After Forum, Weight Given to Race in Trinity Admissions Still Unclear

Students of all persuasions left Tuesday’s town hall with vague answers to hard questions.

The admissions office at Trinity is located in Northrup Hall.

On Tuesday, February 4, the Trinity University Admissions Staff hosted an open forum about race and diversity in the admissions process. The staff present were Vice President for Enrollment Management Eric Maloof, Dean of Admissions Justin Doty, Associate Director of Admissions Jeremy Boyce, and Assistant Director of Admissions Michaela Knipp. The forum was open to the public for students and other faculty and staff. All four admissions staff members described their vision for a diverse student body as well as some shortcomings of the admissions committee. At the end, there was a twenty minute Q&A session with some students and faculty members.

Maloof opened with some statistics on Trinity admissions, stating that 65% of the applicants for this admission year were nonwhite, and 48% of students admitted to the class of 2023 were nonwhite. He stated that although Trinity is not a diverse university overall when compared to every school in the country, it is a diverse school for its size and category.

“We do not admit students solely on race,” Knipp added.

Maloof stressed the importance of having racial and ethnic diversity at Trinity. “We do take race into account when we admit students here,” Maloof said. He hopes that the numbers of nonwhite students will continue to climb in the future. 

Boyce stressed the importance of reaching out to people with diverse backgrounds, but also discussed the value of diversity itself. “We look at a variety of very different backgrounds when admitting students. Race is not the only aspect of diversity that we look at. There are some people who are not black or brown that can be more diverse.” 

During the Q&A session, one student asked what aspect of diversity is most important when the Admissions Committee comes across students with very similar academic criteria. Doty deflected, saying this was a hard question to answer and that the admissions process is so individual. 

“We do take race into account when we admit students here,” Maloof said.

“We can’t say one thing completely overrides another. We look at everything: hometown, high school activities, and their essay response,” Doty said.

Maloof asked the student if she was essentially asking “what race holds the most weight?” He responded saying that it is an advantage to be a certain race at Trinity and at other schools it is a disadvantage for that race. 

“For instance, it is an advantage to be Asian-American at Trinity because they are a low population group here, while at schools where they are overrepresented, it is a disadvantage,” Maloof said. “We will never admit someone who we think can’t do the work here.” 

“We do not admit students solely on race,” Knipp added.

Author: Emma McMahan

Emma McMahan is a sophomore at Trinity University, majoring in International Studies with a triple minor in Chinese, Economics, and Political Science. She is the Social Chairman of the Young Conservatives of Texas at Trinity University. In her free time, she enjoys playing guitar, songwriting, and reading classic novels.

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