Guest Blog Alexa Jordan ’13 RCS Admitted Rebuttal

 

I don’t think that ‘Admitted, but Left Out’ painted a well rounded picture of minority students’ experiences in private schools. The article didn’t spotlight any students of color who feel secure socially, or who are trying to bridge the gap between students of different ethnicities. Despite this fact, I definitely agreed with many of the article’s points, such as the glossy pictures of multicultural students displayed all over admissions brochures that are in stark contrast to a school’s day-to-day social scene. 

A lot of significant issues were held up that I, as a private school student of color, see happening every day. Yet, the article didn’t focus on efforts being made to resolve some of these problems, and again to bridge the gaps. Such solutions weren’t  published in the New York Times; only the problems were. What about the citywide Diversity Awareness Initiative for Students (DAIS)? What about diversity organizations at the private schools themselves? 

As I read through ‘Admitted, but Left Out’, I reflected on the fact that the Black Students’ Association at Riverdale Country School, a predominantly white school in Riverdale, is solely made up of white and black boys (except for the two Black female co-heads), who are always enthusiastic and truly dedicated to discussing race issues every other Wednesday. After only our second meeting, one of our members- a white freshman boy- came up to me looking distressed and asked “why can’t we have this activity every week?”

I don’t disagree with anything stated in this article, and greatly appreciate the students who shared their experiences. I hope that their experiences of struggle continue to be shared so that schools can keep improving not only diversity, but their efforts to make multicultural students feel included once they are admitted. I just wish that the article would have included the experiences of students with more positive experiences, or spotlighted schools that are really dedicated to starting discussions about topics that are often neglected- from stereotypes to race divisions in the lunchroom. 

“Admitted but Left Out” ‘s biggest fault is that it mainly focuses on problems in New York private schools, and not the numerous really great efforts to address them, or even problems that may have already been resolved. I wouldn’t have liked the article, however,  if it read like a positive story with a happy ending; New York private schools aren’t anywhere near the end of solving issues surrounding diversity. It will always be a work in progress.

I think that the most significant part of the article and the related issue was the end of the last sentence:  …”get people to think about how little they think about it.”

Alexa Jordan

Black Students’ Association, Co-Chair

Riverdale Country School

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