Letters to the Editor, Opinions

Letter: Response to ‘State of Brown’ address

Sunday, April 16, 2017

To the Editor:

I am writing to comment on Friday’s article on the State of Brown address given by President Christina Paxson P’19 (“Paxson P’19 stresses advocacy, diversity in ‘State of Brown’ address,” Apr. 14). One of the most important elements included in the article is Paxson’s stated commitment to “increase the socioeconomic diversity of (Brown’s) international students.” It is gratifying to see that the administration is cognizant that issues of diversity apply equally to those who come from outside the United States. After all, every society oppresses different groups of people, whether because of their socioeconomic status, gender or membership in a marginalized racial, religious or ethic group, to name just a few of many intersecting identities. As a university, Brown has not done enough to include international students from all these backgrounds in its admissions process. The most significant reason for this is that admission for international applicants is still not need-blind; by and large, the ability to pay still plays a significant role in admissions decisions about international students. The administration must make every effort to make admission need-blind for everybody as soon as possible. At the same time, we must continue to highlight the significant yet often neglected barriers many international students face when pursuing admission to universities like Brown. If we truly believe that diversity of experience enriches our university, it behooves us to commit to including students of all backgrounds — domestic and international — in the Brown community.

Aliosha Bielenberg ’20