Thursday, November 3, 2011

NAS Challenges Public Race-Based Admissions

The National Association of Scholars, along with others, filed an amicus brief with the High Court stating public universities violate the Constitution if they use applicants' race as a factor to decide on admissions.

The particular case in question stems from a University of Texas student Abigail Fisher who was denied admission to UT-Austin based, as she suggests, the university's admissions policy that screens applicants for racial background (she's Caucasian). UT-Austin considers an applicant's race, with favoritism for African-Americans and Hispanics.

"Judging applicants to a public university on the basis of their skin color isn't just unfair, it is unconstitu­tional," said Sharon L. Browne, a principal attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation. "Teaching students that they are defined not by their hard work, but by their skin color, violates core concepts of equal opportunity and core principles of the Equal Protection Clause."

On one hand you want a racially diverse group, initially rulings that permitted this type of 'discrimination' did so with the intent of increasing diversity in the classroom and attempting to enable? under privileged students to access post-secondary programs.

Conversely, race is not always an accurate determinant for diversity. Skin color does not necessarily imply very different socio-economic or even cultural backgrounds.

According to Browne applicants who are most discriminated against by UT-Austin's policy are Asians. "Admissions statistics bear this out," said Browne. "Asian Americans need an average SAT score of 1,322 to be admitted, compared to 1,193 for Hispanics.

Your thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. I've always been interested in this topic, being a minority who consistently listed myself as "white" on college and graduate school applications. It didn't, however, help me "beat" the stigma that I was there for something other than racial preference/leg-up (in my case 4.0 GPA as a high school and college student, and later graduate school). Didn't Martin Luther King, Jr say something to the effect about "not looking at a man's skin color but rather the strength of his character?" I think liberal political organizers who are usually the loudest about the issue shoot their own leg every time this becomes a hot button topic.