Affirmative action: the ever so controversial policy that has many individuals in our society butting heads. Recently, there has been a question on this topic that has had many scratching their heads: does Harvard University admissions discriminate against Asian Americans?
The first thing to address is the claims being made by the plaintiffs in this trial. The case is purporting that Asian American applicants are being looked at on a higher standard, as opposed to other minority groups and white students applying. Junior biochemistry major,Jacky Fan agrees, commenting, “ I absolutely think it’s true. The asian community holds high standards to their children, and I guess you can see that in turn, the admissions committee does the same.”
suffer from discrimination, especially in relation to employment or education, i.e positive discrimination.
Freshman classics major Jessica Alexander commented on affirmative action detailing, “I think it’s a way for people to get diversity in campuses across America, but it’s upsetting that people who have the talent and the grades are getting barred from Harvard. Maybe a way to combat this is to expand the size capacity of future classes”. An anonymous sophomore biology major added, “ I feel like everyone fights for equal opportunity, and in this situation, it’s unfair. It may appear like it’s equal opportunity to give the minorities a chance, but that’s still favoring them instead of giving the qualified people what they deserve.”
This lawsuit is speculated to reach the Supreme Court. In the event that it does, this could be groundbreaking, changing the policies that affects millions of American students applying to college.
The plaintiffs are a group of Asian American students rejected by Harvard University. Their group is called Students for Fair Admissions, and are led by Edward Blum, a conservative activist who opposes consideration of race in all aspects of public life. Harvard’s lawyer, Bill Lee, responded to the allegations, stating, “Other factors, including an applicant’s intended major and parents’ occupation, weigh more heavily than race in determining which students are admitted.”
The Justice department lent their support for the student-based group, stating, “Harvard has failed to carry its demanding burden to show that its use of race does not inflict unlawful racial discrimination on Asian-Americans”.
As for implications of the lawsuit, critics say that the lawsuit is meaningless, as there is another kind of student body at elite universities that isn’t being targeted. It is well known that prestigious universities prefer children who fall under the legacies of alumni.
Harvard’s 2021 class is made up of 30 percent legacy kids, who had an advantage from most of those in the student body. One might contend that this lawsuit should, if not incorporate, bring this student subset with an unfair advantage into the spotlight, so that as a nation we may address the problems with college admissions as a whole.
This lawsuit is representative of a much bigger future though – the future of affirmative action. For those that don’t know, affirmative action is an action or policy favoring those who tend to