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Opening Arguments

In common

I presume Rose-Hulman wants to still be thought of as a great institution. But it buried this most relevant information in the seventh paragraph of its news release : "The freshman class' profile includes a 92.6 median class rank percentile, SAT median scores of 670 math/630 critical reading, ACT median scores of 32 math/28 English, 23 perfect math scores on the SAT or ACT, and 72 students ranked first, second or third in their graduating classes." It chose to lead with this:

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology has welcomed its most ethnically and geographically diverse freshman class in school history, with 10.7 percent of the incoming class consisting of students of color and 58.4 percent coming from outside Indiana.

[. . .]

The incoming freshman class has the largest number of Hispanic/Latino students; the number of women (96) is the third highest ever; and the number of Asian Americans (25) tied for first.

Also, application records were set for the number of international students (102), Latino/Hispanic students (108), Asian American students (299) and women (689).

Heaven forbid that we point out Rose-Hulman is an institution that has always sought and gotten the best students around. That would be elitist and sexist and racist and nativist and, now that I think of it, patriarchal. This nation, contrary to recent conventional wisdom, was not founded on differences. It was founded on overcoming those differences and finding what we have in common. Celebrating our diversity is shallow and counterproductive.

These kids deserve praise and encouragement -- but for what they have accomplished, not who they were born. How disrespectful of them to do otherwise.

Posted in: Hoosier lore


Tue, 08/28/2007 - 2:11pm

I think they're just taking their greatness for granted, and extolling some of their other virtues. :-)

They're slipping, though--when I was a freshman in 1990, I think it was closer to 50% that graduated first or second in their high school class. I may be mis-remembering through a rose-colored (ha!) filter.

It was and remains an incredible school, either way. I graduated in 1993 (three years) and it was the hardest I've ever had to work at anything in my life.