Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Black students file discrimination complaint vs. UM

3. February 2006 • David Boyle
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See in today’s Free Press, “Group files discrimination complaint against University of Michigan: Students say African-Americans don’t get fair treatment”,

“A group of black students at the University of Michigan has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights claiming that African-American students are recruited to graduate and undergraduate programs at the university to inflate enrollment numbers but are not given enough academic counseling or financial support to allow them to graduate.

Black graduate students are abused and demoralized, told they are not PhD material and advised that their best option is to leave after completing master’s level requirements, the 13 students, known as the Coalition for Action Against Racism and Discrimination say in the complaint.

...U-M spokeswoman Julie Peterson said officials had not yet seen the complaint. She declined to comment on the students’ individual situations, siting [sic] privacy laws.

University President Mary Sue Coleman sent three of the students letters on Jan. 17 saying she was working with other officials to resolve their concerns, Peterson said. ...”

  1. I don’t know much about the facts of each student’s individual case, but I can tell you that this is very bad timing to be filing a lawsuit against Univ. of Michigan.

    For 2006, all of our efforts in the black community in Michigan needs to be on preventing the passage of the so called “Michigan Civil Rights Initiative” which will totally ban affirmative action in education, government employment and government contracting if it passes. Most likely, private employers will also abandon affirmative action in MI if the Michigan Civil Rights Iniative passes, so it will be a major step backwards for Civil Rights if passed.

    Something else to remember is that (at this critical time) it is not a good idea to tick off the University of Michigan. Univ. of Michigan has been a strong supporter of affirmative action programs and spent millions defending affirmative action at the US Supreme Court back in 2003. You don’t want to tick off or alienate an ally in the battle over affirmative action.

    Please visit my website at to find out how affirmative action opponents have been misleading the country for several years on race relations and have been purposely not telling the public about facts of the anti-affirmative action cases that make the cases frivolous.
    – Harold Hunter Jr, Esq
       —Harold Hunter Jr, Esq.    Feb. 5 '06 - 07:53PM    #
  2. See today’s Daily Coalition accuses ‘U’ of racism: Group says University lures black students in an effort to boost statistics, then fails to give them adequate support to succeed ,

    “A new campus coalition is charging the University with racism and discrimination against blacks.

    The group, called the Coalition for Action Against Racism and Discrimination, filed a formal complaint with the United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights last week.

    In the coalition’s statement to OCR, Engineering master’s student Simeon Anderson, who authored the statement, said black students are often recruited into doctorate programs to boost minority enrollment statistics, but encounter discrimination after they are persuaded to sign on.

    ...University spokeswoman Julie Peterson said she could not comment on individual students’ situations because of federal privacy laws, but she said the University has not yet received a formal notification of the charges.

    “The University is committed to increasing the participation of women and minorities in our graduate programs, and we work very hard to remove barriers for these students, who remain underrepresented in many areas of graduate study,” Peterson said in an e-mail interview.

    The 13-member coalition formed over the past two months. Members come from all levels at the University, including undergraduates, graduate students and professors, Anderson said.

    ...”This is a full assault on the African-American community,” he said.

    In the complaint, the coalition says the University’s admissions policy creates a false impression and serves as “a veil for the University behind which the racism cesspool thrives.”

    “It is not uncommon for students of color to experience misguidance in graduate programs,” the coalition said. “We are often intentionally misinformed, misled and given promises which are unfulfilled.”

    According to Anderson, five students have completed a formal complaint with the OCR, and as many as 12 are expected to follow suit.

    The OCR is in the process of reviewing the complaint and is expected to decide whether it will launch an investigation into the allegations within the next 30 days, spokesman David Thomas said.

    Thomas said if the claims are accepted, the specifics of each case will determine the course of the investigation.

    ...He said he was referred to several of the University’s conflict resolution services and offices as well as to interim Engineering Dean Ronald Gibala, but Anderson said he either received no response to his complaints or found the response insufficient.

    “They don’t do anything,” Anderson said.

    Peterson said University President Mary Sue Coleman responded to three students’s complaints in a personal letter dated Jan. 17.

    Anderson said the University’s response was inadequate and that Coleman only responded to his concerns after he had taken his complaints to the press.

    ...The coalition also sent copies of its complaint to the Council of Higher Education, civil rights leaders Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton, and the American Civil Liberties Union, among others. ...”
       —David Boyle    Feb. 8 '06 - 05:24PM    #