While the number of African American students being accepted at UC Berkeley hasn’t declined, the number of students choosing to enroll has; recent reports show in 2006 – 2010, nearly 58% of Black students admitted to CAL ultimately do not attend the school.
Such reports further address the lack of diversity on CAL’s campus and raises questions as to what is being done to counteract it.
But for Rasheed Shabazz, a recent CAL Graduate and now visiting scholar working to establish a Black news publication on the campus, the results aren’t alarming.
“Some of the reasons why black students are choosing other colleges and universities is because of the anti-black climate that exists on campus,” said Shabazz.
He noted the students Republican group Bake sale that sold items based upon race, having blacks pay the lowest amount or the recent hanging of a zombie on campus that resembled a lynching.
While both events garnered local and some national coverage, there are even more issues that go unnoticed, says Shabazz.
In recent weeks, CAL administrators have been under fire after other reports reveal that Black athletes are less likely to graduate than their white counterparts, suggesting that Black athletes are primarily recruited for their athletic splendor and to meet diversity standards.
“People always asked if I am a student here. People presume I am an athlete,” he added. “People operate on stereotypes.”
Ultimately, the lack of black enrollment at CAL stems to the lack of outreach given to Black students, according to Shabazz.
With a large majority of admits coming from the community college system, more resources and support is needed to prepare those students for CAL or other colleges and out-of-state universities would get their attention.