Diverse counselors needed

The CHANCE program should make an effort to maintain a counseling staff with an ethnic balance to best serve the needs of its students.

As a result of the recent resignation of Frank Minton and the university’s decision not to renew Martha Palmer’s contract, the CHANCE program will find itself minus black counselors when the spring semester begins.

Admittedly, as a whole, the program’s 12 staff members do represent a “well-mixed” program employing whites, blacks and latinos, but it is crucial that the staff with whom students have the most contact reflect the same standards.

Currently, blacks make up more than half of the total number of CHANCE students—of the 451 students enrolled in the program, 264 are black. It seems only logical that the program would require, at minimum, one black counselor.

Granted, the CHANCE program should not employ a person for the sole purpose of meeting a quota, nor should it hire someone with lesser qualifications than another merely to hire a black. There also is no need to require the number of minority counselors be proportionate to the number of minority students in the program.

But if the CHANCE program is going to be effective in turning around its 80 percent attrition rate, the program should strive to work more to suit its student’s needs.

Because the majority of CHANCE students are minorities, not meeting the university’s academic requirements, counselors provide the support for students to fall back on in times of self-doubt or need. Some students might be more apt to turn to counselors of similar ethnic background for security or help.