d?When the school year draws to close, college-bound seniors have
completed the college forms and eagerly await acceptance – or dread
rejection – from the college of their choice. However, as most people know,
there is much more to college admissions than a marshmallow bonfire by the
mailbox. The question is, by what process do universities examine student
applications and determine a qualified candidate? As a lawyer representing
Barbara Grutter, I have conducted thorough research on admissions policies
in American Universities. Because of my research, I can tell you that in
universities that utilize the policy of affirmative action, the selection
process is unfair and discriminatory. This policy is a serious issue
because it compromises the equality established under the US constitution,
displays itself as a stigma on the reputation of the minority, belittles
minorities as a whole, and because the “diversity” that the University of
Michigan heralds may have overrated effects that do not really change the
learning capacity of the classroom.
Primarily, the usage of race in the admissions process obviously
stands in direct violation of the equality offered by the Equal Protection
Act. Advocates of affirmative action will argue that minorities who come
from less privileged schools and neighborhoods must be given this advantage
to compensate for their lack of qualified teachers, textbooks, etc. This
logic is faulty as this imposed generality that all black, Hispanic, and
Native American born peoples are underprivileged is false. Second, what
would it feel like to be a perfectly qualified black student who only
recently finds that he is accepted into the famous XYZ University? Good
right? That is, until you reach campus grounds and you realize people
regard you as the “guy that got those extra points for being black”.
Affirmative action promotes a discriminatory thought discrediting black,
Hispanic, or Native American students that are truly qualified or gifted.
As Frederick Douglass remarked, “What I ask for the Negro isnot
benevolence, not pity, not sympathy, but simply justice…Do nothing for
us… All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him
alone!” (“Grutter v. Bollinger et al.” 42). Likewise, Justice Thomas
believes that “blacks can achieve in every avenue of American life without
the meddling of university administrators” (“Grutter v. Bollinger et al.”
42). As an adversary of this policy, I can say that I do not wish to strike
down blacks, Hispanics, or any type of people. Conversely, despite a shared
sympathy with the university administrator for their situation, I wish only
to lift them up on equal ground just as capable as any other man or woman
in this nation! Third, affirmative action is unnecessary in that advantages
stemming from racial diversity in classroom are overrated. According to a
study conducted by Stanley Rothman, much of the conclusions of previous
tests and surveys suffered from methodological defects, which “range from
poor item formulation to interpretive problems linked to selective recall
and social desirability response set. Rothman’s study approached members of
the university with “non-controversial questions about their perceptions
and experiences” to obtain data. He concluded that because “the predicted
positive associations of educational benefits and interracial understanding
failed to appear,” racial diversity does not necessarily improve the
“education and racial milieu at American colleges” (Rothman). This study
need not even be touched to show that the “advantages” conferred by racial
diversity makes little impact. Our school for example, has one of the
richest assortments of people of different ethnic groups. A glance around
the school however will show with a few exceptions that students have for
the most part segregated themselves into their own groups based on race.
Journalist Ron Edwards who observes, “for the most part, the whites
congregate with other whites and Asian students, while black students
generally hang together,” has noted this undeniable fact. (Edwards).
So what should be done? My plan is simple, mostly involving
university admissions policy changes. There are several ways – if diversity
is still desired – to maintain diversity while not using race as a factor.
For example, the factor of family income or the community average income
could be used. In such a case, the playing ground would be leveled in
society as a whole, including white and Asian students from poor families
and communities. In this way, the classroom will be comprised of a
kaleidoscope of diverse experiences rather than diverse colors (Online News
Hour). After all, who can say how smart any black person, Asian person, or
white person is. Cross-racial criteria are without a doubt, the best
factors to consider in the admissions process.
Picture a nation where eventually, taxpayer’s moneywillbe
sufficient to raise the quality of schools and teachers in the lesser
privileged neighborhoods such that all people will be able to compete
without handicaps or crutches. Maybe in the near future, university
classrooms will teem with all manner of colors, thoughts, and experiences.
What I request to bring America closer to this goal is not much.
Merely a visit to a website or an email to any university using this policy
of affirmative action is sufficient. Show transparency with web address U.
of MI’s email address. Grutter has also started a petition and I would be
much obliged if all who concur would sign it on her website.
No Author Given. “Grutter v. Bollinger et al.” Supreme Court of the
United States: Decided June 23, 2003: 87 pg. Government, US.
No Author Given. “Affirmative Action.” Online News Hour April 1, 2003:
8pg. MacNeil/Lehrer Productions. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/kw/jan-
june03/affaction_04-01.html. Accessed 3/23/2004
Edwards, Ron. “A Band-Aid Solution is Not a Cure.” American Daily 1/29/04:
2pg http://americandaily.com/item/4525 Accessed 3/23/2004
Stanley Rothman, Seymour, Martin Lipset, and Neil Nevirte. “Does Enrollment
Diversity Improve University Education.” Int J Public Opin Res.
Opinion Journals 2003