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Smittcamp Honors College students are a small percentage of the university, but their presence and access to resources for success are immense compared to those of the average Fresno State student. When comparing the honor’s students to the general student body, ethnic and economic imbalance is evident.

Honors program lacks diversity


Michael Uribes / The Collegian

Smittcamp Honors College students are a small percentage of the university, but their presence and access to resources for success are immense compared to those of the average Fresno State student. When comparing the honor’s students to the general student body, ethnic and economic imbalance is evident.

“I’m going to be able to graduate debt free, and I don’t need to get any loans,” Kaitlin Morgan, a second year Smittcamp student, said. “It’s a nice relief to not have to worry about financial costs.”

Hector Cerda, a Fresno State graduate student, is currently working two jobs to pay for his graduate degree. He said that the lack of economic and ethnic diversity within Smittcamp proves that institutionalized racism is present.

“There is no income verification [on the application],” Smittcamp Director Honora Howell Chapman said. “There is nothing about what is your ethnicity, what is your family’s income.”

Applicants are not considered for the program based upon their economic standing but strictly on academic achievements, Chapman said.

Every year, Smittcamp accepts 50 new students from different California high schools, out of state and sometimes even out the country. Because the scholarship is only given for eight semesters, 50 students leave the program and 50 students are accepted every year.

In fall of 2010, 647 students applied for the 50 positions available. Of the selected applications, the average GPA is 3.92 (4.19 weighted GPA) and the average SAT score is 1918 out of a maximum possible score of 2400.

In the fall of 2009, Fresno State had 21,500 students. Of these 5.3 percent were black, and 33.7 were Hispanic and 34.8 were white.

That same year, 66 percent of the 50 students accepted into Smittcamp were white, and 10 percent Hispanic and one black and two students were Asian-Indian.

That same year, Smittcamp had 552 applicants, with 56.7 percent being white, 19.3 Hispanic, .014 African American and 13.7 Asian Indian.

According to research studies published on the Fresno State website, in 2008, 58 percent of students’ families had a household income of $72,000 or more. The years’ statistics showed that only 5.2 percent of the families of students accepted to honor programs such as Smittcamp had a household income of less than $24,000 per year.

According to the Smittcamp Honors College website, the program has 200 students who, because of their academic achievements, are granted free in-state tuition scholarship, a stipend for a laptop and its accessories, on-campus housing, free parking, small classes of 25 students or less in all honors courses with prestigious university professors, access to the Honors College Office resources like copiers and fax machines and more.

Smittcamp students also have regular interaction with university president John Welty and attend a welcome event and an annual Christmas party at his university home.

Students like Morgan also get priority registrations. “I don’t really have to worry about getting my classes, which is very nice especially in this kind of climate.”

“If households are more successful financially, their children do appear to do better in school,” Chapman said. “That is a terrible trend. That means that all the high schools that are serving the poorest students, they are facing this uphill battle of trying to increase the success of students who are fighting against odds.”

Cerda, who interns at Students for Quality Education and a former Outreach Services employee, wonders why Smittcamp does not have more ethnic and economic diversity.

“If you can acknowledge and identify that there is an issue, then there is also a problem in being able to identify it and not being able to solve the issue,” he said.

Despite concern about fair representation, many students, faculty and administrators believe that Fresno State needs these 200 students.

“I think it’s good for the university to have role models like that who are motivated and succeeding so that other students can strive for similar things,” Morgan said.

But Chapman admitted honor students receiving benefits need to contribute more financially.

“If there are students receiving benefits on campus that are not available to other students and their households meet financial aid criteria for participating fully in the payment of tuition, then they probably should pay tuition.”

“They should give other people the opportunities that are smart as well, but they just don’t have the money,” Fresno State student Isaura Olmos said.

“I know a lot of people sometimes pre-judge us thinking we just have everything handed out to us but we had to work really hard in high school to get the scholarship, and we still have a GPA we have to maintain,” Morgan said.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps I’m reading this wrong, but you seem to be arguing that the Honors College is an institution of racism because they are completely and utterly blind to race in their application process. Did I catch that right?

    • Anonymous

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_blindness_(race)#Criticism_of_color_blindness

      that’s the “dummies guide” to color-blind racism. let me know if you need a more “academic” (lolll) sources (ex. all the sources cited in the wiki page)

      • Anonymous

        I don’t think anyone is trying to ignore diversity’s importance or use “color-blindness” as an excuse for privilege and racism (in response to what the Wiki article said).

        The problem begins LONG before Smittcamp applications. It begins in how all different races are educated in elementary and high school. It begins in childrens’ homes and the impact their parents or guardians have on encouraging their hard work and education. It begins on what schools are active in searching out amazing programs like the one being discussed. The problem doesn’t start at Smittcamp.

        Did 100 African Americans apply for Smittcamp and one get in? No. That is not the case at all, just “good” journalism distorts statistics and makes it look that way. Unfortunately for the author, she’s writing about 200 of the most academically rooted students on campus – you’re not going to slip by in the shadows with your false information. Overall, for who applies, and still not looking at race, Smittcamp still accepts a diverse population.

        I’d love it if the author had stated information on more than one year of applicants accepted in determining diversity and discrimination (although, as we can see, her addition isn’t the best on that image, anyway).

      • Anonymous

        What is your point invernessfalls? Are you arguing in favor of affirmative action on a merit based scholarship?! You make me laugh. The fact that the Smittcamp application process is color blind shows that it wants purely the best candidates regardless of race. If a majority of these happen to be white, then so be it. If you are unhappy with this, you need to point to the source not Smittcamp. Yes there are socioeconomic issues at play, but blaming Smittcamp for them is ridiculous.

      • Anonymous

        So according to you, the Honors College’s only reason for not asking the applicant’s ethnicity is so that they can secretly hide their deeply racist agenda and avoid accusations of racism?

        Not only is that idea far-fetched, but it would also require that the selection committee be made up of a uniform group of people of the same race and socioeconomic background that could therefore point out those applicants that didn’t fit into their club (according to the conditions in your source). The fact remains that the selection committee is actually made up of a diverse group of individuals of all different backgrounds who judge the applications based on academic and personal achievements.

        I appreciate the fact that you included a source in your reply, but your argument is still invalid.

  • Anonymous

    There are 50 students in the freshman class. What happened to the other six? Also, I’d be interested to know where your standards of racial classification are derived from…as a member of the freshman Smittcamp class I can absolutely testify that your statistics are incorrect.

  • Students should not be punished because their parents were successful. Just because their Parents are successful does not mean that the children will be successful. One of my friends is from a well off family from the upper-middle class, but he stands in line at the financial aid office every semester to get his loans because his parents feel he should pay for his tuition. It is nice to see that there is a scholarship out there that is not based on financial need or race.

  • Anonymous

    I’d like to point out that it simply does not follow that because there is a “lack of economic and ethnic diversity within Smittcamp…institutionalized racism is present”. Also, all actual evidence and reasoning outside of a couple misinformed students’ opinions points to the Honors College being colorblind. When I started this semester as a Freshman Smittcamp scholar, I found that I had 50 new friends, no, family members who were all from different backgrounds. I’ve learned so much from the sheer diversity of the individuals. If you are searching for racism, do not look to those who accept one another regardless of where they come from. Look to those who keep racism alive by pointing out colors to the colorblind.

  • Anonymous

    re: your last line—

    socioeconomic status and race are not unrelated categories.

    according to http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparebar.jsp?ind=6&cat=1 (and really, check any source you’d like here, the differences aren’t going to be substantial), even though people identifying as black or hispanic make up 28% of the population of the US, they make up 69% of those living in poverty in the US. meanwhile, 65% of the population of the US is white, whereas only 13% of those living in poverty are white. if “socioeconomic status” operated completely independent from race, wouldn’t we see a more equal distribution of poverty by race? (ie. 65% of those living in poverty are white; 12% black; 16% hispanic)

    • Anonymous

      Factors are intertwined, absolutely, but socioeconomic factor is a stronger predictor of academic success than is ethnicity. Poor people have worse schools because the tax base is smaller, and if we want to get into historical reasons for current socioeconomic demographic makeup, of course, there are historical injustices that have left an ugly mark on this and every country.

      But I think you’re taking my point and running in a different direction. I didn’t say “socioeconomic status operate[s] completely independent from race”. You made that assertion, not I, and then felt compelled to dispel it by quoting hypothetical percentages.

      My last point is that if you are poor, you are likely to have a shorter life, less access to medical and quality medical care, less access to education and quality education. If you disagree….

  • Anonymous

    This article has a really bad argument. As stated, how can a scholarship that does not ask for ethnicity or income be racist? Also, I don’t think that intelligence and income go hand in hand, not all people who have money are smart, and all people who don’t have money are dumb, some of the smartest people I know that went to amazing colleges, came from every low income homes.
    Coming from a NON-Smittcamp student, it is important to remind ourselves that those people work hard for their grades that got them into that scholarship. I mean yeah it sucks for people who don’t have it but that’s what high school work gets you. Plus, if your family doesn’t make much money, your more likely to get a lot more financial aid, The people I know that struggle the most are not people from lower income families, but middle class families who’s parents make enough for them to live and pay bills, but don’t have enough to send their kids to college.

  • Anonymous

    There are indeed Cuban and Puerto Rican students in the Freshman class alone…if I were them I would be offended at being lumped into the category of “Mexican-American,” just as I am offended that this author calls every other student besides those listed “White.”

  • Anonymous

    As a Smittcamp student, I am personally repelled by the implications of this article, which are based off the testimony of a commentator with no authority on the subject (Hector Cerda).

    As an ex-high school newspaper editor, I am embarrassed by its errors, which have been pointed out in previous comments and are so evident that they do not warrant repetition.

    As an appreciator of logic, I am amazed that you can at once accept the fact that “There is no income verification [on the application],” Smittcamp Director Honora Howell Chapman said. “There is nothing about what is your ethnicity, what is your family’s income.” and at the same time assert that Smittcamp harbors institutionalized racism.

    As a Fresno State student, I am ashamed that such a poor piece of journalism is considered front page news.

  • How dare you call this scholarship racist? We are so grateful that this program exists. Why would you insult the people who have given our school and our community so much?

    Minority students are not the only population in need of financial support. I could not have afforded to go to college if it was not for this scholarship. I am now finishing the final years of my Ph.D. program at Penn State. I had many jobs in high school and college to support my education, and I was far from privileged growing up. This scholarship allowed me to focus more on my school work, participate in campus activities, and give back to my school in every way possible. Fresno State already has many scholarships for minority students and women – McNair, COR-NIMH (in previous years), and the Tokalon scholarship are just a few examples. Smittcamp students are required to do community service, and many students volunteer at minority serving organizations in the community.

    I am extremely disappointed by this article.

  • Anonymous

    How is the selection committee for Smittcamp supposed to know the race of the applicant when it is not stated on the application? How, therefore, is Smittcamp to be blamed for “selecting” more of one race than another?

    A scholarship that selects recipients based on merit, selects students based on their merit…not race or socioeconomic status. DUH. So, what was the purpose of this article?

    • Anonymous

      +1

  • This article was muddled with what I call “Band Logic”.

  • Anonymous

    I think it is also worth pointing out that this Hector Cerda writes for the Collegian as his name is on the front page of the Hispanic supplement today. Ms. Mendoza clearly did not do her job as a reporter and get an accurate pulse of the public, but rather just staid home to find someone that agreed with her. Excellent job Ms. Mendoza. I can’t wait to see you on the evening news!

  • Anonymous

    Once again the achievements of the few are viewed as suspect due to the socially progressive ideology of the liberal media. As an upper-middle class, white father of a Smittcamp student, I am not surprised by this article, but I am nonetheless disappointed by it. My daughter obtained this opportunity because her parents instilled in her values that suggest that those who work hard and achieve will be rewarded for said hard work, and that one will not be entitled to anything because of race, creed or color.

    The application process is, as stated, actually quite blind to the very “inequities” cited in your article. I am growing most tired of having to apologize for the success of myself and my daughter. I was the first to graduate college in my family and I paid for my education for 11 years after graduation. For my daughter to obtain an undergraduate degree without that burden because she worked harder than the majority of her classmates, regardless of their race or ethnicity, is not something she should have to apologize for either.

    These 200 students represent the best of what this generation has to offer and deserve every free copy and and parking pass they get. Thank God there are still institutions that understand that.

    • Anonymous

      First and foremost, Ana Mendoza has been a great asset to the Collegian and after being on this campus for over five years she has been the first writer to write about substantial student experiences rather than the vane superficial articles Collegian has been known to write. If it weren’t for her and some of their new freelance writers I would not be reading the Collegian.

      Now to those who are wealthy and white and believe that “one will not be entitled to anything because of race, creed or color” no one is telling you to feel guilty and apologize but realize that people ARE in fact entitled to many privileges because of race, gender, color, and sexuality. I ask that you please redo your research and look up Tim Wise and Peggy McIntosh on: WHITE PRIVILEGE and SYSTEMIC RACISM. White privilege and systemic racism isn’t a biased statement made by Hector it is a sad reality evident in most institutions of this country. From TV to our culturally-biased and incompetent schools.

      • Anonymous

        While I appreciate your hearty defense of the author, I never once slighted her, so you really needn’t have bothered.

        Furthermore, I indeed have read Tim Wise and Peggy McIntosh, so please kindly refrain from suggesting I “redo my research.” It is not my intention to deny that systemic racism and white privilege do exist. Of this I have no doubt. Wise and McIntosh discuss very thoroughly that privilege and systemic inequities are nationwide, and built into the very foundation of this country- though, I assure you, this “privilege” has never helped me in the sort of way progressive articles tend to suggest- nor has it helped my daughter.

        I am simply countering the statement that Smittcamp is an example of this systemic imbalance, or that it is personally responsible for proliferating this practice.

        The truth of the matter is that the Smittcamp program operates in order to give quality education to deserving students, regardless of phenotypical factors. If there are white students involved- which there are, though not nearly to the extent the erroneous article suggests- then it is because they have worked for it. No one looks at these students and rewards them for their “whiteness.”

        White privilege may exist, but it does not exist in the shape of the Smittcamp program.

  • Anonymous

    I would just like to say that I don’t believe that Smittcamp is a program built on racism.

    However there program acceptance is very bias. I know for a fact that they have students in the program that read and help in deciding who get into it, and that many of them help get their siblings or friends into the program over people with higher academic, extracurricular, and more community service.

    I am outraged by this, and feel like many students who deserve this scholarship are overlook some of the few stuck-up bias and corrupted smittcamp students who thinks they’ll just help their friend or sibling slip into the program with mediocre achievements.

    • Anonymous

      I would like to say that this is a gross misrepresentation of the admissions process. There are students involved in application screening, but they are not allowed to screen anyone who they know or whose relatives that can identify. This is strictly enforced, and any potential conflicts are avoided by assigning the application to a different reading team where the student does NOT know the applicant. If anyone involved thinks that a student might be favoring someone they know, that student could suffer some stringent consequences.

      It is true that over the years several siblings of scholars have also gotten the scholarship, but this is not because of bias on the part of the readers. The reason that they are successful likely has multiple parts, including the fact that siblings are far more likely to apply in the first place, are more likely to accept the scholarship when they get it, and they are more likely to get advice from someone who has currently gotten in. The siblings I know who got in had lists of achievements as impressive as any other scholar in the program. I also know several honors scholar’s siblings who applied and did NOT get in, including some who had multiple older siblings in the program.

      Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and I won’t believe some sort of conspiracy on the part of the honors college until I see it. Even if someone did conspire with a current student, you have no control over who reads your application, which are initially randomly split up among 12 or more reading teams. Unless you’re somehow accusing Dr. Chapman herself of bias?

    • Anonymous

      That is false. There is not a bias in the selection process. Students are actually not allowed to participate in reading applications and the selection process if they have a sibling applying that year. Also if you happen to know somebody applying then you aren’t allowed to review their application. There is a very good system in place in order to select the top 50 students each year.

    • Anonymous

      Firstly, sir/madam, I suggest that you proofread your comments before you humiliate yourself. Spell-check can be a very handy tool! Perhaps you should’ve gone over your essays one more time before you submitted your application!!

      Secondly, you need to understand the reading process before you make wild accusations of scholarly nepotism and kickbacks. In fact, honors readers who have friends that are applying are not allowed to read their friends applications at all. Students with siblings ARE NOT ALLOWED TO READ applications at all.

      At the end of the day, the fact remains that I worked harder and performed better and earned this scholarship. That being said, it was one of the only scholarships that I received. Because of my ethnicity and socioeconomic status, I was denied other funding that people of other ethnicities and income brackets received without a second thought. I am proud to have earned a scholarship not because of how much money my parents DON’T make, but because I worked terribly hard in high school.

      Maybe my comments are a little more blunt than others’, but I am very passionate about this topic and am angered when my merits and the merits of other truly outstanding Smittcamp Family Honors College students are called into question. I am deeply saddened by the fact that the Smittcamp family’s supreme benevolence in making college a reality for many students, students of all ethnicities, has been the target of such deplorable muckraking. The Smittcamp family is loved by so many in the Fresno community; it is troubling that one misguided journalist has managed to sully the Smittcamp name.

  • Anonymous

    Someone’s bitter. Merit based scholarships are exactly that: merit based. Honors scholars had to do more than tick “race” and “income” boxes for their financial support, and you’re saying this is a bad thing?

    This shouldn’t even be an issue. Think about it: socioeconomic status is the best predictor of academic success. That has been statistically proven. That is not SFHC’s fault. The process starts with people who are motivated for success and have the ability to do so. These people succeed in life, and make more money because they work harder and push themselves to get higher paying jobs. These values are then instilled in their progeny, who then follow in their parents’ footsteps. The process repeats.

    It’s not an uncommon practice for bloggers to share their unfounded hate-rants because it generates a lot of (angry) traffic to their pages. They get a commission of the total advertisement money based on how much traffic they get. You, on the other hand, appear just to be trolling.

  • Anonymous

    The only thing I want to say to the author of this article is the next time you want to try exposing an organization of anything make sure you 1) write the article coherently 2) get your facts and numbers straight. This author didn’t, the editor apparently didn’t even try to do her job, and the end result is this. I don’t think this article was effective in accomplishing your goal at all. I can’t help but laugh at how preposterous the organization of information and context of this article is. Actually, it just seems like it was written for an opinions page.

    Tl;dr – This article is a hack job that was probably organized in two hours, looked over in not even half an hour, then sent to the printers.

    Please, Collegian staff, do a better job if you don’t want to be taken as a joke. This article just came across as vindictive, bitter, and completely opinionated, not to mention it was all over the place. Have you heard of flow? As a student involved in journalism who is devoted to careful checking of facts and meticulous writing, I am aghast at this level of writing in a college newspaper. But then again, what can you expect from a “newspaper” that is too lazy to double-check and reformat a page when its crossword puzzle has been labeled as a sudoku?

  • Anonymous

    More often than not, Mexicans are seen as being synonomous with Hispanics/Latinos, since they make up 58 percent of that group’s population in the U.S. This comes at the expense of other ethnic groups, such as Central and South Americans, as well as Puerto Ricans and Cubans.

  • Anonymous

    Well guys, apparently the program needs to implement some sort of “race qualifying” criterion into the application process in order to ensure that a certain number of less-deserving but “racially diverse” applicants are selected over more academically qualified applicants. IT IS A SCHOLARSHIP DESIGNED TO AWARD ACADEMIC MERIT! Hector Cerda, why don’t you apply for financial aid?And by the way, many undergraduate and graduated Smittcamp students have donated THEIR OWN MONEY towards scholarships supporting Fresno State students. **last sentence omitted due to a personal attack on author.**

  • Dear Collegian:

    Great work! You sullied a worthy goal (greater parity in higher education and scholarship) with gross generalizations that demean an academic institution dedicated to a free exchange of ideas with no regard to creed, background or faith. Instead of advancing a dialogue about how interested elements within the campus community could partner with the Honors College to reach out to the socio-economic disadvantaged, you voice one man’s uninformed, simplified musings.

    Any charge of racism is affronting. With all the bomb-throwing radicals on all sides of the philosophical spectrum, we need leadership to rise above these black and white accusations.
    It should start on your front-page.

    Thank you,

    Matt Ortiz
    Smittcamp Family Honors College Alumni
    Class of 2008

    • Anonymous

      In addition to my comments below, I agree with Matt. This is an important topic, and the discussions this editorial (I won’t grace it with the term article) has spawned have brought up many good points, including some on this very comments page. One could easily take the same statistics used here and write that work should be done both within and outside of the SFHC to get an increase in the amount of participation of disadvantaged students in our greater Fresno State community. A focus of such an article could be about increasing the diversity of the applicant pool, so that there are more qualified students to chose from, as one of the largest problems is that the disadvantaged students are also far less likely to apply, even when they might realistically qualify. Very few people would argue with such an approach, especially if it were properly written (avoiding insulting accusations and generalizations!)

      I’d also be very careful about quoting people. My sources are secondhand, but I have heard accusations that some of the direct quotes here are misrepresentations of the actual statements. Something like that could be a very serious issue for a reputable publication, though I hesitate to make any accusations without having been there personally.

      I would look forward to a potential future article on this important topic as long as it was properly written, well-researched, and brought up the relevant issues without throwing accusations. As for the current one, I feel that at the very least some of the more relevant responses here should be highlighted in a coming issue of the Collegian. This issue cannot be left alone as it currently stands.

      Thank you,

      Leonid Vydro
      Smittcamp Family Honors College Alumnus
      Class of 2009

  • Anonymous

    What exactly are you a doctor of “SurgeonLaura”? To me, you seem to be nothing more than a groupie of Ms. Mendoza who just happens to write more eloquently. I am appalled that you even dare to call my peers or I ignorant. We are aware of your views on racism. We are aware that these things still permeate society. However, your attack on Smittcamp is unwarranted. Why are you attacking an innocent organization for an issue it has no control over. We cannot force minorities to apply. Without getting into statistics of SAT scores and ethnicity, it would seem to be that an accurate representation of those minorites are accepted by Smittcamp. They should not have to lower their rigorous qualifications purely because you want them too.

    I am so incredibly hurt that you call into question the honors classes. I am taking classes from the same professors you are. These, as Ms. Mendoza points out, are some of the best at the university (and you can take their classes too!!). I doubt that they would let us be ignorant of the issue of institutionalized racism if they saw it as being an issue. I don’t know what kind of angry bitter professors you had that were preaching this to you, but unless you are taking a philosophy, history, or race studies class, it is not part of the curriculum. However, we are critical thinkers and we do not stop our learning when we leave the classroom. These issues are discussed and we are knowledgeable of them.

    Furthermore, I am not going to apologize to you or anyone else for being brought up in an upper middle class white family. I am proud of who I am and my background. You should preach this Laura. We all should be proud of our heritage, not use it as a crutch.

    • Anonymous

      There is no need to apologize to anyone and “surgeonlaura” is not “attacking” the Smittcamp institution. She is making a clear point to the greater issue at hand which is institutionalized racism. As I wrote before SFHC is definitely NOT racism in anyway and yes this article is completely misleading. However, one must acknowledge that there is a greater problem within our society and as a critical thinker should be open to acknowledge her point and research it because the essays she recommends are worth reading. A book by the same author Eduardo Bonilla-Silva called, “Racism without racists : color-blind racism and the persistence of racial inequality in the United States” is also worth taking time to read.

  • Anonymous

    If you really think about it don’t you think financial aid distribution is somewhat racist as well? Many of the students in the Smittcamp program may come from middle to upper class white families but did you ever stop to think that those students often do not qualify for any type of financial aid and many of those students families make them pay for their own college education. Smittcamp actually allows these individuals to be able to afford an education and reward them for their hardwork and drive to be successful in order to give back to the community. Think about it….as soon as you check “white” and that your family is somewhat middle class on the financial aid papers then you don’t qualify for anything. Middle class individuals live in nice environments don’t get me wrong but that does automatically mean that they can afford to send each of their children to college. Smittcamp gives to those who work hard, are dedicated to giving back to the community and have a drive to be successful. Besides it is privately funded they should be able to chose whoever they want to give the money to. People should be glad there even is that opportunity to apply for the scholarship where they are not chosen based on race. Don’t write these articles and use them as top stories just because you are bitter towards these individuals.

  • Anonymous

    Are you sure you are living in present times, because I think you are stuck in the past. This is the land where if you work hard you will get rewarded unlike in many other countries of the world. My family came to this country from Mexico because my parents knew that hard work is not rewarded in our home country. My parents instilled strong principles and encouraged me to get good grades to be able to attend a university (which is not necessarily the case in Mexico). For many years my family lived off a $10,000 yearly income placing us on a “severe poverty” level, we received zero government benefits, had no car, and lived in the “wrong side “of town. Yet, I was accepted to The Smittcamp Family Honors College and 12 other top universities throughout the country. Do you know what this is? A reversed statistic! (by the way never use never in a statement). All I had to do was ignore the fact that I was unprivileged and focus on getting myself into college.

    Also, for your information as Smittcampers we only take a few honors classes and all others are taken along with every other Fresno State student. It is completely inane to label us as ignorant, when you have no idea who we are as individuals. By generalizing a group, you unintentionally come off as truly being ignorant. Have you ever even spoken to a Smittcamp student? I challenge you to have a conversation with any one of us to determine for yourself whether we are truly ignorant or not.

    I do not deny for an instance that institutional racism or White privilege does not exist, but it is possible to beat the odds. If we allow ourselves to become engulfed with such ideologies then we are truly doomed! Had my parents raised me with the idea that I was inferior from the beginning, I probably would not have succeeded, but fortunately my parents raised me to believe that I am no different from anyone else and that I am capable of obtaining anything I set my mind to.

    Bottom line, all of this banter has nothing to do with the Smittcamp Family Honors College. The program simply rewards students who worked hard and are likely to make a difference on campus.

  • Ray

    I have to say this story has to be very comical it just give you the feeling like what kind of trash are the people writing. Now, they want they want to call the Smittcamp Honors College and say their are not enough minority students. You got to be kidding me what it be the same if it was in reverse mode if people of non-Hispanic origin complained about programs such as EOP or the CAMP program. We can say about these programs that they might let students in here based on their socio-economic status or their race. In the defense of the non-hispanic student they could say they let in a less qualified student take the place of a highly qualified students. But it is people like the author and people like Hector Cerda would come out and say this is something that our people created this and that. Give me a break it is the Honor Colleges criteria who they want to pick out not to mention their funds. If the University thought this program was within standards then they wouldnt have allowed it on campus. But they did and it seems to be legit within the means. I just cant understand why they would quote people Hector Cerda because he always comes out of his shell when he wants to be in comparison of a highlight spot just as on ESPN. His highlight would be the time that ASI President Pedro is getting and now he wants to be the life of the party. I have to agree that their are people that are not Mexican but are indeed LAC (Latin American Caribbean) and you have people not respecting that aspect that one Hispanic race is dominant over the other. Both of my parents are Spanish and they do look like they are white but is that is supposed to be considered discrimination to others who are of other Hispanic origin. Give, the Honors college a break it bothers the author or Hector Cerda why dont they start developing their own scholarship programs. It is just a ploy buy a group of individuals to get the word out. This entire diversity argument will be vanished by next semester. What are they going to complain about now about next the time The Mascot of the School is a British Bulldog and it should be changed because the animal lack some kind of diversity ..Come give me a break!

  • Anonymous

    I agree that the problem lies within society and it is bigger than simply pointing fingers at the Smittcamp Family Honors College. I was a high school valedictorian, involved in extracurricular activities, and had a high SAT score but unfortunately was not accepted. Looking back I realize I may have been valedictorian because of the standards of the school that I went to. I had a high SAT score compared to the people in my high school, but compared to other high schools I was average. This is a problem that is deeper than what we see. Latinos are not getting the best education possible and even when they think they are it is sometimes because the standards were not set high enough in the schools within their neighborhoods.

  • Anonymous

    I need a little more info on this. Just seeing the number of whites compared to other races is enough to make anyone curious. I’m sure that the Smittcamp Honors College isn’t looking for whites only but maybe it is their selection tools that are the root of this issue. Certain selection tools are known to cause adverse impact in organizations, like relying on general mental ability tests. I would love to see a follow up story to this.

  • The problem is not bigger than society and to say such a thing as commented here only perpetuates racism even more. It begins in the smallest forms in our community as published in this article. Kudos to the Collegian and the students who are pointing this out.

    And as “institutional racism” does exist even on this campus, the writer who brought this to attention will be most likely be punished for doing just that while Selena Farnesi will get the credit for her recent political ASI statement which tries to throw the discrimination topic under the rug which at the same time will reinforce what this story is getting at.

  • Word!

  • Anonymous

    I would just like to say that as a Smittcamp scholar, that the biggest problem among the recipients of the scholarship isn’t that they lack diversity, but how pretentious and obnoxious everyone involved in the program is.

  • Anonymous

    Great article, its about time someone addressed this.

    To all the people with the fantasty of Smittcamp being “color-blind”….you truly need to get out more, no one is color blind and the numbers up there prove it. 33 White? You can’t compete with that, its hillarious that some people are actually disagreeing with the numbers!!! THOSE ARE FACTS!!!

  • Keith

    Cerda is a total idiot and a race baiter. I’m a former Smittcamp student, and they don’t know your race when they are evaluating applications. This is how you take race out of the equation and have the process be as non-racist as possible. If Cerda has a problem with too many white people in Smittcamp, maybe he should focus on helping to improve the academic output of non-white people. Demanding that less-qualified non-white students get accepted in a more qualified white person’s place is racist.