Things That Matter

College Admissions Scandal Mastermind Reportedly Told Parents To Lie About Ethnicity To Further Advantage Their White Children

New details have emerged from the college admissions scandal that made headlines back in March. According to the Wall Street Journal, William “Rick” Singer, the mastermind behind the scandal, encouraged his clients to lie about their child’s race on applications to boost their chances of getting into elite colleges. He specifically told parents that to change their white child’s ethnicity to black or Latino because not doing so would put their children at a “competitive disadvantage” to other students.

A new report on the college admissions scandal is showing just how far the privileged will go to take places in higher education from students of color by any means necessary.

Elite colleges have long given preference to athletes and children of former alumni. Singer took notice and advantage of a new trend in college admissions, schools seeking students of color.

The son of Marjorie Klapper is one student who changed their racial identity as an advantage. He was reportedly falsely listed as being black and Hispanic on his Common Application, which includes an optional box where applicants can note their race or ethnicity.

Last Friday, Klapper plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Prosecutors allege she paid Singer $15,000 to have a proctor take the ACT for her son in 2017.

In one instance, an application “may have been based on a tenuous connection, such as a distant relative of Native American ancestry,” a source told the Wall Street Journal. Yet according to that same source, “There was nothing Native American about this kid.”

The scandal has opened up the hot button issue of race being a factor in college admissions.

Credit: @aldeneducation/Twitter

Race being considered a major factor in college admissions has become a hot-button issue since the college admissions scandal broke back in March. The scandal has also shed light on affirmative action and the realities that many minorities face getting into top colleges.

While lying on college applications may not be a crime, schools can take disciplinary action over the false statements. The families embattled in various federal investigations face charges related to bribery or test-cheating.

At a court hearing in March, Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen said Singer’s schemes included “lying about students’ ethnicities and other biographical information in an attempt to take advantage of perceived benefits from affirmative action and other programs.”

Singer then, responded that “everything that Mr. Rosen stated is exactly true.”

In the aftermath of the college-admissions scandal, the SAT will now include a new measure for privilege beginning this year.

Credit: @flippedhatnupe/Twitter

Along with scores measuring math and reading levels, the test will include an “adversity score” that indicates a persons social and economic background. The score won’t be shown to students and will be reported only to college officials, according to The New York Times. Race will also not be a factor in the score.

The college admissions scandals involved over 30 parents trying to get their children into elite colleges.

Klapper is just one of the 33 parents, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, charged in the admissions scheme. The U.S. Department of Justice reported that parents paid $15,000 to $75,000 to Singer in exchange for manufactured test scores. One student’s parents even paid $6.5 million to get their child into Stanford University.

This latest revelation about racial misrepresentation adds to a story that has brought national outrage over privilege. The college admissions scandal had also ignited a debate about diversity and legacy status in the college admissions process.

READ: The College Cheating Scandal Highlights The Different Paths Many Face Getting To College

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The First Ever Tribally-Associated Medical School Opened On Cherokee Lands

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The First Ever Tribally-Associated Medical School Opened On Cherokee Lands

Credit: Getty Images

In this unprecedented year that has pushed the boundaries of the healthcare industry past its breaking point, a new kind of medical school is making history. A medical school that caters to Indigenous American medical students.

The school is called Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Cherokee Nation (COMCN), and it will be the first tribally-associated medical school in the U.S.

Largely the brainchild of former principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, Bill John Baker, the project aims to combine the practices of traditional healing practice of the Cherokee people with Western medical teachings.

Bill John Baker’s original goal was to invest money into the Cherokee Nation medical system. His fundraising efforts drew the attention of Oklahoma State University, who approached the then-principal Chief with the idea of opening up a medical school on reservation lands. To him, the decision was a no-brainer.

“After we were removed from tribal lands and there were no teachers, we invested our treasury into teachers. This is a natural progression. Just as our ancestors grew their own teachers 150 years ago, we want to grow our own doctors,” Bill John Baker told Medscape.

As recent reports have detailed, Indigenous communities are being disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the CDC, Indigenous Americans are testing positive for COVID-19 at 3.5 times the rate of white Americans. This is largely due to lingering historical inequities and structural failings that negatively impact the overall health of Indigenous Americans.

One of the solutions to this institutional failing is to recruit and train more doctors of color–in this case, more Indigenous American doctors. As of now, 0.4% of doctors in the U.S. identify themselves as being American Indian or Alaska Native.

Since COMCN is a state school, non-Indigenous students are welcome to study at the school as well. According to the university’s states, 22% of its students identify as Native American, while they make up less than 1% of the U.S. population.

The devastation that COVID-19 has wrought globally has spurred an uptick in medical school applications.

In what has been dubbed the “Fauci Effect”, the number of potential students applying to medical school is up 18% this year from last year. It seems that this global health crisis has sparked a desire in certain people dedicate their lives to medicine.

So COMCN couldn’t come at a better time. America needs more Indigenous doctors and COMCN is here to teach them.

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Rep. Ruben Gallego Broke Down Jared Kushner’s White Privilege In A Twitter Thread About Their Paths To Harvard

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Rep. Ruben Gallego Broke Down Jared Kushner’s White Privilege In A Twitter Thread About Their Paths To Harvard

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Jared Kushner recently made headlines for saying that Black Americans have to “want to be successful.” Kushner continued in the Fox & Friends interview saying that Trump policies are trying to help them with issues that “they’re complaining about.” Congressman Ruben Gallego of Arizona took to Twitter to call out Kushner and his easy, money-paved path in life after the interview aired.

Rep. Ruben Gallego has a few words about Jared Kushner’s claim that Black Americans don’t “want to be successful.”

Kushner, Ivanka Trump’s husband, was being interviewed by Fox & Friends when he suggested that Black Americans don’t want to successful. He added that the Trump administration has created policies to help Black Americans. Specifically, the Trump administration has created policies to help Black Americans overcome things that “they’re complaining about.”

The interview was immediately slammed by Democrats and activists as being tone deaf. Furthermore, the rhetoric is reminiscent of language used against the Black community for decades to justify policies that disenfranchised and injured the Black community.

Rep. Gallego was one of Kushner’s classmates at Harvard and the two had very different paths to the prestigious school.

Rep. Gallego created a Twitter thread to show the hoops he had to jump through in order to make it to Harvard. As a Latino from a middle class family, Rep. Gallego didn’t have a lot of the same luxuries afford to him like someone of Kushner’s background. The congressman’s story about his way to the Ivy League school is something a lot of people of color can relate to.

The story is an extension and deeper dive into the college admission scandal narrative.

Rep. Gallego detailed his four years in high school with the mission of making it to Harvard. For him, that meant studying for his exams for years with free and used test preps he could get his hands on. There was a community support to make it possible for him to get materials he needed.

According to Data USA, Harvard’s student body is heavily white. The data shows that 41 percent of students are white, 13.5 percent are Asian, 8.19 percent are Hispanic or Latino, and 5.35 percent Black or African-American.

Even the interviewing process was something so many other students didn’t have to contend with.

Some universities, especially ivy league schools, require prospective students to interview with alums and administrators. These interviews weigh heavily in the process and for Rep. Gallego, they were not easy to get to. He had to rely on public transportation to make it to his various interviews around Chicago.

Rep. Gallego spent four years getting ready to go to Harvard.

After four years of hard work and sacrifice, Rep. Gallego was accepted to Harvard. His path to Harvard was filled with friends and family helping him along the way, which is common in Latino communities. It is a story that many of us are familiar with but it isn’t a truly universal story, as Rep. Gallego points out about Kushner.

Kushner’s easy path to Harvard is why the congressman took issue with Kushner’s comments.

Documents show that Kushner got into Harvard after his father pledged a $2.5 million gift to be paid in annual installments of $250,000. Both of Kushner’s parents were also members of Harvard’s Committee of University Resources and donated to the school. In an interview with ProPublica, a former administrator at Kushner’s high school admitted that no one at the school believed that he got admitted on his own merit. The official said that neither his grades nor SAT scores warranted his admission into Harvard.

Rep. Gallego ended his thread asking people to donate to the Biden campaign and the United Negro College Fund.

Rep. Gallego is clearly not letting this story go by without weighing in. Kushner’s comments have set off a firestorm of frustration with people across the nation.

READ: College Admissions Scandal Mastermind Reportedly Told Parents To Lie About Ethnicity To Further Advantage Their White Children

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