Re: URM 2017-2018 Cycle Thread
Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:39 am
para219 wrote:I think we should also cater to URMs (MAs, PRs) with average numbers that may not be auto-admits. ESPECIALLY since a bunch of yall were crying about folks critiquing that LSN profile that chose to go to Illinois.
You can defend the Illinois profile. Can you defend all of us?
Honestly, and no disrespect, I think it's time to separate MA/PR and AA/NA cycles.
I support yall but we simply do not have the same results. MAs/PRs/Latinos constantly need higher numbers and earlier applications to achieve the same results. That's a fact. AAs get admitted to schools with worst numbers than Latinos as well as all other populations and that's a fact.
This talk about "fiendin" for T6 scholarships by all of you in this thread is disrespectful. That's not our reality. Latinos need to stand up and pool information. AAs and NAs are not helpful to us.
I agree with everything you wrote in the first sentence. We should cater to URMs with average numbers that may not be auto-admits.
I do not remember a "bunch" of people crying about the LSN profile that chose UIUC. I do remember responding to the negative tones displayed by some individuals and subsequently calling for greater positivity and support of one another.
I work under the assumption that the underlying purpose of spaces like this URM thread is for members of our communities to come together and participate in coalition building, allyship, and support networks—of every URM. I might be completely wrong, and nobody here is interested in such endeavors, but until someone tells me to go away, my assumption will stay intact. Now, coalition building, allyship, and support can take many forms, from PS reviews, to DS advice, to simple congratulatory responses. Nonetheless, imo, the crux of having our space rests in the fact that when we belong to historically disadvantaged and marginalized communities—we only got us. Accordingly, we need to support each other. That is why I will defend and support that UIUC profile with the same fury that I will defend and support the applicant striving for the T6 with multiple T14 admission letters in their pocket.
Do applicants in this URM thread sometimes spew the same kind of elitism found elsewhere in the forum? Yes, but hegemony is hard to dismantle, and it takes time to get everyone on the same page. That's precisely why I called for more support of each other when I read the not-very-nice responses to the LSN profile and advocated that we not recreate the negativity used on us, in a space for us.
Nevertheless, is this thread akin to a smoking room where elites retreat to a cloud of smoke, drink brandy, and congratulate each other on being masters of the universe? I don't think so and I sure hope that never becomes the case either. There is a difference between the scene that I just described from the film Titanic and applicants participating in friendly discussions of their aspirations and anxieties.
If a group of strong, talented, and ambitious applicants discussing their desire for the T6 is found to be disrespectful, boosts of self-confidence and personal reflections on the definition of allyship are in order. Especially considering the naive claim that MAs and PRs have nothing to learn from AA and NA cycles or that they are not helpful to us—and as an MA applicant who will ecstatically, more-likely-than-not, attend a low T1 or high T2 institution, I do mean us.
para219 and I have a lot in common. I, too, am so happy with the amazing cycles many URM applicants are having. I admit I don't congratulate as much as I would like to but that's because I mostly get on TLS to spew tidbits about race—I will work on this. Additionally, I cannot relate my cycle to many applicants here; I, too, am looking for my first acceptance—period.
With that being said, I think a call for separate groups is silly.
Now, I will assume that someone created a URM category within TLS because URM cycles differ from non-URM cycles; therefore, a tailored space could benefit URMs in ways mainstream TLS could not. Following that line of reasoning, I can kind of arrive at the similar conclusion that because MA, PR, and Latinx cycles differ from AA and NA cycles, an MA/PR/Latinx-tailored space can benefit MA, PR, and Latinxs. But only kind of.
We do not share this space because URMs share similar numbers, or because URM experiences can be pigeonholed, or because URM applicants are a monolith. We share this space because of our underrepresented relationship to the legal world—not to each other. Let's not forget, the legal world doesn't look like us. That is the reality before, during, and after a JD from UIUC or a T6 school. Therefore, a perspective that interprets the aspirations of fellow URM applicants as "disrespectful," overlooks the powerful capacity in viewing those applicants, their goals, and their subsequent results, as an opportunity for virtual coalition building where allyship—not segregation—is a much more supportive response.
Perhaps there might be a logistical reason to have an MA/PR guide (maybe? idk), but I struggle to see how a separate non-AA-or-NA-URM space will offer MAs, PRs, or Latinxs with anything substantial that (1) we cannot already get in the existing space, and (2) would help us in our cycle.
What do we benefit from that space? A thread of posts with fewer discussions about T6 scholarships? Is that worth the cost of coalition building and allyship? But I digress. Instead, let's discuss the issue and the offered solution. If we want to cater to URMs with average numbers, is a separate space going to achieve that?
I agree, data about non-AA applicants is limited—but is a separate space going to increase the pool of information? And if it does increase the pool of information, because non-AA lurkers identify with the new space, won't the MA/PR/Latinx stellar and not-as-stellar applicants once again bifurcate the new space? There are some MAs and PRs whose cycle results resemble those of AA and NA applicants. Will these stellar-numbered MAs and PRs be considered disrespectful in the new MA/PR/Latinx space if they are discussing their numerous T14 acceptances when the other MAs and PRs are looking at a regional school? And herein lies my concern: the proposal of a separate MA/PR/Latinx space fails to address the issue that we should cater to applicants with not-so-stellar numbers.
I think this URM space can both cater to URMs with "average numbers" and support the URMs with stellar numbers. Sure, this space isn't perfect, and neither are we, but we need to start somewhere. I have no doubt in my mind that we can foster a space that showers applicants with praise, not solely due to their acceptances but because of what those acceptances mean in the grand scheme of things.