Race not a factor in University admissions

Stephan Useche/Staff writer

The University considers a number of factors when it comes to admitting its students; race isn’t one of them. Affirmative action, a tool that has helped universities across the country to give equal admission to students of different races, is not used at FIU or other universities in the state of Florida.

According to Howard Wasserman, professor of law, the University does ask the applying students for their race and ethnicity, but can’t use that information when it comes to deciding whether or not to admit the student.

“Florida law decided that it will not take race as a factor for admission,” said Wasserman.

Even though the Office of Admissions wasn’t available to give further information on its  admission policies, its records show that for the fall of 2012, 50 percent of the students admitted were Hispanic.

Lexy Feito, junior in programing, is aware of the abundance of this overflowing number of Hispanics in the University.

“It’s mostly Hispanics here,” said Feito. “I barely see any other ethnicities around campus.”

According to the University’s 2012 Fact Book, from the 18,013 students admitted to the University last Fall, 13 percent were Black, 4 percent were Asian, less than 0.50 percent were Native American, 18 percent were White, 12 percent were international students and 1 percent were not reported.

Last month, in the Fisher v. University of Texas case where Abigail N. Fisher sued the University for its race-conscious policies, the U.S Supreme Court ruled to have the case go through extended examination by a lower court. Fisher claimed that she was not granted admission to the University due to its affirmative action policy.

States, including Florida, have scrapped affirmative action from its state universities. Back in 1999, Florida’s then governor Jeb Bush issued Executive Order 99-281, which prohibits the use of affirmative action in the state universities.

Affirmative action was also created to provide diversity within an institution. According to incoming FIU student, Kelly Khoury, diversity is what characterizes universities.

“I’m expecting to be exposed to different cultures, languages, beliefs and religions,” said Khoury.

President Rosenberg was unavailable to offer information on the University’s admission policies.

– stephan.useche@fiusm.com

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