Mexican-American Students at Harvard Recruit More Chicanos from Southwest

A Mexican-American student at the Business School organized a student group last Fall which successfully recruited 40 additional Chicanos for Boston-area universities.

Jesse Bojorquez, who got his MBA degree in June, founded the United Mexican-American Students (UMAS) of Boston, which increased Chicano enrollment from two to seven in the MBA program and from two to 12 in the College. Mexican-Americans comprise six per cent of the U.S. population.

UMAS also recruited students for the Law School, Education School, Medical School, Brandeis, M.I.T., and Wellesley.

Narciso Oano, a second-year MBA candidate and UMAS member, criticized "the reluctance of some schools to be sensitive to the problems of the Mexican-American." Cano cited "the language problem, ingrained as a result of the Southwest's educational system," and said that some universities fail to notify UMAS when UMAS-recruited applicants file incomplete admissions applications.

In the long run, Cano hopes to "establish contacts that will be able to send bright students to this area with a minimum of help from our organization."


Last year, 13 UMAS recruiters interviewed 600 students for colleges and 500 students for graduate schools. These interviews, often held in groups, generated more than 200 applications. UMAS operated on a $4000 budget, $3000 of which came from the Business School.

This year, UMAS's budget is almost twice as lange. The organization is currently negotiating with the College admissions office for a $1000 grant.

Robert E. Kaufman, Director of College Admissions, said, "My impression is that they have a good approach because they've spread themselves out to include several colleges and graduate schools instead of limiting themselves to just one institution."

He explained that the biggest challenge in recruiting Mexican-Americans is that "their community is so far away. It's particularly difficult to make contacts there."

George Aragon, a student in the Business School's doctoral program, pointed out that UMAS is one of several organizations that recruit Chicanos to East Coast schools.

Mexican-American students attended a conference at Yale last May and formed a National Alliance of Chicano Students representing more than 15 schools and 100 students. "To build this organization," Aragon said, "will be one of the main objectives of Chicano students this year."