[pullquote1 quotes=”true” align=”center”]Letter to the Editor[/pullquote1]

To the Editor:

First of all, I want to make clear that I am not trying to offend anyone, but solely trying to get answers and properly demonstrate POSSE’s true colors.

I am a sophomore and an extremely proud POSSE scholar. After rereading Kyle Lawrence’s article for the fifth time I still cannot understand how the POSSE Foundation could be harmful to anyone. The only negative consequence that can remotely make sense is the fact the school awards these merit and leadership-based scholarships out of its own funds. Nevertheless, the school gains more because of the diversity (not only ethnically) of ideas and accomplishments we bring to F&M and the other amazing POSSE-partner institutions.

Without the POSSE scholarship I really doubt I would be an F&M student. POSSE opens doors and expands opportunities for its scholars. How is this a bad thing? How does this negatively affect non-POSSE scholars?

I do not know if Lawrence is correct about the SAT data involving POSSE students, but even if he is, the SATs are just standardized exams testing how well a person can endure an unnecessarily long test. The SATs do not examine how smart or intelligent a person is or how great a student is. One of the main missions of POSSE is to provide a support system for the other members and to make sure all members of a POSSE cohort graduate together and on time. How is this harmful to anyone?

Just like any other student, as a POSSE scholar, I worked extremely hard to receive an acceptance letter from F&M. I was at the top five percent of my high school graduating class and I am still a hardworking, ambitious, and goal-oriented student here at F&M. Furthermore, the POSSE foundation itself is no game. Each year it becomes more and more competitive. There are requirements and standards as a POSSE scholar, you have to meet and keep up. All POSSE scholars go through a three-round interview process. During the third round interview, after all of our applications are in, Dr. Porterfield, Dean Trachte, Dean O’Day, Chiquita Geldorp, and a few other people involved in the admissions process come and interview us. Eventually, just like in any other student’s case, the school’s admissions officers choose who they want to be a part of the incoming class.

I agree with Lawrence when he implicitly states there are privileges and inequality revolving around POSSE. Due to those unequal starting levels, unequal education, and high chance of being overlooked by highly selective colleges is the reason why POSSE is here. How is this wrong in any way?

I am not sure what Lawrence’s intentions were but I do not think articles such as this one should be published anywhere, even if the intended goal is to get people to react to it. Still on this campus, despite the various clubs, sororities, fraternities, and Lancaster community activities POSSE scholars create and/or participate in, many people do not know what POSSE is about. I am not upset with The College Reporter, but I do think that because of the major influence it has on this campus and the rest of the people who read it, claims like the ones Lawrence made are unacceptable.

Additionally, I would like to remind people that being accepted into F&M through POSSE is not affirmative action — it is similar to getting accepted into a school through a football, merit, or any other type of scholarship.

Once again, please do not feel as if I am attacking The College Reporter or Lawrence, but solely the issue. POSSE teaches its scholars to attack the issue and not the person in order to settle things properly and diplomatically.

Thank you very much,
Vicky Rodriguez