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OPINION | LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Academics, Not Race, Is the Cal Poly Agenda

March 24, 2004

Re "Diversity Lagging at Cal Poly," March 21: I am a little confused. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has rigid academic standards and admits its students on the basis of grade-point averages and test scores only. Am I supposed to feel some sort of moral outrage?

The University of California system uses some sort of wishy-washy, feely-goody type of standards that are anti-intellectual and probably illegal -- but kinda, sorta please civil rights lawyers? The worse for them, the better for schools like Cal Poly that call it like it is.

David N. Cook

Oxnard

Buried in your article is some interesting, explanatory fine print. The Central Coast area in which Cal Poly is located has a low black population. Cal Poly has a colorblind admissions policy, but few minorities apply. Asian applicants are accepted at about the same rate as white applicants. Black students and faculty such as Charise Cheney complain about the lack of black students and the scarcity of local services catering to their needs but actively discourage other blacks to attend. Then they complain that there are not enough blacks and black-oriented services. Though Asian students are accepted at the same rate as whites, they do not attend at the same rate. Why?

John Caulfield

Garden Grove

It is time to stop classifying Americans by race, color or creed. I find your attempt to degrade Cal Poly by suggesting it lacks diversity distasteful. It is a good school and should be an example for many others. I recommend you grade Cal Poly by the quality of its graduates. You will find that it produces good, hardworking, productive citizens helping to make this country great.

Al Yackle

Woodland Hills

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