The question about race in college applications brings inequality to students
By Alexa Shrake
We have all been through college applications and checked the box for our nationality without thinking about what that meant.
For Harvard University, that box can be one of the main deciding factors for admissions. According to National Public Radio, a federal district court judge did not see Harvard at fault for taking race into consideration but that doesn’t mean it should be factor to whether a student can be admitted.
The plaintiff, Students for Fair Admissions, has filed an appeal against Harvard University for their race-conscious admissions process according to the New York Times. They said Harvard discriminates against their Asian-American applicants. Not only has the university been questioned for this approach of admission, but also Stanford, Princeton and the University of California at Berkeley have faced intense scrutiny.
The original case of University of California v. Bakke on June 28, 1978, led the
U.S. Supreme Court to declare affirmative action constitutional. At the same time, it invalidated the use of racial quotas which allows admitting a certain amount of individuals of a specific race. Affirmative action is meant to prevent overrepresentation in higher education. Cases like Harvard’s have been rising for the past 40 years.
Sophomore Jada Gaskins said she has also noticed racial bias when working as a diversity advocate on campus and as a student of color herself.
“In the classroom there are professors who either pick on the minority students because they don’t want to make them feel left out,” Gaskins said. “But in doing that you’re always calling them out because their skin color.”
Race should not be a factor in the classroom, nor should it rule admissions. Our race is not what makes us succeed in academics. Students whom have earned their way academically should be allowed to attend their dream school without having to worry about affirmative action stepping over that work or campus identities.
Sophomore Annaleah Urton works as a diversity advocate and has talked with her peers about diversity. Her job is based on teaching students and staff to look past color and ethnicity and see everyone as equal. Affirmative action tries to separate individuals. It’s equality that matters.
“We’ll go into a classroom if a professor asks, and we’ll talk about certain aspects of diversity,” Urton said. “During welcome week, we did an activity with the freshmen where they were exposed to ways of thinking that probably didn’t happen during high school.”
Higher education gives students a chance to learn and evolve outside their bubbles. It should not be controlled. Although Harvard is trying to improve the diversity of their student body, it’s just breaking a fundamental human right to equality.
Many are worried that affirmative action will continue to grow into other universities’ admissions. Affirmative action in Harvard maintains a racial balance to keep racial groups in specific amounts, according to The New York Times. Vox, a news website, pointed out the fact students of black and Hispanic heritage could drop from Harvard if the admissions system is changed.
All institutions need to end admissions based on looks. We can control our GPA; we cannot control our ethnicity.