Editor, Daily Nexus,

I do not appreciate the assumptions made in Courtney Stevens’ column, (“Liberty Belle: Higher Education Fails to Pass Test,” Daily Nexus, Jan. 16). Stevens, due to your lack of any true understanding regarding the extensive paths taken by many people of color – not minorities – to gain admission into prestigious universities such as ours, your argument lacks validity and is extremely offensive to the 40 percent of this campus who are non-white. To insist that the reason this campus and other universities have lost some of their credibility is due to their focus on diversity is a prehistoric thought based on bigotry. Your statement that college was once a “luxury” has its roots in ancient and outdated thought.

As a woman, you should recognize that this so-called luxury once excluded you. Do you also feel that allowing women into higher education has “dumbed it down?” As a student of African descent, I take personal offense to your claim that my being here has in some way lessened the quality of your education. Though you claim that the drop in the percentage of college students actually finishing their degrees is due to the fact that there are too many students, I argue that there are so many other variables that may have caused this decline, such as the 80 percent increase in the cost of tuition to our dear university and the decline in financial aid. I refuse to allow you to blame the people of color on this campus and other universities for the dwindling graduation rates. We deserve to be here! College is a right, not a privilege. Despite ignorant and racist views such as yours, we will continue to give outreach to our communities to provide the hope and encouragement to which you are so opposed. I urge you to find another solution to solving the problem of low graduation rates because we aren’t going anywhere!