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Letter: CHANCE program unfairly lowers standards

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

To the Editor:

I was upset to read through two recently published articles in the Daily Chronicle. “NIU’s CHANCE Program marks 45 years” and “Our view: CHANCE program brings progress.” In the first article, I found the following quote:

“’The black students produced a list of seven demands for the president,’ Mitchell said. ‘One was a request for a waiver of the usual admissions standards for black students who have the potential to succeed in college but lack the test scores and high school rank for consideration for traditional admission.’ ”

This statement seems to be requesting a lower standard for a potential student based upon their skin color. While the quote itself may be accurate, that mentality doesn’t help anyone on either side of the issue. If you are a minority, why try harder when you can get in on lower standards? If you’re white, your application could potentially be rejected in favor of a less qualified student, simply because you are not a minority.

I understand that in 1969, it was a different time, but the long-term effect of types of programs are to lower the ambitions of the very people they are trying to help. At the same time, those of us that have the academics for admission but lack the funding watch as student after student is given scholarships and free rides simply because they are a minority.

The sum result of 45 years of these types of programs is not greater integration, but a lagging ambition on one side and a frustration on the other. Left unchecked, this turns to a sense of entitlement and racism, the very things the program was established to eradicate.

The civil rights movement was about not judging someone based on their race or color of their skin, yet NIU’s CHANCE program seems to be based entirely upon race and skin color. The question must be asked: Have we truly left the 1960s?

Jason Pittenger


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