"level playfields"

igo at biovx2.DNET.NASA.GOV igo at biovx2.DNET.NASA.GOV
Wed Aug 4 22:35:42 EST 1993


This is the first message I have sent to any newsgroup, so please bear with 
me if things don't go as expected.  8-)

I am a new graduate student, just finishing my first year.  I find the
idea of basing things such as admission to grad school, (or getting a
job, or giving a talk at an important meeting) mainly on gender (or on
race or on anything else *unrelated* to what should be relevant factors)
kind of appalling.  If I found out tomorrow that my GENDER was a *major*
consideration in the decision to accept me to grad school, with factors
such as research experience, grades in college and other *related* 
factors being secondary to my gender, I would have a very difficult
decision.  I would think seriously about quitting grad school now.

In college I knew of two students in classes with me, both were applying
to Medical School.  They were friends, and took most of the same classes
together, and studied together.  One of the two did *consistently* 
better in classes than the other.  On the Med School Admission Test,
(the MCAT) the same one did significantly better.  The same student
worked with a professor on an undergrad research project, the other did
not.  When it came time to apply to Med Schools, the student who did
consistently better, and who happened to be a white male, did not get in.
His friend, who happened to be a member of a traditionally "underepresented"
group, got in to most of the schools applied to, many quite competitive.  
I hope this does not happen often, but I expect it happens more than it 
should.  
	I realize that Med School admissions are not really under discussion
here, but the line of discussion brought that example to mind.  Granted,
many other factors are considered when accepting a student, or deciding
if someone will get a job, but if the factor that pushes them over the edge 
is unrelated to their capability, that seems wrong to me. 
	Perhaps I am too idealistic, thinking that positions should be
given to those who deserve them and who have demonstrated their ability 
without regard to gender or race, etc.


Megan Igo
UCLA Bio
	



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