, has seen the number of African Americans decline.

In this letter to the Black Student Union, the chancellor acknowledges "broader representation" is needed and outlines some of the goals to recruit and retain African American students.

"Institutional change is coming. The details are coming. The details we need to work out through collaboration, cooperation because we know we can't do it as a result of administrative dictate," said Dan Mogulof, a UC Berkeley spokesperson.

One of the demands made by the Black Student Union is to have a center where they can meet and socialize and invite potential students. Right now, they have a small office called the Black Recruitment and Retention Center.

"To have a center devoted to students who feel marginalized and just excluded from campus so we can have meetings and a safe space," said McGowen.

The students are also asking that they meet every semester with the chancellor. Something this administration may agree is needed.
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