The number of underrepresented students has and continues to be a concern to many individuals on our campus. As progressive organizations, Hermanos Unidos and Sigma Alpha Zeta are aware and concerned with the issues that institutions of higher education partake in. With the elimination of affirmative action and the increased competitiveness of admissions into these fine institutions, the university, in conjunction with student organizations must work together to prepare, attract, and retain highly qualified underrepresented students. In addition, less qualified students, due to lack of appropriate resources, should also be prepared to attain post-secondary education.
Hermanos Unidos, in collaboration with Sigma Alpha Zeta, joined efforts in the year 1999 to bring 40 low-income high school students to the University of California, Santa Barbara campus. Participants had the opportunity to experience college life in its reality. The program proved to be a success and seven participants enrolled into UCSB the following quarter. Those individuals who became successful examples of the program were also provided with a multitude of networks, resources, and support groups throughout their college career. After consecutive years of our program's execution, more students continue to participate in our program and hence, our enrollment numbers have increased. This year, in our 20th attempt to execute CLOP, 150 low-income students from various disadvantaged Los Angeles schools and Oakland will be invited to participate in an all-expense-paid program. With the assistance from the Office of Student Life, the Student Initiated Outreach Program, Office of Admissions, Associated Students and many other resources, participants are able to spend this time uncovering the wonders of college life and what the University of California, Santa Barbara has to offer.
Sigma Alpha Zeta and Hermanos Unidos are eager and willing to work with the University of California Santa Barbara to take up the challenge of diversifying our institution. As a result, the College Link Outreach Program continues to be executed to the fullest to meet the needs of these underrepresented students while introducing them to the great university system that is the University of California.