UC excludes certain ethnicities in application
When senior Asila Nassem was filling out her application for University of California colleges, she had no trouble answering any of the questions, until she was asked what ethnicity she is. Born as an Afghan, Nassem proceeded to find her ethnicity within the group that Afghan is classified.
However, this question stumped her.
“I came across this problem when I was completing my UC application and an application for a private college,” Nassem said. “I found that after I selected Asian as my ethnicity, I was given many different options of different countries in Asia. This list seemed to include almost every country, like Pakistan, but no Afghanistan.”
Discovering that Afghanistan was not under the listing, Nassem attempted to find her ethnicity in other categories.
“I checked all of the other groups of ethnicities just to make sure that Afghan was not listed under another tab, but I could not locate it,” Nassem said. “In the end, I applied as ‘Asian: Other.’”
Currently, California has the largest population of the ethnic group outside of Afghanistan. There are over 40,000 Afghans in the Bay Area and over 10,000 Afghans in the Southern Californian region (www.allied-media.com). Locally, Fremont has the largest population of Afghans in the Bay Area; according to the San Francisco Chronicle, Fremont is actually known as Little Kabul (Kabul is the capital of Afghanistan).
However, the lack of representation occurring under a major public university system shocked Nassem. She hoped that in the future, the UC system changes and accommodates all of the ethnicities there are.
“As an Afghan that takes pride in my heritage, I felt as if this was an insult,” Nassem said. “I expected that our public university system would have included it in the list of ethnicities. I hope in the future, the UC application is fixed to correctly reflect all ethnicities so that no certain group of people feel excluded.”
A UC representative was not available to comment.