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Minorities and College

January 17, 1988

I would like to thank you and Smith for the article. It helped me to better understand the racism that I thought prevailed at New England colleges only.

In September I transferred from Claremont McKenna College to Smith College and withdrew from Smith after one month for personal reasons. I am not a minority student; however, the tense racial atmosphere at Smith has been weighing heavily in my decision to return or not to return to the college. For example, an associate professor of Afro-American Studies is leaving Smith mainly because of the "manner in which the college has begun to deal with Smith becoming a truly welcoming community."

After reading your article and talking with friends at other schools, I am aware that racism exists on most predominately white campuses--even at Berkeley, Stanford and UCLA which have greater percentages of minority students than most American colleges! I realize that I cannot escape racism by choosing not to return to Smith. Perhaps, like George Sanchez at Harvard, my presence there, can, in a small way, help to change a divided world.

KRISTY ARMSTRONG

Newbury Park

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