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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

UCSD Announces New Efforts To Attract Minority Students

— To increase minority enrollment at UC San Diego, where racial tensions have been on the rise, university officials today announced new efforts to get minorities who have been admitted to the school to enroll.

Students, faculty, staff and alumni will be asked to take part in a phone call campaign to get traditionally under-represented students to sign up for classes at UCSD, university officials said.

Also planned are so-called affinity group sessions to invite black, Latino and Native American students and their families to visit the campus.

The Black Students Union will hold an overnight program for blacks who have been admitted to the school so they can experience what it's like to be at

UCSD. Minority students will also be invited to spend the night at UCSD in the spring.

"These initiatives encourage prospective students to discover the exceptional opportunities for the world-class education experience that UC San Diego offers," Chancellor Marye Anne Fox said in a statement. "These new programs, in addition to our existing efforts, will help to ensure a more diverse student body and healthier campus climate."

The new initiatives will be in addition to existing efforts to improve outreach to attract first-generation, low-income and minority students to the campus, university officials said.

"The first step is to get under-represented, low-income and first generation students to apply, and the second step is to get admitted students to accept," said Mae Brown, assistant vice chancellor of admissions.

The programs are part of the effort by UCSD to ease racial tensions on

ampus stemming from a "Compton Cookout" party during Black History Month. The situation was exacerbated by subsequent racially insensitive language on a

student-run television station, the discovery of a noose on campus and a crudely formed Ku Klux Klan-style hood on a statue.

University officials said attracting minority students to UCSD has been more difficult since the passage of Proposition 209, which was approved by voters in 1996 and bans schools and other government entities in California from taking race into account in education, employment and contracting.

According to UCSD, freshman applications from minority students for the fall semester are up 8.8 percent.

A total of 1,968 black students, up 20.6 percent, 8,269 Latino and Mexican students, up 5.8 percent, and 324 Native Americans, up 25 percent, applied for the university's fall quarter.

Less than 2 percent of existing UCSD students are black, according to the school.

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