A&M Celebrates 25th Place, but Why?

In early March, the Batt celebrated Texas A&M’s ranking
number 25 for the enrollment of

Hispanic women. There
were quotes about the attractiveness of the campus,
etc. But what’s to

celebrate? For Texas A&M, a
ranking of 25th demonstrates an obvious failure.
Here’s a letter

to the editor that did not get
published this week: “When considering the significance of

enrollments by
race and ethnicity, raw numbers are never enough. For example, Texas A&M ranks 25th

in total enrollment for Hispanic women (1,479). But Texas A&M is the fourth largest university in the

nation (according to the College of Science), serving a state that is 32 percent Hispanic (according to

the 2000 Census Bureau). So why does Texas A&M not rank at least among the top four universities when

it comes to total enrollment of Hispanic women?

“When Texas A&M ranks eighth in the

nation for total
women enrollment and fourth in the nation for granting degrees to women of all

races and ethnicities (Batt Mar. 3), the rank of 25th for Hispanic women
enrollment actually

demonstrates a strong continuing
tendency toward white privilege.”

So what needs to

be explained is not the success of
Texas A&M’s ranking among Hispanic women, but its
failure.

Why are more not choosing A&M. How safe do they really feel?

**********

I circulated the above note to some faculty at Texas A&M and

received one response. In reply, I wrote the following:

Thanks for the note…. It

sent me looking a
little deeper into the stats. And thanks for saying
you appreciate these

emails.

We agree that the raw number, 25th place, is not by
itself sufficient for

celebration. Your note helps to
refine the questions that need to be answered before
we start

presuming that 25th place is an obvious mark
of success.

If we take 21% as a standard

percent (actual 2000
Hispanic enrollment in public colleges statewide) then
we would be looking

for ten percent Hispanic women,
but the total for Hispanic women reported by the Batt
(1,479) is

far off that mark.

http://txsdc.tamu.edu/pubsrep/pubs/txchalcog/cogtab7-

09.txt

As for your crucial question, what can we do to ensure
success, I agree that

it is a crucial question.
Meanwhile the question of what counts for excellence
in enrollment

remains answered. 25th place is not
excellent for A&M. Half a loaf is still half a loaf,
even

if it ranks 25th in the nation.

cheers,
Greg

Moses

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