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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Admissions imposes regional quotas to boost diversity*

Published: April 1, 2005
Section: News

Dean of Admissions Deena Whitfield announced a new admissions policy yesterday that will improve the geographical diversity of applicants for the class of 2009. In response to growing concerns over the number of undergraduate students from the New York and New Jersey region, Whitfield said that the university would be one of the first in the nation to impose quotas limiting the number of students accepted from the area.

We feel that New Yorkers are important members of the Brandeis community, said Whitfield, but at some point their numbers began to pervert the atmosphere of this campus.

This new move is part of an ongoing integrated plan to improve the diversity of the undergraduate student body. Speaking on the matter, President Jehuda Reinhartz stated that, it is important for this university to cultivate a diverse campus composed of all segments of the Jewish community. We must be seen as a resource for all Jews, not just those on the upper west side.

A senior administration official speaking on condition of anonymity said that the new admission policy likely resulted from the bagel protests earlier this semester. For nearly two days students held marches outside the Usdan Student Center calling for the university supply students with H&H bagels and Rays pizza. The vast majority of protesters were self describe New Yorkers, but upon investigation by the Hoot, the majority have been found to live in New Jersey and Long Island.

Many alumni have expressed concern about how Brandeis will find sufficient applicants from outside the New York region, but Whitfield was quick to allay these fears, we are embarking on an ambitious campaign to publicize Brandeis in every synagogue and NFTY camp in the nation.

Students were quick to the react to the proposals. Becket Horowitz 05, President of the Brandeis Big Apple Society (BBAS) said that the move was a fundamental violation of New Yorkers civil rights, We New Yorkers have long faced discrimination and harassment, but it is intolerable when we find the doors to this supposed sanctuary closed in our face.

Horowitz says that BBAS had planed a series of demonstrations including a speech by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a sit in planned for the upcoming open house weekend. We love this university, and we hate that our protests might hurt it. But we will not stand idly by as our fellow New Yorkers are target by closed minded New Englanders.