What is the solution? No sensible person recommends radical change. Start with small steps. First, select the best candidates from the waitlist to fill out the Class of 2010. Odds are that the vast majority of these will be international students. Second, increase the quota to 10 percent for the Class of 2011. If Harvard is 9 percent international, why is Williams 6 percent? Third, President Schapiro should appoint a committee of students, faculty and alumni to study the issue and report to the community. The 2002 ad hoc faculty committee on athletics provides a useful model. With more data and analysis, we will all have a better sense of what the policy should be.
Of course, to get this process started, what we really need is a student group to agitate for change. Perhaps EAIQ: Ephs Against International Quotas. Those who don’t fight against international quotas now will seem as benighted in the eyes of our children as the Jew-baiters of 1920 appear to us today.
Brilliant, eh? Comments:
1) I am still trying to get to the bottom of the issue of targeted pools of financial aid. The claim has been made that Williams has a specific, international-only pool of money for financial aid. The target of 6% derives from the size of that pool. This might be true, but note that the College does not give this as a reason. Does anyone have better details?
2) Why isn’t there more campus controversy over this? Consider yesterday’s “candlelight vigil commemorating the lives of immigrants that were lost while trying to cross the border.” Nothing wrong with vigils, but shouldn’t students who care about the welfare of Mexicans be concerned that Williams turns down (many?) Mexican applicants each year just because they are Mexican, applicants who it would instantly accept if they lived on the other side of the Rio Grande? I would have thought so.
The thing about quotas is that, if you’re a current Williams student, even a current Williams international student, they aren’t a big deal. You made it.
I also would have expected leadership from the faculty on this issue. Is there not a single faculty member who thinks that quotas on international students are a bad idea? Faculty meetings are a great time to ask awkward questions. I also hope that the Record pursues this topic. Administration officials should be forced to explain and justify the policy. Why does Williams need a quota which puts our international enrollment almost 50% lower than Yale or Harvard’s? Dick Nesbitt, Nancy Roseman and Morty Schapiro should all get this question from the Record.
Other than a single e-mail from another alum, I see no interest in fighting this injustice. But I suppose that this was the way that most Williams students would have felt about Jew quotas in the 1920s . . .