Does this mean white students could identify as black on school and loan applications? That could create some problems.

The College Fix reports:

Brown University to allow students to ‘self-identify’ as persons of color

Brown University is implementing a change to its graduate school application that will allow applicants to “self-identify” as persons of color. Multiple efforts by The College Fix to clarify the details of this change were ignored by campus officials.

The policy comes as a result of complaints made by graduate students on the Graduate School advisory board that international and Asian American students are not treated as members of historically underrepresented groups by the university, according to The Brown Daily Herald.

One graduate student, Lydia Kelow-Bennett, told The Herald that this decision has led to “institutional invisibility” for these students. Brown defines historically underrepresented groups as “American Indian, Alaskan Native, African American, Hispanic or Latinx and Native Hawaiian and/or Pacific Islander.” The school’s diversity initiatives are intended to benefit members of these groups.

Brown’s criteria for historical underrepresentation “caused some students to not receive invitations to certain events, such as a multicultural student dinner,” The Herald reported.

How allowing applicants to self-identify as persons of color will affect policy relating to the diversity initiatives, and whether the university will take any steps to verify applicants’ self-identification, remain unclear. The Fix reached out multiple times to Brown’s graduate admissions office to inquire into how Brown would ensure that applicants were telling the truth about their self-identified ethnicity. The office did not respond.