Race/Ethnicity and Admission

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by cylee1208, Sep 6, 2010.

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  1. cylee1208

    cylee1208 Member

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    How big of a roll does race/ethnicity play in the admission process? What is the difference between an African-American applicant, a White applicant, and an Asian applicant?
     
  2. usnajosh

    usnajosh Member

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    In a perfect world, the only difference between a white, African-American, and Asian applicant would be the color of their skin. In the real world, race has always played a political (and controversial) role in determining outcomes. USNA is guilty of this (at least under the last command). Some people who have been involved with the admissions process have pointed out that race has been a factor in determining admission in the past. This may or may not still be the case. HOWEVER, for all intents and purposes, if an applicant is serious about getting in to USNA, they must focus on being the absolute best candidate (and really the best person) they can be, because all politics aside, the Navy realizes that when the bullets start to fly, they want the best possible officer calling the shots, regardless of race. So my advice to you is, forget about the race factor, because you cannot change who you are, or how the politics work. Just focus on what you are good at, and what you need to improve. I hope I do not come across as abrasive.
     
  3. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Nice notion Josh ...were it only true.
     
  4. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Admiral Gary Roughead, chief of Naval Operations, says that "diversity is the No. 1 priority" at the academy.

    That should answer your question.
     
  5. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Josh:

    Ah "Utopia" the perfect world. As described by Plato and named by Sir Thomas More. As you state there ain't no such animal. Each candidate can only present the best application possible whether it be the first time or the third. Not abrasive but the truth. Applicants have no control over the vagaries of the selection board for their initial application year. If denied this year keep trying.:thumb:
     
  6. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    "Vagaries" was a good choice of words.

    va-gar-y (vey-guh-ree) noun
    1. an unpredictable or erratic action, occurrence, course, or instance
    2. a whimsical, wild, or unusual idea, desire, or action.

    I can see where it's a bit unsettling for a competing candidate to learn that, despite their best efforts, the admissions board is unpredictable, erratic, whimsical, wild, and unusual in action.

    Sure, we can spout off the trite platitude, "Don't worry about things that you cannot control." But wouldn't this world be a better place if we had confidence that our superior performance would likely be rewarded instead of the "reward" being doled out to somebody else on some "whimsical" basis? I can see where that would be discouraging and a source of concern to a candidate.

    You can call me a dreamer - but I'm not the only one. (apologies to John Lennon) :smile:
     
  7. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    The admissions board does a commendable job ensuring that the most highly qualified candidate is appointed from each nominating source. The issue seems to be that some individuals feel that certain nominating sources should not be afforded their legal rights in nominating candidates from their district.
     
  8. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Sadly the occasional problem with "certain" congressional nominating sources are not the only complaint. Questionable candidates are also admitted through nominating sources other than congressional which have nothing to do with district "rights". Ask yourself why the USNA keeps the academic stats of it's URM mids such a secret if they are so proud of their even handed approach to admissions.
     
  9. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    You're couching your point behind the guise of geographic diversity. Everybody understands that. It is a congressional mandate! You know that's not what's being discussed here.

    It has long been recognized that there may be a candidate admitted from an obscure district in Wyoming who does not have as an impressive packet as an alternate from a highly-competitive Virginia district. That's just the way it goes. Tough luck. That's been going on since time immemorial.

    For better or worse (I'll let others me the judge), the academy has been on a campaign in the past few years to increase the ethnic diversity. C'mon, let's not pretend that this is all about getting all the nominating sources their fair shot. Every nominating source gets to have x-number of midshipmen enrolled at any one time and they have always had "the right" to fill vacancies with their nominees - provided they are qualified. Are you saying that, in the past, there were congressmen from "disadvantaged" districts who had nominated candidates for a vacancy - who were qualified and were all rejected by the academy - resulting in that district being completely unrepresented?

    If a congressman has a vacancy ... and he has nominees ... and at least one of those nominees is qualified ... the academy must accept that nominee. Are you saying that hasn't been happening?

    I understand that, on occasion, there are districts that go unrepresented because:
    1) nobody applied for a nomination, or
    2) all those who applied were unqualified.

    In that case, that district should go unrepresented.

    What we're talking about is this: After all the principal nominees have received their appointment (even in the "disadvantaged" districts), the academy is going back to the pool of nominees and not necessarily picking the best of who's left -rather- engineering it to get ethnic diversity.

    Maybe it's a good thing - I don't know. But, certainly, that's what has been going on. To deny it is just plain disingenuous.

    There is a BGO from Texas who has confided to me that this is exactly what is happening. Better candidates are being left behind in the name of ethnic diversity, not geographic diversity.

    Even the word "diversity" (as it is being used in this context) is nothing more than a euphemism for ethnic diversity. The word "diversity" only means "unlikeness". That unlikeness is not limited to ethnicity - although that is exactly what is meant. It's not as if the academy is accepting more short midshipmen -or- more red-headed midshipmen -or- more skinny midshipmen - or more Irish midshipmen.

    I've said it before: I think it's not an accident that the Class of 2014 is not being hailed as the most "diverse" class in academy history. (and it is!) Up till now, the Class of 2013 was the most "diverse" class. At the time, that was trumpeted from every mountain top. But, in the wake of the supe scandal, the use of the word "diversity" has be out of vogue although the momentum from the previous administration certainly carried through to the Class of 2014.

    I'm not judging it - I'm simply pointing it out.

    I can see where the current candidates have an interest in this dynamic. If I were a white candidate from McAllen, Texas - this would be a concern for me. Sure, there's nothing the candidate can do about it. "All you can do is do your best" are not words of comfort. That's like somebody with terminal cancer being told not not to worry since there's nothing they can do about it. Although true - it's not much comfort.
     
  10. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    So they identify the historically underrepresented, for whatever reason, districts. The entire 'recruiting' effort for the past few years has been targeted to these districts where the effort has been to locate QUALIFIED candidates and get them interested. Pretty much the entire increase in diversity has been a result of this effort. Ingenious isn't it? The integrity of the admissions process has been maintained. Yet the goals of the CNO have also been achieved.

    However, I suppose there are those who feel that our recruiting dollars ought to go to those districts where overqualified candidates are falling all over themselves rather than to those where their mandated quotas are not being met.
     
  11. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Substantiate the underlined portion of your post with some facts. How do you know whether the USNA has been successful in locating and recruiting QUALIFIED candidates? Has the USNA publicly released information concerning these QUALIFIED candidates to substantiate any of your points?
     
  12. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    But... how do YOU define "Qualfied".
    Qualified is rather subjective, hence the Whole Candidate Score - is it not?
    I suppose you (and others) are in favor of setting the "Qualfied" bar so high that it would limit the appointment of some candidates. This is an age old tactic that has been thinly disguised racism and sexism over the years.
    When all American children are afforded the SAME educational OPPRTUNITIES - then come back and have a chat.


    I am curious to know which nominating sources are these and do you have a link to substantiate this?
     
  13. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    If you have been following Navy and Academy publically released reports and news releases over the past few years, it is all completely obvious. I imagine one could google and still find most of them.
     
  14. Farleigh85

    Farleigh85 Member

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    This snippet made me chuckle. I understand the truth behind it. It's just funny because when you think about it, you realize there is only ONE congressional district in Wyoming and it necessarily comprises the entire state. One borough in NYC has more representation in Congress than the entire state of Wyoming has.

    I also believe Mongo and other posters are talking past one another. Mongo seems to be arguing that the increase in ethnic diversity has resulted solely from enhanced recruiting efforts within historically underrepresented congressional districts. To the extent that's true, there's not much sense in complaining about it, because much of the selection process has always been structured around congressional quotas broken down by district and state.

    But what the other posters are pointing out, and what Mongo appears to be ignoring, is that there is a separate selection process for a large chunk of candidates other than congressional appointees. If certain candidates in this group are getting a leg up simply because they have Hispanic surnames or self identify as having a darker skin, then it's fair to ask why should that be? A black skin is not superior to a white skin is not superior to a red skin, blue skin, or green skin. The hue of one's skin does not predict or dictate one's competency as an officer. Does anyone disagree?

    There's got to be a better way.
     
  15. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    I'd accept what ever the academy accepts as qualified. The term 3Q'd gets bantered around quite a bit in this forum and I don't hear anybody questioning the academy's determination that a candidate is, or is not 3Q'd.

    What I was referring to was this - some MOC nominees are absolutely not qualified. Some are not academically qualified - some are not physically qualified - and some are not medically qualified - or a combination of any of these.

    Some districts that have sparse interest in the Naval Academy tend to produce a list of nominees who never achieve the 3Q'd status. In that case, that MOC will not get any of his/her nominees appointed.

    Not all the 3Q'd candidates get appointments. The problem is that some of the lesser qualified are getting appointments over the more qualified. I'm not a BGO but I have been told this by several BGO's whom I know. Of course, they will never publicly admit that.
     
  16. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Is that true? I had no idea. That is funny.

    I just picked Wyoming at random.

    When I was a midshipman, one of my classmates in my company was from Wyoming. We used to all tease him ... "Oh - so you're the guy who lives in Wyoming."

    I guess the fact that Wyoming has only 3 electoral votes should have clued me in - huh? :smile:
     
  17. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    ??? Large chunk?? No. The only "chunk" I know of that is specifically addressed in the LAW is the Supe nomination. The Superintendent nomination allows for a maximum of 50 appointments each year. From what I hear this is mostly used by recruited athletes and not ever filled.
    Even, if filled each year by minority candidates it's only 50/1350. Pretty small chunk.
     
  18. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    You need a link to substantiate the fact that there are noms other than congressional?
    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=13510
    As has been pointed out when you add in the noms that are available from districts that do not have enough candidates, there are discretionary noms that can be used to increase URM enrollment.

    Strange how Mongo just excuses his off the wall comments with "Google it" and cannot provide any links for substantiation. Did you want to ask him for substantiating links?

    Want to venture a guess why the USNA keeps the academic stats of it's URM mids such a secret if they are so proud of their even handed approach to admissions?
     
  19. Bailey

    Bailey Member

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    Memphis......your Texas information is "spot on"......
     
  20. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    I didn't ignore it. If the entire increase in diversity over the past two years can be attributed to previously underrepresented districts, this negates the rumors that 'large chunk(s) of (lesser qualified) candidates other than congressional appointees are being admitted", does it not?

    USNA Admissions has made a stellar recruiting effort in some areas that never before have received any attention. Give them the credit due.

    Actually many have been posted on both this and the "other" forum. I don't think I really need to continue to repeat myself, do I?
     
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