Admissions aims for diversity

For the first time next year, a New Horizons Islamic elementary school student will attend Harvard-Westlake as a seventh grader. It is part of a laudable effort that the Admission Office has taken to diversify our student body.

We ought to make our school a place where the best young minds of the diverse Los Angeles population come together not only to learn from textbooks, but also from each other.

If our school is to consider itself the premier learning institution in the Western United States, its student body must adequately reflect its environment.

While our school accepts streams of Jewish and Asian-American students each year, a quick glance at the student body reveals a lack of many other ethnic minorities and one ethnic majority — Latinos.Thankfully, this is starting to change.   Director of Admission Elizabeth Gregory first began reaching out to the Latino community two years ago, recruiting students from South Los Angeles and Westchester to join the rank and file of ritzy West Los Angelenos and posh Valley girls.Â

These new students benefit by receiving a great education and by being offered all of the opportunities a student at Harvard-Westlake is presented.All students, moreover, will learn how to coexist with other cultures in our increasingly diverse lives. The Admission Office should be commended for taking a proactive stance in increasing the scope of schools it visits and encourages applications from.  But the best way to get a more diverse student applicant pool is to accept more diverse students.

Presently, the diversity at Harvard-Westlake is limited to racial differences. The Admission Office has shown that it is willing to take that first step in diversifying our student body racially. It is now their  responsibility to carry this momentum forward by attaining a higher degree of socio-economic diversity.  Â