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Samantha Robles Headshot

UT Needs Holistic Review

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Elements of social and intellectual experience form an individual value that is intangible. I am a first-generation student, Latina, daughter, older sister, friend, ageless learner, advocate and a lover of Zumba. Each of these describes me, yet these words are not fully capable of defining my learning experiences, hardships or goals.

The University of Texas is seeking diversity -- race being only one consideration in this process. The Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin decision will be the deciding factor in how universities across the country can seek a diverse student population.

Diversity is a complex concept that is not limited to what we put on our college applications. The "top 10 percent rule" in Texas helps bring students from various rural communities, social classes, sexual orientations, races and learning levels; however, it is not enough to achieve the amount of diversity needed at this university. Holistic review is important to UT because it allows for a person to be recognized by everything that makes them whole and unique.

We are dealing with educational inequalities that need to be resolved from the roots of the public education system. The top 10 percent rule is only successful in Texas because the state is hyper-segregated. As community leaders and public educators, we have to work together in creating an equal opportunity playing field.

My college experience has been diverse beyond imagination. I have had the opportunity to serve different communities of color, be an ally to the queer community and be a leader to foster growth in others. My greatest companions at the university are of different colors, different religions, genders and sexual orientations. Our different walks of life have led us here to the University of Texas.

Although my college experience is a testament to the diverse life at UT, there are still students that have been uncomfortable in a class setting or who have been discriminated against by a fellow student. These incidents are an indicator that we need more diversity on campus.

The University of Texas is looking for diversity. Regardless of your major, your involvement on campus, your career goals or personal goals, students at the University of Texas believe in changing the world. This can only be attained by bringing in students with a worldwide range of perspectives and experiences.

Diversity improves student life. It breaks down racial barriers -- many barriers -- and helps us understand and appreciate our differences.

Diversity will unite us more than it can ever divide us.

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