Something I've Been Wondering About: Are Roma & Romani URM?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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vanwinkle
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Re: Something I've Been Wondering About: Are Roma & Romani URM?

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:28 pm

rowlf wrote:I'm going to kind of dissent from what's above. I'm a little bit familiar with the situation of Roma and Sinti in Europe. It's really awful. They are definitely an under-represented minority.

I agree with the sentiment of your post, and that schools will likely accept a solid diversity statement and take special measures to enroll truly persecuted Roma applicants. In that I don't think you're really disagreeing with anyone here.

However, the problem is that "Under-Represented Minority" is not a fluid variable thing that easily changes meaning; it's a legal concept and a label for a very specific type of AA boost. More than that, it's specifically a label that's used to boost representation of races that are considered under-represented in education here in America, which is why circumstances for races elsewhere in the world aren't factored into a URM consideration at all. Saying that Roma are disadvantaged, oppressed, and deserving of special attention for the diversity they can add to a classroom are all correct things and I agree with them, but then trying to say that makes them a URM is like arguing that because all Fords are recognized as having four wheels and an engine, and your car has four wheels and an engine, you should call it a Ford too.

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T14_Scholly
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Re: Something I've Been Wondering About: Are Roma & Romani URM?

Postby T14_Scholly » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:34 pm

I thought URM status only mattered for, and was determined by, the US News ranking formula? Guess not.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Something I've Been Wondering About: Are Roma & Romani URM?

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:36 pm

T14_Scholly wrote:I thought URM status only mattered for, and was determined by, the US News ranking formula? Guess not.

That realization shouldn't be a problem for you. Having seen your previous posts on this board I'd assume you're used to being wrong by now.

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T14_Scholly
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Re: Something I've Been Wondering About: Are Roma & Romani URM?

Postby T14_Scholly » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:40 pm

Does not US News factor minority representation into their ranking formula, mr. vantwinkletoes?

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Something I've Been Wondering About: Are Roma & Romani URM?

Postby DoubleChecks » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:43 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
jks289 wrote:That actually isn't the definition of magical, but I think you could benefit from looking it up yourself so I won't bother to explain. You not understanding proper and colloquial use of a word doesn't invalidate my argument. Perhaps you shouldn't be such a weirdo, condescending, aggressive dick with strangers on the internet in the future.

Rather than get into yet another argument with you, I'll simply say that I'm sorry I can't help you see the flaws in your presentation and I hope you're later more open to improving the way you communicate with others at some future time. It will serve you well, especially if you do intend to go to law school someday.


as an unbiased observer, i must say, while both of you provide very valid points, from a layman's perspective (or really probably most ppl reading this thread, but thats just my guess)...jks' original post w/ the whole TLS URM magical business was quite misleading/unclear.

jks289 wrote:Maybe not URM under the TLS perceived magical URM status (take all URM advice here with a grain of salt, so much is flat out wrong on here) but certainly the basis for a compelling diversity statement.


it made it sound as if jks thought TLS made up the classifications of URM status, when as vanwinkle said, it is a very cut and dry response (if defining the question narrowly). the answer should have been, it is not URM under the URM status, but...lol

when you say something is not a certain way in x scenario (when in reality it is really not that way in ALL scenarios), it sort of makes it sound like something IS that way in some y scenario

my (unsolicited) 2 cents

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vanwinkle
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Re: Something I've Been Wondering About: Are Roma & Romani URM?

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:59 pm

T14_Scholly wrote:Does not US News factor minority representation into their ranking formula, mr. vantwinkletoes?

No. It does not. See the Leiter Rankings breakdown of the USNWR factors used since 1999:

http://www.leiterrankings.com/usnews/guide.shtml

Minority enrollment is not a factor at all in USNWR rankings.

sunrunner
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Re: Something I've Been Wondering About: Are Roma & Romani URM?

Postby sunrunner » Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:22 am

rowlf wrote:I'm going to kind of dissent from what's above. I'm a little bit familiar with the situation of Roma and Sinti in Europe. It's really awful. They are definitely an under-represented minority.

URM status, in terms of applying to American law schools, is associated with certain ethnicities because ticking a certain box is a quick way of knowing whether you or your forbears endured (or had a very high chance of enduring) some kind of unfair discriminatory treatment in the United States at some time in American history "Automatic" URM status is defined around American norms and history. The Roma are not a part of American history, so there's no Roma box to tick, and therefore no automatic standing. If the Roma's struggle was part of American history, they would have had a box here, and they would have URM status automatically like other groups have. But the Roma story is not an American one.

Since they don't have a box, a Roma person applying to law school must bring up their background in their personal statement and/or diversity statement for it to be considered. After Roma do that, though, I'm sure they'd get an URM boost from any admissions office with anyone even vaguely aware of the situation of that group in Europe. URM consideration is automatic for American history based URMs, but non-USA-based URMs (i.e. ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples in other countries) can definitely make a case for themselves. It just makes sense. I know of someone who made it into a better college than her stats might normally have won her because she and her parents were refugees (or asylum seekers) fleeing a nation where her minority group was being targeted. It happens, but not automatically.

Should non-USA URMs all have boxes that they can tick? Maybe they deserve them so it can be easier to pick them out in the crowd. If so, how would we determine them all? Could we do this accurately? Fairly? Comprehensively? It's an interesting question. I think in an ideal world we would. Maybe we can. Boxes are starting to vary and break down as people appreciate difference more -- filling out the forms, I noticed that many schools ask for a country-specific Asian background, some schools ask black applicants which branch of the diaspora (Africa proper, Caribbean/Latin America, USA) they associate with. This "extra" stuff wasn't there when I was applying to college, or at least not as much as it is now.

But I think accurateness and fairness in determining non-American URMs could be a problem in including non-American URMS. It's hard enough figuring out how we're going to define our own minorities, much less taking it upon ourselves to figure out everyone's minority groups. American boxes aren't perfectly non-controversial; for example, I think it's pretty odd that people of Middle Eastern decent don't have their own box most of the time. This illustrates the subjectivity in defining different minority groups. It's a political and controversial process because it can be done in different ways.

sunrunner wrote:Not a flame. Just a question.


That's a bit defensive. If this was really an open-hearted question, it wouldn't have occurred to you to add this. I think you are trying to stir something up here about URM status. I'm up for a discussion about the value of how we define URM status (hey, I responded to your post at length), which is nominally what your post was about, but let's keep this respectful. If you want to make a thread about how AA is unfair or silly, start one up (and watch it get locked). Please don't use the plight of the Roma as a boxer's mitt for that agenda.


No, no, no. Not trying to start anything. Legitimately wondering. Didn't know. I will say this: Having lived in a few different regions of the US, I am blown away by how cruelly people speak of the Roma in workplace settings. For some reason, terrible sentiments uttered regarding "insert slang term for Roma" fall on deaf ears. This would not happen with any other group. It's gross, actually. I'm further apalled when I find that I am the only one who is offended.

Questioning my motivation for beginning this thread is kind of ridiculous. A disclaimer is necessary when a question is broached regarding URM status because it's a touchy subject.

I guess I just didn't know what URM meant, technically. Vanwinkle explained it, and it makes sense. Basically, a group has to be quantifiable in order for a determination to be made. I didn't really understand that component. Makes sense now.

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GeePee
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Re: Something I've Been Wondering About: Are Roma & Romani URM?

Postby GeePee » Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:30 am

T14_Scholly wrote:Does not US News factor minority representation into their ranking formula, mr. vantwinkletoes?

lol. This is pure flame. It HAS to be flame. No? :|

sunrunner
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Re: Something I've Been Wondering About: Are Roma & Romani URM?

Postby sunrunner » Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:43 am

rowlf wrote:I'm going to kind of dissent from what's above. I'm a little bit familiar with the situation of Roma and Sinti in Europe. It's really awful. They are definitely an under-represented minority.

URM status, in terms of applying to American law schools, is associated with certain ethnicities because ticking a certain box is a quick way of knowing whether you or your forbears endured (or had a very high chance of enduring) some kind of unfair discriminatory treatment in the United States at some time in American history "Automatic" URM status is defined around American norms and history. The Roma are not a part of American history, so there's no Roma box to tick, and therefore no automatic standing. If the Roma's struggle was part of American history, they would have had a box here, and they would have URM status automatically like other groups have. But the Roma story is not an American one.

Since they don't have a box, a Roma person applying to law school must bring up their background in their personal statement and/or diversity statement for it to be considered. After Roma do that, though, I'm sure they'd get an URM boost from any admissions office with anyone even vaguely aware of the situation of that group in Europe. URM consideration is automatic for American history based URMs, but non-USA-based URMs (i.e. ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples in other countries) can definitely make a case for themselves. It just makes sense. I know of someone who made it into a better college than her stats might normally have won her because she and her parents were refugees (or asylum seekers) fleeing a nation where her minority group was being targeted. It happens, but not automatically.

Should non-USA URMs all have boxes that they can tick? Maybe they deserve them so it can be easier to pick them out in the crowd. If so, how would we determine them all? Could we do this accurately? Fairly? Comprehensively? It's an interesting question. I think in an ideal world we would. Maybe we can. Boxes are starting to vary and break down as people appreciate difference more -- filling out the forms, I noticed that many schools ask for a country-specific Asian background, some schools ask black applicants which branch of the diaspora (Africa proper, Caribbean/Latin America, USA) they associate with. This "extra" stuff wasn't there when I was applying to college, or at least not as much as it is now.

But I think accurateness and fairness in determining non-American URMs could be a problem in including non-American URMS. It's hard enough figuring out how we're going to define our own minorities, much less taking it upon ourselves to figure out everyone's minority groups. American boxes aren't perfectly non-controversial; for example, I think it's pretty odd that people of Middle Eastern decent don't have their own box most of the time. This illustrates the subjectivity in defining different minority groups. It's a political and controversial process because it can be done in different ways.

sunrunner wrote:Not a flame. Just a question.


That's a bit defensive. If this was really an open-hearted question, it wouldn't have occurred to you to add this. I think you are trying to stir something up here about URM status. I'm up for a discussion about the value of how we define URM status (hey, I responded to your post at length), which is nominally what your post was about, but let's keep this respectful. If you want to make a thread about how AA is unfair or silly, start one up (and watch it get locked). Please don't use the plight of the Roma as a boxer's mitt for that agenda.


The Roma not a part of American history? I disagree, and I find that statement to be quite offensive (not joking). They have been here for well over a century (maybe two) and they most assuredly have been oppressed. Unfortunately there is no real mass outcry when the Roma are mistreated. I reference Spokane in the late '80's again. Nobody really cared then. Kind of horrible if you think about it. The European attitudes toward the Roma were undoubtedly brought to the New World by European immigrants. Come on, dude. Awareness of Roma oppression is not a part of American history, but it has happened here more than we would like to believe.

What is my stake in this, exactly? I don't know. I guess I've always found it odd that people continue to treat Roma differently than others. As I said in my other post, I've heard some disquieting things uttered with impunity in formal settings. I wasn't sure that they qualified as URM, but something made me think that they probably would/should.




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