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Letters to the Editor

Nov. 7, 1997

Minority applicants not declining

The article on affirmative action and the decline in enrollment of minorities in medical schools enraged me when I read it. The article makes one think that the enrollment of minorities is declining because less minorities are applying. The main reason for the decline in minorities in the 1997 enrollment class is the decline in the number of acceptances for minorities, not the number of students applying. There is no way to convince me that close to one year after the Hopwood case and the onset of Prop. 209 that there is any other reason, simply because not enough time has passed for minorities to be discouraged.

I can only assume from the article that medical schools want to increase the number of minorities that enter medical schools. If this is the case, then either re-implement affirmative action or come up with more programs targeted for minorities. Here is a suggestion for those schools, such as Baylor, that lack the initiative to help minorities: create a medical minority affairs office to inform students of medical programs and those benefits left for minorities. If minority students know more about medical school and programs that are designed to help them, it is more likely that they will apply.

Colleges, universities, law schools and medical schools are supposed to reflect the diversity of the communities around them. This is because people are more likely to go back to the community from which they came after they graduate from school. African-American, Hispanic, Asian and other minority communities will have a decline in their health care needs if something is not done to increase minority enrollment in medical schools. An African-American, Hispanic or Asian physician is more likely to help his or her own community than a Caucasian physician. And that is the bottom line.

Melissa Bell

M.A. Biology '98

Breaks lower stress levels

In response to Dr. Christian's assertion that Baylor students should not be given a fall break, I must first concede that in theory, he is correct in believing that students would be under less stress and less in need of a fall break if they would 'simplify life ... reduce unnecessary commitments and ... get more sleep.' However, Dr. Christian's belief is not the reality for most Baylor students. Sure, I would probably have a slight decrease in my stress level if I cut out all extracurricular activities, but I firmly believe that being involved in activities outside of class is an important part of the complete college experience, and I think that many students would agree with me.

The majority of my stress is, obviously, due to the workload in my classes. I would appreciate a day or two off to simply catch up on my assignments. Some other students would use the break as a time to visit family or to just rest. Is this so much to ask? I should think that some professors would like a short break to rest and catch up on their work and grading. Although I respect Dr. Christian's opinion and his position at Baylor, he must remember that though the academic aspect of college is by far the most important, it is not the only reason we are here (remember the Welcome Week wheel?). I know that I personally feel better after Thanksgiving and spring break because I am rested, and I find that I'm able to concentrate more on my studies. I am disappointed that a professor would view students' opinions with the condescending attitude that Dr. Christian seems to have, and I sincerely hope that he does not speak for the faculty as a whole.

Melissa Bearden

English/Political Science '98

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