Letters to the Editor


Each November, thousands of high school seniors apply for freshman admission to one of the University of California’s eight undergraduate campuses. To better evaluate those who apply to one of the campuses with more applicants than available seats, the University of California implemented a policy known as comprehensive review last year.

The six campuses using comprehensive review have 14 selection criteria. The criteria and the importance placed on academic achievement have remained unchanged in recent years. The difference is that these selective campuses now look at merit in a broader context for all students instead of for only some, as previously occurred.

In addition to assessing grades in college preparatory courses and test scores, these campuses look for tenacity, leadership, special talents, creativity, community service and evidence of the commitment needed to successfully pursue a college degree.

In a nutshell, they are looking for academic and personal achievement — which demonstrate a student is likely to thrive at a UC school.

This year, when the second round of applicants undergo comprehensive review, the university will expand its longstanding verification of all students’ high school records to include verification of some of the other criteria used to make admissions decisions.

It has long been our experience that the vast majority of students are truthful in their applications. A pilot verification program that examined applications submitted in fall 2001 found no exceptions. When the applications of approximately 400 students were randomly sampled, each and every one was able to verify their information.

While the Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools does not expect that the University of California’s expanded verification processes will detect major irregularities, we believe it is important to monitor the accuracy and reliability of the information used in the admissions process.

So far, news of this expanded effort has been well-received by many high school counselors and students who say it will reinforce the message that applicants must complete their applications truthfully or risk being removed from consideration for admission on any UC campus.

Another important fact to keep in mind is that comprehensive review has not changed the University of California’s eligibility requirements. All eligible applicants are still guaranteed a spot on at least one of our campuses, and anyone who is eligible can succeed at any of our campuses; each offers a stimulating environment and a wide range of opportunities for personal development. The selectivity rate is not the sole or best indicator of quality.

The application deadline is drawing close, and those thinking of applying can visit the UC admissions Web site at http://www.ucop.edu/pathways to learn more.

— Dr. Barbara Sawrey,

Chairwoman of the UC Academic Senate Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools

Carter article misrepresented facts, history


I have to take issue with your author, Dustin Frelich, on his leaving out relevant facts and the revisionist history in his article printed Nov. 25 (“”Carter Unfairly Criticizes Bush,”” vol. 107, issue 18). I don’t know if stating facts that make your case while leaving things out that may hurt you is common practice in an informative newspaper, but I think revisionist history goes beyond the line.

The authors states that former president Jimmy Carter was “”Generally regarded as one of the most naive presidents, especially in foreign affairs (remember the Iran Hostage crisis?).”” Your author is one of the people who perpetuates this view by leaving out Carter’s greatest achievement: the Israeli government’s first and only successful land-for-peace deal between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Mencahim Begin. Carter helped personally negotiate the return of the Sinai Peninsula as well as dismantle all of the Israeli settlements in the region. Since this deal, Egypt and Israel have been at peace, like they had been from 1948 to 1979. This is much more then President George W. Bush has currently accomplished for peace in the Middle East thus far, and is strangely absent when talking about former president Carter. It should also be noted that Carter tried his best to solve the Iran Hostage Crisis with military action that was poorly devised by his advisers, but attempts were made. Carter does not get the credit for the release of the hostages even though it was his administration that got them sent home.

The most blatant thing wrong with your author’s article is his statement, “”As I recall, it was only after the world followed U.S. lead, turned away from isolation and appeasement that Hitler was defeated, to the benefit of all.”” The author recalls wrong since it was the United States that was the isolationist country and it was not the United States that was followed in resisting the Nazis. After the appeasement of Neville Chamberlain in the beginning of Hitler’s reign, Winston Churchill was installed as prime minister and he urged resistance against Nazi Germany. It was British and French troops who first resisted the Nazi blitzkreig. It was Great Britain’s fleets that engaged the Third Reich’s navy and British commandos who mounted covert operations in Norway to attack Nazi troops. This is all before the United States came into the war. Great Britain and Winston Churchill were the bastion against Nazi Europe, and the United States followed Great Britain’s example of resistance. The rest of the world was already at war with Japan and Hitler before the United States decided to join the effort. The United States followed the world into war, and it is a very “”America First”” revision of history your author perpetuates.

— Chris Vance,

UCSD student