Regent blasts 'race based' aid at meeting

By Hanh Quach

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Regent John Munger remained staunch in his ideas about affirmative action when he repeated his stand to students Wednesday night during a meeting with the College Republicans.

Speaking before 40 students, Munger reiterated his opposition to race-based financial aid.

"It's not a question of cutting aid," Munger said. "It's a question of what is the best formula for distributing the funds we have."

Munger said he would like to see the 3 percent of "race based" financial aid funds supplemented and shifted into a common pool where the aid will be distributed based on need.

"If you are in need of the aid, your need isn't going to change," Munger said.

David Benton, president of the Black Law Students Association, said he did not understand Munger's reason for targeting 3 percent of money, adding that Munger's plans were still too vague to understand.

"I have yet to see him come up with a budget allocation of his own," he said.

Munger traced the problem to the high school and elementary school level, where he said the system was not graduating enough college-eligible minority students.

Statistically, Munger said, 50 percent of whites that graduate from high school are college-eligible. He also said 32 percent of blacks and Hispanics graduate ready for college and 66 percent of graduating Asian students are college-eligible.

"The university is admitting more minority college-eligible students per capita than whites, and (minorities) are receiving about twice as much aid," Munger said.

"Nobody likes discrimination no matter who you are," said Benton, "but I'm not sure that discrimination occurs to the extent that he's alluding."

"Admissions to (the) university should be color-blind," said Eric Clingan, president of the College Republicans, "As long as we are focusing on race as an issue, we are doing the university a great disservice."

"I don't consider myself a racist; I'm just trying to get our society to the point of equality," Munger said.

Munger encouraged the students to stand behind their ideals, despite opposition.

Clingan told the group that he would "stand behind (Munger) and respect him for speaking the truth about issues that need to be discussed."

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