A couple weeks ago, my section discussed affirmative action pertaining to college admissions. Affirmative action is a policy that attempts to advance equality. Often times, affirmative action is enacted to make up for past discrimination which may have caused disadvantages to certain groups of individuals. In the United States, affirmative action is used in many colleges to help promote the diversity on campuses across the nation and to help ensure a certain distribution of various ethnicities.
Take a quick look at this article: http://www.texastribune.org/texas-education/higher-education/affirmative-action-suit-challenges-ut-policy/
Two woman, Abigail Fisher and Rachel Michalewicz filed a lawsuit attempting to overturn a 2003 Supreme Court Case allowing the use of race in the admissions process. They have targeted the University of Texas, believing they were denied simply because they were white. Past high court decisions, including Grutter vs. Bollinger, have allowed the use of race-based affirmative action to select incoming classes. However, in Texas, courts have already shot down race-based admission in Hopwood vs. Texas which forced state universities to find alternative ways of increasing their diversity.
I haven’t quite decided whether or not I agree with affirmative action. On one hand, it promotes the diversity of a school which allows students to experience more individuals with all sorts of cultural backgrounds. In addition, affirmative action helps groups that have been historically discriminated against, including African Americans and Hispanics. However, I also believe that Affirmative Action policies potentially discriminate against white or Asian-American applicants since they do not receive the same benefits as some other ethnic groups. However, I do feel that Fisher and Michalewicz do have a case in their attempts to disallow the use of race in the admissions process since the Hopwood vs. Texas case forced universities to implement other methods at increasing diversity which have shown success. However, I also feel that it is impossible to prove whether or not they were rejected because they were white or because of other factors. Some people believe that affirmative action is necessary because it makes up for past discrimination against African Americans that now do not have the same stability as Caucasians because of it. However, I don’t think I agree with that argument because instead of a race-based affirmative action, economic status could be used as a factor instead to help determine how much an applicant had to overcome.
The use of Affirmative Action has been an ongoing debate in the college admissions process. Do you believe that this policy promotes a better education with the more diverse campus that affirmative action attempts to achieve? Or do you believe that it is a form of discrimination against Caucasian or Asian-American applicants and should not be continued? What do you think that the philosophers we studied in class, including Rousseau, would think?